How to Dehydrate Cherries
Is there anyone who does not love cherries? We think almost all of us like to eat cherries whether it is directly or in the form of pie or cakes. Moreover, there are so many desserts out there that not completed if there is no cherry on the top. Do you agree with us?
Drying cherries in the food dehydrator is quite easy with the help of few easy steps. After drying, you can use the cherries in compotes, as salad toppings or in the baked goods. But you should keep in mind that flavor of the dried cherries is also affected by the freshness of the raw cherries that you picked for drying. So, always choose the right and fresh cherries for the drying in the dehydrator.
Cherries are available in all the seasons in the market, but in the off-season, their prices are quite higher. It makes so many people restrict their usage of cherries in their dishes. But now you don’t have to do that as you can dehydrate the cherries in the dehydrator in abundant so that you can use them for a long time whenever required. You might be wondering that how to dehydrate cherries?
In the below article, we will explain to you the steps of drying the cherries in the dehydrator. Besides this, we will also share the useful info about the dried cherries that will increase your knowledge more about this fruit.
So, let’s begin!
Why Should We Dehydrate Cherries?
There is a number of reasons for which we should dehydrate the cherries, like:
- Drying the cherries extends their usage during the off-season. Cherries are available for a short time in the summers, and you cannot find them easily in the market, and if they are available then, their price will be very high.
- The dried cherries are also a good substitute for the raisins that you can use in the snacking or baking. You might also use them in the oatmeal or the salads.
- The dried cherries are not only delicious to taste, but they also provide numerous health benefits to our body like Vitamin C, antioxidants, rescue gout risk, natural melatonin, reduce arthritis inflammation, etc.
List of Important Things Required for Dehydrating Cherries in the Food Dehydrator
There are a few things that you will not for drying the cherries in the food dehydrator machine:
- Food dehydrator
- Fresh cherries
- Vinegar and lemon juice
- Paper towel
- Ziploc bag or the airtight jar
- Boiling water
- Water for washing
Process of Dehydrating the Cherries in the Food Dehydrator
Before beginning the process of drying the cherries in the food dehydrator, you should preheat the dehydrator when you are preparing the cherries for drying. Drying at high temperatures is never recommended as it will only result in hard drying and not the right drying.
Below is the step by step instructions that you have to follow for drying the cherries in the food dehydrator:
Step 1: Wash the cherries
Firstly wash the cherries that you have picked for drying. You might use the vinegar along with the lemon juice in the big size of a water bowl for soaking the cherries. Then, rinse the cherries and take them out. Now, place the cherries on the paper towel for drying before putting them inside the dehydrator. You may also pat them dry gently.
Step 2: Picking and Pitting
Now, it’s time to do the picking and pitting of the cherries after washing. Take off the stems of the cherries and discard any bad fruit among them. If you have a small batch of cherries for drying then, use the hand-held pitters. But if you have bulk produce then, use the five times long pitters. It helps in keeping the fruit juice free.
Step 3: Cut the cherries in half or use in the full form
Now, you have to decide whether you want to use the cherries as a whole or want to cut them in half with the help of the knife. The half cut cherries will dehydrate faster, and you can use them straight away in your recipes without cutting anymore.
Step 4: Add the cherries on the trays of the dehydrator
Now place the cherries on the trays of the dehydrator machine for drying in a single layer. Do not overlap the cherries as it can result in the problem of under-drying of the fruit. The right airflow is essential for the even drying of the cherries. Try to place them on their round side downwards so that they do not stick to the trays.
Step 5: Set the temperature of the dehydrator
Now set the temperature of the dehydrator for drying cherries between 125 degrees F to 135 degrees F for around 10 hours to 18 hours. The period of drying depends on the power of your dehydrator machine, for example, the machine without an adjustable thermostat or the low wattage needs more drying time. You might rotate the trays of the dehydrator if the machine is taking too much time.
The dried cherries will look like pieces of plump raisins. Do not over-dehydrate them so that they become hard for adding into the snacking dishes or granola bars.
Step 6: Store the dried cherries in the airtight jar
Once the drying process of the cherries gets completed, cool them down. Then, you can store them in the Ziploc bag or the airtight jar for the long term storage. You should keep on checking the jar in the initial few days for any condensation as this can create mold in the jar. If there is any kind of mold in the jar then, dehydrate the fruit more.
The right storage is essential for retaining the nutrients and taste of the dried cherries. You can use the airtight jar, vacuum seal jar or the canning jar for the short term storage. But if you want to store the fruit for the long term period then, use the vacuum seal bags or the Mylar bags with the moisture absorber.
Step 7: Rehydrating the dried cherries
If you want to rehydrate the cherries then, put them inside the bowl and add the boiling water over it. Leave it aside for 15 minutes till they become fleshy. Now, you can use them in baking foods like muffins. Don’t discard the water of the cherries as you can use it the recipes that need the liquid for adding color and flavor.
Tips for Dehydrating Cherries Perfectly In the Food Dehydrator
With the help of below tips, you can dehydrate the cherries perfectly in the food dehydrator:
- Always pick the ripe cherries for drying that are bruise-free and firm and in the right condition. The bruised and overripe cherries are useful for making the syrup and butter of the cherries.
- Check the status of the cherries after a few hours to avoid the problem of sticking. If you find any cherry that is dried, remove it immediately for cooling down.
- You don’t need to pasteurize the dehydrated cherries because the pasteurizing only required for sun-dehydrated cherries.
- In order to prepare 1 cup of dehydrated cherries, you need 1 pound of fresh cherries.
- Storing the dried cherries in different small size jars is beneficial. Because if any piece of the cherry gets mold due to insufficient drying then, it will not spoil your entire dried cherries batch. So, don’t store the whole cherries in one jar together. It also reduces the chances of food spoilage due to air contact.
So, we hope that after reading the above article now you know “how to dehydrate cherries.” You can quickly eat the dried cherries straightaway or add them in the cookies, trail, mix, ice cream, granola bars, pies, yogurt or the breakfast cereal. You can also use them in place of dried raisins or cranberries sometimes. They look like the big size raisins when they get completely dried. The dried cherries will be sweet and tart, and you can use it in your no-sugar recipe without any worry.
With the help of the food dehydrator machine, you can enjoy the flavor of the cherries in the dried form for the whole year at your home. You can reduce the tartness of the cherries with the process of syrup blanching if required. You don’t need any additives or preservatives for storing the dried cherries for the long term in your kitchen. It is a healthy and nutritious snack for the kids too who loves to eat sugary foods.
So, what are you waiting for now? Go and start preparing the dried cherries in your food dehydrator machine. Do not forget to tell us how the entire drying process of the cherries gone at your place. If you want to tip or advice about dehydrating the cherries in the dehydrator then, please let us know in the below comment box. We will feel obliged to guide and help you anytime.