Sunday, April 1, 2012

Air Drying your Food

Ancient civilizations air dried their foods and many cultures still do today. Air drying is the simplest form of food preservation because it relies on nature and very little in the way of equipment. The method is a good choice for drying herbs, flowers, carrots, onions, peppers, celery, apples, Swiss chard and green corn.

Onions air drying

All you need is good air flow in low humidity place. If you don’t have a natural breeze, a fan will do. Just make sure no dust or other contaminants are blown onto the food.

You can set up your drying area almost anywhere – outdoors in the sun, in a clean garage, I the backseat of your car or on enclosed porch for example.

You can set anon-toxic screen across two chairs or saw horses and dry food on that. If you are worried about insects, you can cover it with another screen, clear plastic or piece of glass.

If you choose to dry your food outside, in addition to the risk of drawing insects, you have to watch the weather. The screens have to be brought in at the first hint of rain and every night so they are not rehydrated with the morning dew. 

To get even drying, cut all the pieces about the same size. Make sure none are more than ¼ to 3/8 inches thick. Store them in air tight containers like zippered plastic bags, heat sealed bags, mason jars or metal containers.


Marie Anne said...

I never would have thought of air drying food, but it makes sense. How else would they have done it before the fancy gadgets we have today?

If my apple tree produces this year, perhaps I'll try air drying some apples.

Debbie Henthorn said...

We've air-dried beans and have tried to dry onions. I don't have much luck with gardening but will be doing more preserving this year, including drying.

Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge from Debbie & Harry's Kitchen! Good luck!

Whole Foods Living said...

What great ideas, and it seems so simple! I've love to be able to dry some produce from my garden. ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living,

diana jane cervantes said...

Is food drying is something related on solar drying (well I guess so). I should thank you for sharing some tips in air drying and maybe I will try this soon. Will add this on my tropical food preservation list. Cheers!

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