Dehydrating fruit -- do I need to pre-treat the fruit?
I just got a dehydrator and am planning to dry lots of fruit. When I flipped through the recipe book that comes with it, they talked about pre-treating the fruit in some ascorbic acid mix before drying it. They're trying to stop it from turning brown, I think. Does anyone have any experience with dehydrators? I don't really care if the fruit turns brown, but I do want to make sure that the flavor and texture of the dried fruit is really good. Any suggestions on how I should proceed?
I've used a dehydrator for fruits and veggies..I don't pre-treat but then I don't care if there is a little brown. I don't find that it effects the flavor. I've dried apple slices, sweet potato, scallions, red & yellow onions, garlic, ginger, hot peppers, etc. with no color change. I've dried thinly sliced limes & lemons which turned a little brown but the flavor is still potent.
I agree with Cheryl, it's a cosmetic thing to keep the fruit from browning. I usually just throw a couple of tablespoons of bottled lemon juice into the giant bowl of water that holds the fruit while prepping and that does the trick for me. You could use something like Fruit Fresh or even crushed vitamin C tablets dissolved in water or nothing at all. I find bottled lemon the cheapest option.
I don't have any experience with a dehydrator, but I dry fruit in a low oven, and I do nothing to it before putting it in. If it's a peach or plum or something, I halve it, pull out the pit, and stick it on a cookie sheet. Even with apples, I just slice them and put on a cookie sheet. I don't recall them turning all that brown. I do keep my dried fruit in the freezer, because I'm not sure whether it's dry enough to sit on the shelf.