|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 1g||1%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 32g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|Total Sugars 29g|
|Vitamin C 22mg||112%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Loaded with vitamins, dried peaches are a tasty and portable snack. These little morsels are also great in trail mixes, cake batters, chutneys, pies, cobblers, chewy granola bars, or as cupcake decorations and toppings for yogurt or ice cream. Because dehydrated fruit is very nutrient-dense and higher in sugar than the equivalent piece of fresh fruit, be aware of their caloric content if you're following a weight-loss plan or need to keep your sugar in check.
The more flavorful the fresh peaches you start out with, the more delicious the dehydrated version will be. For this recipe, you can use freestone or clingstone peaches. As their names indicate, the freestone peaches have a pit that is easily removed, and the clingstone ones need the help of a knife. The latter are most sought after for preserving, dehydrating, canning, and baking as they're sweeter and juicier. But either will yield marvelous results.
8 cups water
3 tablespoons vinegar, or lemon juice
6 pounds ripe, firm peaches, clingstone or freestone, washed
Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Preparing and Dehydrating
Gather the ingredients.
Mix water and vinegar (or lemon juice) in a non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic is preferred). Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Cut a small "x" on the bottom of each peach using the tip of a paring knife.
Prepare a big bowl with water and ice. This will be used after blanching the fruit.
Put peaches into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove them from boiling water with a slotted spoon and transfer to iced water. Let soak in cold water for a few minutes, just until they are cool enough to handle.
Place peeled peaches in acidulated water. This step prevents discoloration.
One by one, pit and slice peaches. If working with freestone peaches, run a knife around circumference of each peach. Its halves should easily twist apart and away from pit. Slice into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick slices. If working with clingstone peaches, it's easier to remove peach flesh from pit using a paring knife. Cut wedges 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick off of the pits. Place all slices back in acidulated water.
Once all of the peaches are peeled, pitted, and sliced and have been in acidulated water, drain in a colander.
Arrange peaches on dehydrator trays so that there is at least a half-inch of space between slices.
Set dehydrator's temperature to 135 F. It might take 8 to 36 hours to fully dry the peaches depending on how thickly they are sliced. The pieces should feel totally dry to the touch, but leathery and somewhat pliable.
It is hard to be completely sure if the peach pieces are fully dehydrated until they have cooled. Turn off dehydrator and open it once peaches seem to have desired texture. Let peaches cool for 20 to 30 minutes.
Conditioning the Fruit
Even after the peaches are correctly dehydrated, there may still be some residual moisture in the fruit that you can't feel. This shouldn't prevent the fruit from being safely preserved and mold-free, but you'll have a tastier and better product if you've conditioned the dried fruit.
Put dried, cooled fruit pieces into glass jars, only filling the jars about 2/3 full. Put covers on jars.
Shake jars a couple of times a day for 1 week. This process helps redistribute the fruit pieces as well as any moisture they may still contain.
If any condensation shows up on the sides of jars, the fruit isn't dried well enough yet, and it needs to go back into the dehydrator for a few hours. Use the same temperature as in the initial dehydration process.
Store in airtight containers away from direct light or heat once dried peaches are conditioned. It's okay to fully fill jars at this point. Properly stored at room temperature, peaches should last between 6 and 12 months.
- Dehydrating takes time so don't rush the process by increasing the temperature. Longer times at lower temperatures result in better dried fruits.