Preserved Gardens

Pressing Easy Flowers Pressing Roses Pressing Orchids Pressing Succulents Fruits and Vegetables Dye Fresh Flowers Preserve With Glycerin

Preparing Fruits and Vegetables For Pressing

Keep better color in your dried fruits and vegetables. The pre-treatment will be the same whether you plan
to dry and press fruit or vegetable. This treatment assumes that the fruits and vegetables will not be eaten.

Preparing Fruits and Vegetables to be PreservedPressed Kumquat Fruit

Basically there are 3 easy ways to do this. Pre-treat fruit by dipping in a sulfite, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or salt water solution. These methods are routinely used in preserving food for consumption, but the mixtures given are a bit stronger. These treatments assume that the fruits and vegetables will not be eaten.

  • Slice your fruits and vegetables very thin... the thinner the better.

  • Scrape out the pulpy parts leaving just the skin as much as possible.

Method 1 Preserving Fruits With Sodium Bisulfite:Pressed Cherries
This is the preferred method for fruit. Mixing sodium bisulfite into water will release sulfur dioxide, which will penetrate the surface of the fruit to discourage oxidation and enzymatic browning. This works well as an anti-darkening agent.

  • Mix a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of bisulfite to a gallon of water.

  • Soak sliced fruit for 5 minutes.

  • Rinse gently with cold water.

  • Pat dry with paper towels and begin the pressing process.

Get food grade sodium bisulfite at wine-making supply stores or pharmacies.
NOTE: Don't use sodium bisulfate. (use bisulfite with an "i", not bisulfate with an "a")
Pressed Dry Kiwi Fruit
Method 2 Preserving With Ascorbic Acid:
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) acts as an antioxidant. It helps keep fruit from darkening as it's being prepared for drying. Get this at a pharmacy or anywhere vitamins are sold.

  • Dissolve 2 tablespoons of ascorbic acid crystals, or powder,
    or 5 one-gram vitamin C tablets into a quart of warm water.

  • Slice or chop fruit directly into the solution.

  • Drain fruit well

  • Pat dry, then press. Pressed Straberry Fruit

Method 3 Preserving With Salt Water:

  • Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in 1 quart of warm water.

  • Slice or chop fruit directly into the saltwater.

  • Soak about 10 minutes

  • pat dry then press

These pre-treatments help maintain good color, follow up by pressing or drying as you normally would. If you use the microwave for drying or pressing fruit I've found I get best results by starting at about 5 minutes on defrost.

To press using a regular oven, put fruits and vegetables in a single layer into heat-proof flower presses. Put the trays of fruit in the oven turn the oven on and let it heat to 150, then turn it off. Check fruit and reheat the oven periodically to keep the temps up but not too high. You want to dry, not cook.

Don't overlook things like corn husks and silk, onion peel, the delicate membrane between the onion layer, vegetable plant tendrils and such...

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