Using the Sun to Dehydrate Fruit Leather

It's been hot lately. Like really hot. Like people were joking that the weather had a fever and needed to see a doctor, because the temperature was above what a human body's fever would feel like, hot. We've been roasting. And complaining. And thanking the makers of air conditioners every single day.
Fortunately the temperature the past few days has at least been slightly more tolerable, even though its still hot.

I saw my friend Jessica post on Facebook about dehydrating fruit leather in the sun, and I thought it was a really cool idea, because if we're going to suffer from the heat of the sun, let's at least try to benefit from it as well, no?

When I made my apricot fruit leather last week in the oven, I put aside half of it to attempt my own sun dried fruit leather, but I didn't have large baking trays that most people use for outdoor dehydrating, so I took a chance and used two disposable baking pans lined with parchment paper, filled them with my apricot puree, and set it out in the sun to dry.

Because I wanted to protect my potential fruit leather from bugs and other critters, I covered it with a very thin and breathable white piece of fabric, and tucked the ends in underneath and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And thought that maybe Jessica had interesting conditions where she lived that made dehydrating in the sun more doable than where I lived. That maybe the problem is that my backyard where I put my things to dry only has full sun in the afternoon, which maybe isn't enough hours for dehydration.

After a few days, though, I looked underneath the cloth and I saw that it was totally dry!

Fruit leather!

Without any electricity!

I have to admit that I was shocked at how long it took to dry, because it takes only 12-24 hours in my oven on low... but eventually it did happen.

Though there were some dark spots, and they taste a little bit burnt, and I'm wondering if its possible to solar burn your food?

Anyhow, the rest of it tastes good and is so cool and awesome

So now I've decided to try this again, and use the sun to dry... tomatoes, and attempt to make real sun dried tomatoes.

This time I put them on parchment paper flat, and covered them with the cloth. I used some random scraps of wood around it to both hold up the cloth so it doesn't touch the tomatoes, and more wood to hold it down so bugs can't get in and it doesn't fly away.

I'll update you next week on how it went, and I'm really excited about this one.

I feel like I've almost gone back in time to when I was solar cooking in an old refrigerator in my first apartment. Which of my blog readers have been around here that long?

Either way, I'm really excited about this.

Putting the sun to work for me instead of just making me suffer is good in my books.

Ever used the sun to dehydrate things or to solar cook? Ever dehydrate things in general? What's the weather like where you are lately?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


Thank you for leaving a comment on your blog. Comments are moderated- please be patient to allow time for them to go through. Opposing opinions are permitted, discussion and disagreements are encouraged, but nasty comments for the sole purpose of being nasty without constructive criticisms will be deleted.
Just a note- I take my privacy seriously, and comments giving away my location or religion are automatically deleted too.

Previous Post Next Post