It’s mid-September, and that means time for fresh peaches is quickly running out. How did this happen so fast?! Even though we did our best to make the most out of our abundant British Columbia’s summer produce, we still wish we could prolong the harvest of local produce just a little longer.
So what is a couple of peach-lovers to do when we get this feeling that our favourite fruit season is slipping through our fingers? Eat it, that’s what. And then make some dehydrated peach chips for later. These healthy peach chips are almost like your little time capsule of greatness – a perfect snack full of fresh summer flavours that can be enjoyed anytime throughout the year.
HOW DO YOU MAKE GREAT TASTING PEACH CHIPS?
Select Fresh, Organic and Fully Ripened Peaches.
Unripe peaches lack nutrients and flavour. If peaches don’t taste nice fresh, drying won’t improve the flavour. Avoid mushed or browsed peaches, it will be difficult to slice them into chips. You can always use overripe pieces for smoothies or ice creams.
Note: I used 12 peaches.
Slice Peaches Neatly
I would recommend using a Mandoline Slicer. Of course, you can always use a good sharp knife, but a mandolin will give you an even thickness and save you lots of precious time. And who wouldn’t want to save time!
Note: You don’t have to peel the peaches.
Soak Peaches In Fresh Lemon Water
Lemon juice is a natural antioxidant that keeps the fruit from darkening and protects it against bacteria during drying.
How to: Mix equal parts of lemon juice and cold water (i.e. for my twelve peaches I used 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup purified water). Allow the slices to soak for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove slices from a soaking water with a slotted spoon, arrange them on a drying trays in a single layer, making sure they don’t overlap. Set the dehydrator tray over a cookie sheet to allow any extra juice to drain.
Several factors will determine the length of time needed to create tasty peach chips. The thickness of the pieces, climate you live in and the type of dehydrator you use. Naturally thinner slices and smaller pieces will dry faster than larger ones. That’s why slicing all the peaches the same thickness is pretty helpful to ensure even drying time. Set your dehydrator at 115 F and dry anywhere from 6-30 hours. You want your peaches chip to be dry at least enough to prevent bacterial growth and risking spoilage don the road.
Note: By the way, we have this dehydrator
Are they done yet?
Check on your peach chips several time during the drying process. They are finished as soon as you can no longer squeeze any moisture out of the fruit. I prefer when they stay bit softer and have leathery and pliable texture. However feel free to dry them longer if you prefer a little crunch. If you want to accurately check for dryness, remove a piece or two from the dehydrator and let cool at room temperature.
Allow peach chips to cool completely then remove remove them from dehydrator trays. Decided into several smaller potion (to prevent mold) and store in glass jars with a lid or small size freezer containers or bags. Store in a cool, dry, dark place, the refrigerator or freezer.
Dehydrated peach chips will keep for about six to ten months if stored properly. Make sure you discard them if you see any signs of mold.
Note: Dryer peach chips will last longer, more moisture they have left in them, the shorter the shelf life.
Well worth it!
Dehydrating your own fruit indeed takes time, but the final results are well worth your efforts. Plus you can take advantage of the heat generated from your dehydrator and speed up the fermentation process of Homemade Coconut Yogurt or Buckwheat and Quinoa Bread!
Dedicated to your health & wellbeing,