I had a couple more successes during my zero food waste week.
Not only did I make my own tomato ketchup, but I made dried fruit as well. This is a great way to reduce food waste, make the most of a glut, eat frugally and save packaging.
You might have noticed from our weigh ins that we eat a lot of dried fruit and it all comes in non recyclable plastic packaging.
I bought a dehydrator a few years ago and have made apples and courgettes in the past.
Last week I made apples which I bagged for free from my local orchard in exchange for giving him half the apples back once dried! I also did pears (Mr Green’s favourite) and bananas (Little Miss Green’s favourite).
The last lot of dried bananas I bought cost £1.79 for 150 gms.To get the same weight I would need to dry 6 bananas at home, which would cost around 90p
The apples were obviously a complete bargain as I got them for nothing. But this time of year you could do them for a good price even if you needed to buy the fruit. 3lbs of apples, which is what I used costs £1.20 at our orchard and for that I ended up with 100gms of dried fruit.
The cost of electricity was 30p in case you are wondering – just 2kws for 8 hours drying time. You can also dry fruit for free by threading it on strings and leaving to air dry. This can work really well over a background source of heating such as woodburner or radiator.
You can dry fruit in the oven too. For this you need to put the oven on the lowest setting and prop the door open otherwise the moisture can’t escape and the fruit won’t dry. Unless you can set up some kind of racking system, this isn’t a particularly frugal option, but I’m wondering if you could do something similar in an airing cupboard – has anyone tried this?
After making my own dried fruit, I do understand why it costs so much to buy! Once you’ve driven out the water, you’re not left with much to show for it. But for 1/2 hour preparation work and a couple of kws of electricity and most importantly, no waste at the end of it, I shall definitely be doing this again.
Have you ever dried fruit or vegetables? Which drying method did you use?