How to Make Freeze Dried Fruit at Home

Learn how to make freeze dried fruit at home to preserve food for long term storage.  Freeze dried food can last up to 25 years if stored properly, so it's perfect for homesteaders or preppers.  A freeze drying machine is an investment, but considering how long the food lasts, it's a worthwhile investment.


Growing and preserving food is a labor of love.  We spend hours in the spring, summer, and fall preserving food by canning and now by freeze drying.


I love canning food, but canned food has a fairly short shelf life compared to freeze drying.  If you store it properly, freeze dried fruit can last up to 25 years!





This is amazing because then I don't have to freeze dry each food each year.  I can freeze dry apples one year and not have to make them again for several years.


We have several kinds of fruit trees as well as berry bushes, so I learned the freeze dried fruit process first.  I'll have some more freeze drying recipes for fun things coming soon.


How To Freeze Dry Fruit


This is for a general how to freeze dry fruit.  I also have posts for how to make freeze dried strawberries and how to freeze dry apples at home.


For other ways to use your Harvest Right freeze dryer, check out these posts:


   


What Does It Mean To Freeze Dry Fruit?


Freeze drying fruit is the act of removing water from fruit by evaporating the water molecules of the fruit you are drying. Freeze drying is one of the most effective ways of drying fruit out, and is better for drying fruit than dehydrating or air drying.

 

When the water content of a fruit is reduced, it will have a longer shelf life and less weight. Freeze drying fruit removes more water than other methods. More and more families are learning how to make freeze dried fruit at home and it has become more popular online lately, especially on TikTok.




 

What Is The Point Of Freeze Drying?


Many families are learning how to freeze dry fruit, and freeze dried fruit continues to grow more popular, but why?

 

Freeze drying allows you to store food for long periods of time, up to several decades, without worrying about it spoiling.. Freeze drying is great for storing food for use when it is out of season or in case of an emergency.

 

What Is The Difference Between Air Dried And Freeze-Dried?


Air drying fruits is the act of laying fruits out and allowing them to naturally lose their water content. Freeze drying fruits is the act of evaporating the water crystals of a fruit through cold temperatures and vacuum sealing.


Are Freeze Dried Fruits Healthy?


Freeze dried fruits retain all of the benefits of typical fruit, and can be enjoyed whenever you want! Freeze dried fruit is as healthy as eating any other kind of fruit so long as you do not add anything during the freeze drying process.





Does Freeze Drying Use Chemicals?


No, the freeze drying process does not use chemicals. If you want to, you can add vitamin C powder to prevent browning but generally there are no chemicals used during the process of freeze drying.


Does Freeze Drying Kill Bacteria?


Freeze drying does help to significantly reduce the amount of bacteria present in food, but does not eliminate one hundred percent of it.


Can I Freeze Dry Frozen Fruit?


Yes you can freeze dry frozen fruit, however it may take longer. This is a great way to store fruit for consumption when it is out of season later on. 


You can also freeze dry fruit and reconstitute it later to be used in traditional drying methods such as air drying.

 

This is good if you prefer the texture of traditionally dried fruits over freeze dried fruits.


Can Dried Fruit Be Freeze Dried?


Dried fruit can be freeze dried and there are actually some benefits to freeze drying dried fruit. Dried fruit takes a lot less time to freeze dry and lasts much longer when it is freeze dried versus standard drying.


If you don't have time to freeze dry your fruit right away, just freeze it for later.  I do this a lot in the fall because we start homeschooling and things get a little crazy.





What Is Better: Dehydrated or Freeze Dried?


There are many benefits to freeze drying fruit over dehydrating it. Freeze dried fruit lasts much longer and is lighter and easier to store. 

 

The texture of freeze dried fruit may be more preferable than dehydrated fruit as well, but that is a matter of opinion.


Learn how to dehydrate bananas or how to dehydrate blueberries.


Should Dried Fruit Be Refrigerated?


Freeze dried fruit does not have to be refrigerated for storage. However, other methods of drying such as dehydrating and air drying should be kept in the fridge for storage.


Can All Fruits Be Freeze Dried?


Yes, pretty much every kind of fruit can be freeze dried. There may be different preparation methods used between fruits, but overall they can all be freeze dried.


Preparing Fruit For Freeze Drying


Before you can freeze dry your fruit, you must first prepare it. I recommend cutting your fruit into thinner slices, like chips, in order to make freeze dried fruit crisps. Freeze dried fruit crisps are perfect as snacks and are easily portable.

 

Many hikers and outdoorsmen prefer freeze dried fruit crisps over other variations. In addition, making fruit chips helps your fruit to freeze dry faster and more evenly.





Can You Freeze Dry With A Dehydrator?


Dehydrators are great for drying fruit, but in order to freeze dry you will need to use a machine or make use of a special method. 


Can You Freeze Dry Food At Home?


Yes, you absolutely can learn how to make freeze dried fruit at home with the use of a machine.  The Harvest Right freeze drying machine is great for home use.


Freeze drying at home is super easy and very similar to using any other kitchen appliance that you already own.

 

Can You Freeze Dry Food Without A Machine?


Yes you can freeze dry without the use of a machine. There are two main methods you can use for freeze drying fruit. Keep in mind, however, that these methods are not as effective as using a Harvest Right machine and will not remove as much water as the machine normally would.

 

How to Freeze Dry Fruit With Dry Ice

 

To start, take a cooler with a ventilated lid that is about twice as big as you need and set your freezer bags full of fruit at the bottom. Using a one to one ratio layer your dry ice over top of the fruit. 

 

From there allow the fruit to sit for about twenty four hours or until the dry ice has evaporated and palace your freeze dried fruit into sealed containers for storage.


How to Freeze Dry Fruit in the Freezer


To freeze dry fruit in the freezer, simply lay your prepared fruit out on a cookie sheet and set it in the freeze for two to three weeks. Remove from the freezer and store in sealed containers.





How to Freeze Dry With Harvest Right Freeze Dryer


Using the Harvest Right freeze dryer to make freeze dried fruit at home is super simple.  You'll need to wash and dry your fruit.  Then slice into thin slices or small chunks.


Then place the food on the trays. The trays sit inside the machine on shelves.  You can use one or several of the trays.  


Then shut the door and the press the buttons on the machine.  The machine is fully automatic, so it drops down to -30 to -50 degrees.  After the food is frozen, the vacuum pump turns on.  Once it's done, the machine beeps.  


Water can't exist as a liquid in a vacuum, so the water turns into a vapor.  This removes all of the water from the food.


Freeze dried fruit keeps its flavor, color, and form.  Freeze dried fruit retains almost all of its nutritional value unlike canned foods.


You can freeze dry about six to 10 pounds of food at one time.  This is about two gallons of food.

 

After a few hours you will have delicious freeze dried fruit crisps and will have successfully learned how to make freeze dried fruit at home.


How Long Does Freeze Dried Fruit Last?


When stored properly, freeze dried fruit can last up to several decades! At a minimum, your fruit should last on average a few years. However, when stored in a cool and dry environment in a sealed container it can last much longer.


This is why many choose to store freeze dried foods in case of an emergency as it will not spoil or go bad for many years. 


I recommend storing your freeze dried fruit in mylar bags for long term storage.


Can You Rehydrate Freeze Dried Food With Cold Water?


You can easily reconstitute freeze dried fruit with water. You can lay fruit out on a cookie sheet and spray with water or soak it in water until it is reconstituted. 

 

This is one of the many benefits to learning how to make freeze dried fruit at home as you can easily reconstitute the dried fruit later for use in recipes or to eat and enjoy on its own.


Now you know the freeze dried fruit process.  I love having the ability to freeze dry my homegrown fruit for long term storage!


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