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Drying

The removal of moisture, or drying, is one of the oldest methods of preservation.

Air drying in particular is an energy-saving form of food preservation. In this process, water is removed from the food at normal air temperatures and without any additional heat being added. The process is also known as drying. Optimally dried fruit has around 13-14% residual moisture. Bacteria die of thirst as soon as the water content falls below 35%, while many molds are only killed at 14%. But even in a range of around 20-25% residual moisture, the food will keep for longer and spoil or go moldy much more slowly.

The taste is retained and sometimes even intensified.

 

How do you dry properly?

The food is spread out on a grid or slatted frame or tied to twine and exposed to circulating air on warm days, protected from rain and direct sunlight.

The slatted frame used used to be called a kiln, hence the term “drying”. An airy, clean attic or the area above a tiled stove are ideal for drying. A less ecological method is drying in the oven at max. 50 °C with circulating air. The residual heat after baking or roasting can be used to good effect.

There are also special dehydrators for sale that also deliver satisfactory results at prices under €100.

 

What is particularly suitable for drying?

Herbs, mushrooms, pulses (beans, peas, lentils), fruit (apple rings, raisins, plums, figs, etc.), cereals.

Of course, meat and fish are also suitable for drying. However, before you start this experiment, you should definitely obtain more detailed information.

 

Our tips:

  • A metal fly screen from the DIY store, which is stretched over a simple picture frame, is well suited for drying.
  • Dry herbs in early summer when they are at their most aromatic.
  • If fruit is dried outdoors, protect it from insects and flies with a grid or cloth from above.

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