My preferred method of dehydrating apricots is to slice them rather than cut them in half. It’s much faster, and the dried apricot slices are easier to rehydrate for refreshing fruit cocktails on the trail.
Section I discusses how to dehydrate apricots that are halved, sliced, fresh or cooked; and how to incorporate them into your backpacking menu.
Section II shows how to make apricot fruit leather, how to pack it, and how to turn it into delicious fruit pudding on your next camping trip.
Section III covers how to make and dehydrate apricot-mint salsa, which rehydrates with cold water on the trail into a festive dip or side item, and is delicious in apricot salsa rice salad.
When you buy dehydrated apricots at the store, they usually have a nice orange color. This is because the apricots have been treated with sulfur dioxide, which keeps them from turning brown. Some people experience allergic reactions or headaches caused by sulfites in commercially dried apricots.
Photo: Commercially dried apricots treated with sulfur dioxide.
When dehydrating apricots cut into halves in your home dehydrator, without using sulfites, expect the dried apricots to be rusty orange or brown. Browning can be reduced, but not eliminated, by dipping the apricot halves in a solution of one cup lemon juice and four cups water. Source: Excalibur Dehydrator, Dehydrating Apricots.
Wash apricots, cut in half, remove pits, and place them in a bowl with the lemon juice and water solution. After a few minutes, remove apricots and pat dry. Another popular treatment is to dip apricots in full-strength pineapple juice.
Push in backs of apricots and place on dehydrator trays, skin side down. A single Excalibur Dehydrator tray can hold up to 25 small apricots cut into halves. Read my Excalibur Dehydrator review.
Dehydrate apricots at 135°F (57°C) for 20–24 hours. Dried apricots will be pliable, leathery, and chewy.
Cut the drying time in half by dehydrating apricots in slices.
Wash apricots, cut in half, remove pits, and slice each half into four pieces lengthwise. Then slice each of those pieces crosswise four times.
Dipping sliced apricots in a solution of one cup lemon juice and four cups water will reduce browning, but is not mandatory; the auburn-orange color of untreated, dehydrated apricots is still attractive. A short dip in pineapples juice is also an option.
Spread apricot pieces in a single layer on mesh dehydrator sheets.
Dehydrate apricots at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 11 hours until flat, pliable, and almost snappy.
Photo: Thirteen apricots cut into slices on an Excalibur Dehydrator tray.
Dry Yield: 13 apricots yield 1 cup of dried slices weighing 45 grams.
Trail Mix: Snack on dried apricot slices as is, or add to trail mixes with nuts and other fruits.
Photo: Dried apricots on right, fruit cocktail mix on left.
Cocktail: Rehydrate dried apricots, or a combination of apricots and
other fruits with cold water. For a single large serving, combine one cup of
dried fruit with one cup of cold water. Wait about an hour for the fruit
to plump up nicely. If you double the water, you will have some fruity
tasting juice to enjoy also. A thermos food jar is ideal for rehydrating
dried fruit. See my thermos review.
Trail Breakfasts: Add dehydrated apricots to oatmeal or granola cereal with milk. Tip: Rehydrate the apricots briefly before adding them to your breakfast.
Dinners: Include a pinch of dried apricot slices with mixed vegetables added to meals, such as meals with curry sauce.
The idea for cooking and dehydrating apricots came about because we like to serve cooked fruit with pancakes on Sundays.
Apricots nearly disintegrate when cooked, but diced apples keep their shape. The combination makes a great sauce for pancakes.
Grate the peel of one lemon into a pot, and then squeeze the lemon juices into the pot also.
Cut six apples and six apricots into small pieces about a ¼-inch thick, add to the pot, and coat with the lemon juices.
Add a teaspoon of sugar and a shake of cinnamon.
Cook on medium-low for ten minutes, let cool, and spread on dehydrator trays covered with nonstick sheets.
Dehydrate at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 15 hours. Dried apricots and apples will be pliable and leathery.
The photo above shows all six of the cooked apricots and apples spread on one Excalibur Dehydrator tray. If you have an extra slot available in your dehydrator, the fruit will dry faster if spread thinner on two trays.
Photo: Dehydrated apricots and apples paired with dehydrated pancake bites.
On the Trail:
To make a tasty hot dessert, combine ¾ cup dried apricot/apple mix with one cup of water in pot. Let sit five minutes, then light stove and bring to a boil. Transfer pot to an insulating cozy for ten minutes.
Top with extra goodies like pecans, granola, or brown sugar before serving.
Photo: Dried apricots and apples rehydrated in a pot on the trail.
When rehydrating apricot/apple mix to use with a large serving of pancake bites, use 2 cups water, 25 grams of dried fruit, and 75 grams of dried pancake bites. Bring the fruit to a boil first, then add the pancake bites on top, but don’t stir them into the fruit. Put the lid on the pot to hold in the steam, and transfer the pot to an insulating cozy for ten minutes. Stir the pancakes into the fruit right before serving.
Photo: Rehydrated apricots and apples with pancake bites. Delicious! The vegan recipe (no eggs) for Pancake Bites is in Recipes for Adventure II: The Best of Trail Bytes. A version of the recipe with eggs was featured in my newsletter, Trail Bytes: The Backpacker Pancake Challenge.
This section covers dehydrating apricot fruit leather with cooked or raw apricots, and how to add unique flavors to apricot leather like ginger and mint.
In the previous section, we dehydrated cooked apricots and apples with lemon juice, a spoonful of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. To turn that mixture into delicious apple-apricot fruit leather, simply run the cooked fruit through a blender, and then follow the dehydrating instuctions below.
Photo: Ingredients for apricot-ginger fruit leather before blending.
Servings: 2 large sheets of apricot fruit leather
* For more tongue-tingle, use up to 1 Tbsp. of minced ginger.
** Alternative spices to cardamom are nutmeg or cinnamon.
Mix ingredients together and run them through a blender to a smoothie-like consistency.
Spread thinly on dehydrator trays covered with nonstick sheets. Two Excalibur trays were used for this recipe, 1½ cups of blended fruit per tray.
Dehydrate apricot fruit leather at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 9 hours. Flip leather over onto a mesh sheet when it is almost dry, and peel off the nonstick sheet for the last hour of drying.
Dried Yield: 2 cups, equivalent to 2 Excalibur trays (100 g).
Photo: Dehydrated apricot-ginger fruit leather.
The best way to pack apricot fruit leather for the trail is to fold it up in baking paper so it doesn’t stick to itself. See the folding demonstration on the strawberry fruit leather page. Several folded up fruit leather sheets can be vacuum sealed together in a single vacuum seal bag for a trip.
Photo: One folded up sheet of apricot fruit leather.
Photo: Ingredients for apricot-mint fruit leather before blending.
Servings: 1 large sheet of apricot fruit leather.
Mix ingredients together and run them through a blender to a smoothie-like consistency.
Spread thinly on dehydrator tray covered with nonstick sheet. One Excalibur tray was used for this recipe.
Dehydrate at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 9 hours. Flip leather over onto a mesh sheet when it is almost dry, and peel off the nonstick sheet for the final hour of drying.
Dried Yield: 1 cup, equivalent to 1 Excalibur tray (50 g).
Photo: Rehydrated apricot fruit leather pudding.
Use any of the dehydrated apricot fruit leather recipes featured above.
On the Trail:
Combine apricot fruit leather and dried fruit pieces with cold water. Let sit ten minutes, then stir vigorously to dissolve the leather. It will thicken in a few more minutes, and fruit pieces will plump up the longer you wait.
This section shows how to make and dehydrate apricot-mint salsa, with suggestions for how to enjoy it on the trail, including a no-cook recipe for apricot-mint salsa rice salad.
Servings: 10 cups before drying, 2¾ cups after drying.
Prepare the ingredients in two bowls—one for the fruit, and one for the vegetables.
Vegetable Bowl: Add the tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Lastly, add chopped cilantro. The salt will draw liquid out of the tomatoes, which helps distribute the wonderful flavors throughout the salsa.
Fruit Bowl: Add the apricots, lime zest and juice, apricot jam, and chopped mint leaves.
Let each bowl sit for a few minutes, stirring a few times, then combine all the ingredients into one bowl and let sit for a few more minutes to let the flavors meld.
Dehydrating Apricot-Mint Salsa
Spread salsa on dehydrator trays covered with nonstick sheets. Include all the liquid. This recipe fills five Excalibur Dehydrator trays; two cups per tray.
Dehydrate at 135°F (57°C) for approximately 18 hours. Dehydrated apricot salsa will be pliable, yet dry to the touch.
Photo: Dried apricot salsa.
Dried Yield: 10 cups of fresh apricot salsa yields approximately 2¾ cups dried salsa weighing 230 grams.
Rehydrate dried salsa with an equal quantity of cold or hot water; just enough to barely cover the salsa. Any water that doesn’t get absorbed will take on a delicious spicy flavor. A ½ cup of dried salsa is a good serving size for one person, but beware—it’s addicting.
Snacking: Photo above shows rehydrated apricot salsa with corn chips. In reality, the corn chips will be crushed on a backpacking trip, but the combination is classic.
Breakfast: Rehydrate salsa with hot water. Add to grits or scrambled eggs.
Lunch: For a complete backpacking lunch, try combining a pouch of tuna with rehydrated salsa and chips, or you could roll up the tuna and salsa in a tortilla.
This recipe is a cold-soak salad, ideal for lunch on hot summer days, but you can also rehydrate it with boiled water for the evening meal.
Photo: Dried ingredients for Apricot-Mint Salsa Rice Salad.
* Any kind of precooked and dried rice will work, but this meal is especially good with dried sushi rice or salted short-grain rice. See How to Cook & Dehydrate Sushi Rice.
Photo: Apricot-Mint Salsa Rice Salad after rehydrating in a thermos food jar for 1½ hours. Delicious and festive!
Dehydrating Fruit Table of Contents. Just like this article showed the many methods of dehydrating apricots, the Dehydrating Fruit page leads you to similar pages for dehydrating apples, bananas, peaches, strawberries, and more.
Fruit Leather Recipes. Explore the many flavors!
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