Friday, April 30, 2010

Dehydrated Canned Mandarin Orange Sections

I know it sounds strange.  Why would you dehydrate something like canned mandarin orange slices?  They're are already preserved.

There are a couple reasons. Dehydrating them concentrates their flavors, so when you chew one you get a blast of tangy sweetness.  But also, it makes them easier to take along as a snack.  And although I haven't tried this yet, I think they'd be good chopped up and added to all kinds of foods:  carrot muffins, orange and cranberry muffins, a bowl of oatmeal, or chicken salad.




Dehydrating canned orange sections is very easy.  The only thing easier is dehydrating frozen corn.  And that's only because you don't have to drain or rinse the corn.

I have four dehydrator trays, so I used six 15-oz cans of oranges (load up on them when they're on sale!).  Each tray took about 1 1/2 cans (with a couple left bites over for the cook!).  I used those flexible mesh tray liners you can get, which make it really easy to peel off the dried oranges.

Just open the cans, drain the orange sections, and rinse them lightly.  Then put them on the dehydrator trays.  It's best if you arrange the slices so they aren't touching, as they will stick together.

I turned my dehydrator on for 6 hours, and that wasn't quite enough.  I needed a couple more hours.  The time, of course, will vary depending on the humidity, and the drying power of the dehydrator.  They should be chewy, without any juicy spots

At the end of the 8 hours, you have a tasty snack.  They're still a little sticky, but not bad.  Just put them in a zip-loc-type bag or a plastic container. 

I can't advise you on long-term storage, because mine never last long enough to worry about.  But if you really want to store them long-term you should probably vacuum seal them (if you have a vacuum sealer) or at least put them in a bag and squeeze out the extra air.  And then freeze them.

I wouldn't really consider these part of my long-term, I'm-going-to-live-off-these-in-case-of-a-disaster kind of food.  But they'd be great for hiking or kayaking trips.  Or just nibbling on at work.

4 comments:

  1. Never thought about drying canned food. I dry mostly tomatoes and beans from our garden. Since our apple trees don't produce well, we buy apples from a local orchard and dry them. For my tomatoes since I dry a lot of them (and specific drying tomatoes) I also vacuum seal them and pop them in the freezer. I froze a lot this past year and we're down to our last bag!

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  2. Lynda, Cool! I ordered roma tomato plants this year specifically for drying. But so far it looks like it's going to be a cabbage year, rather than a tomato year in the Pacific Northwest--at least west of the Cascades. I'm hoping I get enough beans to try drying this year.

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  3. Wow! This is an awesome. I started checking out a few about freeze dried food storage until I came across to this one! What a great post! Me, too. I had never thought about drying canned foods. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. Thank you!

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    1. Well I'm glad you found it helpful. I'm going to try drying canned peaches next.

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