Introduction: Simple Solar Dehydrator E.g. Fruit Leather or Apple Chips
I do not possess an electrical dehydrator. In summer a solar dehydrator sounds great., free, natural and no wastage whatsoever. So I created one....with just the basic and simplest of utensils, easily available at home and such that when they finish serving as a dehydrator will go back to their original functions-without deformations or damage in anyway.......
JUST USING BAKING TRAYS; SKEWERS and Aluminium Foil
Step 1: Tools and Materials
2 black baking trays
fly screen net
skewers or sticks
Cut out a a piece of aluminium foil slightly larger than the baking tray
Line the inside of the baking tray with this foil tucking in the edges of the foil neatly behind the tray.
This tray acts as a reflector.
Step 2: Mounting the Trays
The black tray absorbs the heat even faster and accelerates the whole dehydrating process.
line this tray with a non stick baking paper and place it on 2 bricks in a very sunny spot.
The reflector tray is vertical with it's shiny surface facing the sun. Secure it in position with a brick behind it and the other tray in front of it. Tilt it to an angle so as it will reflect the suns's rays onto the horizontal tray with the help of skewers jammed between the edges of the tray.
( now this wasn't a very sturdy construction and I am open to suggestions to secure the tray in place Without damaging the trays. However the advantage was that it is very mobile and can easily be moved and mounted anywhere in any direction).
Step 3: Making Banana Fruit Leather
ripe bananas 6
a dash of cinnamon powder.
lemon juice 1tsp
Put the peeled bananas in a blender and mash up to a smooth pulp. Stir in the cinnamon and a few drops of lemon.
Pour the mixture onto the lined baking tray. Spread it evenly using a spatula. The thicker the layer of pulp the longer it will take to dehydrate this.
Step 6: Setting Up in the Sun
Mount the trays as mentioned earlier to start dehydrating. Cover the lower tray with a fly screen to prevent uninvited intruders.
Mine was dry within 3 hours on a day when the outside temperature was 29C.Touch the surface of the fruit leather . If it is dry to touch it is time to flip over..
gently start peeling from the edges. at certain spots where still moist the fruit leather will stick to the paper- never mind pull it out and flip around. Put it in the sun for another 4-5 hour till the other side is dry as well.
Check the surface.
when dry it is done, it might be sugary sticky due to the sugars pushing out. Dab it dry with a kitchen paper.
Cut the leather sheeting strips with a scissors.
Roll the strips and press in the open ends.
Store in air tight containers.
they make great treats on hikes or camping trips- natural, healthy and packed with the natural goodness of the sun.
suggestions for other fruit leathers.
Dehydrated thinly sliced apple rings make wonderful apple chips.
I have never tried but I guess one could even make meat jerkys with this.
the list is endless