Drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation and storage. The history of this traditional method of preserving food dates back to prehistoric times, when people dried meat and fish at the beginning of a wind and sun, and then using fire. These days industry use electric dryers. But there are also available small dryers which help us to make delicious dried fruit, vegetables or mushrooms at home. Of course you can also use the oven but it involves a much higher power consumption and time.
In the past, crops and forest fruits were usually dried in the sun, on special screens, or specially constructed ovens. Thanks to the dryers we were able to preserve aromatic orchard and forest fruits, even after several years. The most common dried product were fruits - plums, apples, pears, but also vegetables - tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms. Plums were usually not chopped - seeds were not removed, apples and pears were cut into quarters and cleaned mushrooms suspended in whole or in pieces on special poles so they gain smoky flavor. To the furnace in the dryer mostly hardwoods such as alder and linden were underlaid. The whole process of drying was depending on the size and maturity of raw materials, lasted from 1 to 1,5 days. In households people were often eating these goods themselves - dried plums, pears, apples were also used as an additive in various traditional dishes such as soup or stew. And the dumplings with prunes or mushrooms, also today can satisfy even the most fastidious palate. Still the taste of dried traditional method of non chemically preserved plums, forest fragrant and aromatic dried mushroom added to the broth, you can not compare with anything else.
Currently, few of the housewives remember this very useful method of food preservation which is drying. Relatively few people in the kitchen, uses its blessings. Meanwhile, dried fruits and vegetables are only efficient and easy to use, it still retain much of its nutritional value. It is known that today would be hard to use a special smoke furnace, as it was in the days of our grandmothers and grandfathers. However, domestic use of small and easy to use electric dryers, is very much in reach of all who love the kitchen.
Drying vegetables, mushrooms and fruits, allows you to enjoy the pleasures of summer and autumn during the long, dark winter months. Drying is the drainage and it aims to reduce undergoing this process vegetables, mushrooms and berries water content to 15%. With the evaporation of about 70% water products still retain their durability. As a result of evaporation of water followed by concentration of the components that are either in the vegetables or fruits, so that these products are often sweeter and more flavorful than fresh. If we properly dry out our summer and autumn harvest all the micronutrients, tannins, acids, and very importantly for the work of our body - fiber and pectin will fully retain. Their taste and smell will also largely remain.
Dried mushrooms are excellent for flavoring sauces and soups. They are also the perfect addition to stews, cabbage, stewed baked and cooked meats. These dried gifts of forest gives each dish a wonderful flavor, taste and smell.
Dried apples are a good alternative to other high-calorie snacks.They are a delicious addition to muesli. Peel apples and cut into very thin slices. We dry in the dryer or in the oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In this way, in the short time we will have the perfect, healthy, fruit crisps. You should also try to dry the skin peeled apple. In the winter evenings are delicious, natural additive to teas. We may tempt to try exotic fruit drying. Homemade dried pineapples, mangoes, figs and grapes may be an interesting addition to cakes or can be a tasty snack. By preparing them we will be sure that they are not chemically preserved, which is important for example in the diet of children.
Drying fruits and vegetables is a very good alternative to other processed fruit - vegetables. With this method of food preservation, people have gained fragrant flavors that can not be compared with any other products. So let's turn back to natural ways to store the autumn harvest, because it enriches our kitchen and gain a valuable source of delicious healthy food.