Dried fruits and vegies

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Can anyone tell me how long the fruit and vegies I dried will last? I have put them in Black Buckets with oxy absorbers. Thanks in advance for your input.

-- Allene (allene7@yahoo.com), November 23, 1999


We have tomatoes, strawberries, etc., that we have dried, and we store them in canning jars with well tightened lids. We like the "european" style canning jars often sold as cannister sets for this. These are the jars with a white or red rubber sealing ring and a hinged wire bail arrangement that holds the lid and clamps it tightly in place. We store the stuff in a dark closet or in the dark root cellar, and we are currently using some dried food from the summer of 1997. Usually we eat it faster than that, though. That's just my experience, and I hope it helps. We haven't used any oxygen absorbers, or other aids to help preserve it.


-- Jim (jiminwis@yahoo.com), November 23, 1999.

I bought 7 twentyfive pound bags of onions for only $1.50 each.

Half a bag dried onions goes in a quart mason jar.

-- freddie (freddie@thefreeloader.com), November 23, 1999.

Shelf-life is a factor of moisture content, oxygen exposure, storage temperature, light exposure and the particular food in question. If they've been properly dried, kept in the dark, the storage temperature is reasonable and you've reduced the oxygen content to a low level you should get at least a year, maybe more.

I cover this in a great deal more depth in the FAQ, if you're interested.


The Prudent Food Storage FAQ, v3.5


-- A.T. Hagan (athagan@sprintmail.com), November 24, 1999.

Freddie...are you saying that half a 25# bag (12 1/2#) will fit in one quart jar? How did you dry them? sliced, or diced? in the sun? or with one of those electric dehydrators?

-- Margo (margos@bigisland.com), November 24, 1999.

A.T.HAGAN-- Simply out of curiosity,why is the darkness required to keep the dry "stuff" stored well? This is a little OT for this thread, but thought I'd try to reconstitute some banana chips we'd purchased at a local Farmer's Market a few weeks ago. I sat one of the chips in some water in a cup and just let it set, checking it every 10 min. or so. After about an hour it was sort of al dente (sp). There was absolutely no taste to it at all. It simply tasted starchy. I asked my husband if he thought they were banana chips or banana flavored something or other that LOOKED like banana slices. Any ideas why this didn't end up with nice tasting banana slices?


-- beej (beej@ppbbs.com), November 25, 1999.

The banana chips may have been fried, rather than dehydrated.

About the light issue, light will cause the colors of the dehydrated food to fade, and is thus probably also destructive of the nutritional content.

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-- robert waldrop (rmwj@soonernet.com), November 27, 1999.

Thanks Robert...now that I think about it, you may be correct about the frying vs. dehydr. I went to the Amish market yesterday and they not only had similar banana chips, but fried sweet peas to use as a snack.


-- beej (beej@ppbbs.com), November 28, 1999.

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