Thousands of people across the US have a fig tree or two in their garden. Those people will know all too well that sometimes a harvest will be particularly ‘fruitful’, and then you find yourself overrun with figs and no idea how to use them.
Food dehydrators are incredibly useful in this way, because they dry fruits, vegetables and meat out so that they no longer go moldy, and if you store them in an air tight container then they can keep for many months. Dried figs, in particular, will keep for up to 24 months if you dry them in the right way, and that’s just one of the many benefits of drying figs. In this guide we’re going to teach you how to dry figs at home.
How to Dry Figs
Firstly, you will need:
- Ripe figs
- 1 vegetable knife
- lemon or lime juice
- 1 food dehydrator
- airtight containers
You need to begin dehydrating figs by first washing them. It seems counteractive to cover them with water, but this is an essential part of the process! Dry them, and cut off any hard stalks.
Secondly, slice your pre-dried figs at 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Next, they need to be soaked in an acidic solution for around 10 minutes. This should be made up of 1/2 a quart of cool water, with 2 tsp of lemon/lime juice.
Remove the fig slices (without drying) and place them onto your food dehydrator tray. Turn the appliance on and leave it to run for 12 hours to a whole day - drying fresh figs doesn’t take as long as jerky for example, but they do need longer than overnight. You should only remove the figs when they feel like they have no moisture left in them, and when they feel leathery. Put them on a plate to return to normal room temperature, and then place into a clean, airtight container or glass jar with a seal around the lid. Your dry figs can then be stored in a cool, dry cupboard or in the refrigerator, but should be kept out of sunlight.
You can also dehydrate figs in a different way, and that is to make them into fruit leathers. These are dried rolls of fruit puree, which come out with a texture and taste great, but are in fact very healthy. Wash your figs and turn them into puree with a hand blender or in a kitchen top blender (try not to add too much water), add a little sweetener if desired (sugar, honey, molasses) and a tsp or two of lemon or lime juice. Pour onto the fruit leather/fruit roll tray of an electric dehydrator. After around 8 to 12 hours you should have a fruit leather, that you can roll up and eat, put in your child’s lunch box, or store in a zip lock bag for later enjoyment.
Drying figs has a number of benefits, not least to provide a healthy and very tasty snack. You can eat dried figs with your muesli, put them in a family member’s lunch box, or even put them in cakes. Figs dried in a dehydrator are also much more healthy than they are when bought from a grocery store, as you know exactly what has gone into them, and none of the ingredients are unhealthy.