Friday, May 22, 2015

Dehydrating Pineapple and Celery

A while back 20 ounce cans of pineapple were on sale.  I bought eight cans of tidbits and eight cans of chunks.  I had used a few cans of the tidbits, but that still left me with a number of cans taking up valuable real estate on my shelves.  So last evening I asked the tall person in the household (My, but it's nice to have a tall person in residence, especially when you have to climb to reach the top shelf!) to leave two cans of each in the cupboard and set the rest on the table.  He did.

This morning I dumped the pineapple into colanders and let them drain, saving the juice.  When they stopped dripping, I spread the pieces onto my dehydrator trays, keeping the sizes separate.  I had read somewhere that if fruit is dried at too high a temperature, the outside tends to dry while the inside stays moist, so I lowered the temp from the normal 135 degrees to 115 degrees.  It will take longer to dry, but I would rather that than have pineapple that spoils because it isn't completely dry.  The bonus was two and a half quarts of lovely pineapple juice to drink.

Last year Youngest Son gave me lots of celery from his garden.  I wasn't completely happy with the celery I had previously dehydrated.  It dried just fine, but was not the best when rehydrated.  I knew it wouldn't be like fresh celery, but it just didn't want to completely rehydrate unless used in soup that simmered all day.  So I cut up my gifted celery and canned it.  I wanted to be able to use the celery in casseroles and other dishes where the dehydrated wouldn't work well, and canning solved that problem.

Except that now I have lots and lots of half pint jars of canned celery - more than I will use in the next several years - taking up space.  And I am really low on empty half pint jars that I use to can bacon bits and I don't want to buy any more.  So I decided to experiment a little.  I had canned some of the celery in five pint jars that I had used when I ran out of the smaller ones while canning.  So I opened them, drained the celery and spread the pieces onto my dehydrator trays.  They went into the second dehydrator at the same temp as the pineapple.

This is an experiment on both fronts.  I have read about and seen videos on dehydrating pineapple, all with good results, but I had never before tried it myself.  Most people cut celery into quarter to half inch pieces, blanch it and dry it.  I've never heard of anyone drying canned celery.  I'm thinking it all may be dry tomorrow sometime.  I hope the experiments are successful, for dehydrated foods take up so much less space than the canned.  I'll let you know what happens.


  1. My mom sends me bags of dehydrated fruit from California, at least she did before she moved to Oregon. I liked dehydrated apricots and pineapples best.

    I'm not much of a celery fan except I like to dip it into blue cheese or ranch dressing and eat it while I am watching television.

  2. Harry...I am a fan of dried apricots. I'll buy a bag of them now and then just for a treat. Home dried fruit doesn't always turn out like what you buy in the store, so the pineapple is mostly for a longer term storage and to free up shelf space. Depending on how it turns out, I may keep some out just for snacking.

    I like celery in casseroles or soups and the like. But raw celery doesn't get eaten here and is kind of a waste for me to buy. Canned or dehydrated works better for me. At least I hope this dehydrated will work well.