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 Preserved
there are 3 easy ways to do this. Pre-treat fruit by
dipping in a sulfite,
ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or
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.
Preserving Fruits With
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
Mix a solution of 1-2 tablespoons of bisulfite to a gallon
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
NOTE: Don't use sodium bisulfate. (use bisulfite with an "i",
not bisulfate with an "a")
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
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.
Method 3 Preserving With Salt
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
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