Hi! I'm Belinda, a Square Foot Gardener and a Certified Instructor of the Square Foot Gardening method. I am also the Head of Operations at Square Foot Gardening.Com and a Master Gardener with the Utah State University extension.
Square Foot Gardening is by far the most hassle free way to grow food. Read on and see why!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

From Grape to Raisin

We have red seedless table grapevines that have produced some tasty grapes this year.  After picking,they stay fresh in a refrigerator for weeks and also provide perfect material to make raisins.  I like to make raisins because they have a more delicious and distinctive flavor than store bought expensive brands. I bought a new dehydrator last year after my old one's motor finally gave out after 40 years.  I figured it was time for a new one but I saved the trays from the old one for when I want to attempt sun drying.  A good quality dehydrator is well worth the expense. 
After washing the grapes, I remove them from their stems and place them on my dehydrator tray.  I like to watch them after about 20 hours to make sure they don't get too dried out and crunchy. I even turn off the dehydrator overnight as that stage gets closer so I can watch more carefully during the day.  It took about 30 hours to convert them into plump raisins.
Drying is very easy. It just takes a little preparation time and then some watch care.  I've now started on my apples which make very delicious dried slices. In the past I have also dried apricots, peaches, zucchini chips,pears,fruit leather,bananas and tomatoes. These items are very expensive at the grocery store but only take some time and care to produce yourself.
From my eight deydrator trays I produced this quart of raisins plus 1 cup. They will store very well in an airtight jar or ziploc bag .

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