Another good way to preserve your food is by dehydration. This is a good alternative to canning if you don't have the supplies or time to can. Dehydrated foods also take up less space and is easy to store.
There are many ways to dehydrate your own food. You can use your oven, commercial dehydrator or the sun. We borrowed a dehydrator from a co-worker of Will's. We have been very pleased with the results so far.
To prepare your foods for dehydration first select the best fruits and veggies (or meat if your drying meat) without bruises or bad spots. Make sure the produce is washed well before drying.
When prepping whatever it is that you are drying, for example apples, make sure all your pieces are cut the same size. This way they will all dry at the same speed.
Some fruits, such as apples and bananas need to be treated before dehydrating to prevent browning. You can dip them in lemon juice or ascorbic acid (FruitFresh).
Depending on your method of drying, the size of your pieces and what you are dehydrating, times will vary. You can follow this general guideline here.
Allow your food to cool before packaging. With fruit, allow it to "condition" for 4-10 days before storing it.
Store dehydrated food in air tight Ziplock bags or jars. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 6-12 months.
Linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.