Summer's full bounty of fruits and vegetables is peaking and we can't eat everything fast enough. We've been canning and pickling so we can preserve these wonderful flavors and nutrients to enjoy in the winter months ahead. We're also drying.
Drying fruits and vegetables is incredibly easy. It can be done with a dehydrator which you can purchase from Amazon or other kitchen supply stores, but we lack the counter space for yet another appliance. Since it's summer and we've been having a lot of long, hot days, we've been utilizing solar power instead.
It's quite simple - slice up or quarter the fruit/veg you want to dry. Be sure to select items that are at peak ripeness. Spread them on a cookie or flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer - don't let anything touch each other - and place the sheet in the back window of your car if you can, or up on the dashboard under the windscreen. Of course, don't drive your car during this time. Let the sun work its magic. Depending on how hot it is where you live (this method works best in places with temps of 100 degrees Fahrenheit) this could take a day or two. Remember, you want to dry the food, not cook it, so check on it every so often and make sure it's not getting too hard.
When done, bring back inside and cool at room temperature, and then store in an air-tight container.
(Image: Earthbound Farms)