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Drying chokeberry at home is no more difficult than any other fruit. But in order to sort and prepare the berries for drying, you need to know the rules for collecting blackberries and stock up on time and patience. Chokeberry fruits are very small, they will have to be harvested for a long time if they are plucked immediately without stalks. But in this case, the blackberry will crumple and let the juice even before drying, which should not be allowed. Therefore, when harvesting dried fruits, chokeberry is plucked along with the stalks.
The raw materials already collected for drying and storage must be cleaned of dry branches, stalks and leaves. Given the size of the chokeberry fruit, this is not an exercise for the faint of heart.
What is chokeberry
The real name of the black chokeberry is chokeberry. The homeland of this plant is North America, and chokeberry has nothing to do with real mountain ash. Therefore, contrary to some recommendations, the blackberry is harvested not after frost, but when the berries are ripe. The average ripening period is September or mid-October.
Is it possible to dry chokeberry
You can dry anything you want if you want. It is only important to choose the right temperature for drying. If the temperature is too high, the raw material will burn, and if it is too low, it can turn sour or dry out. Drying blackberries is no more difficult than any other berry of the same size.
Chokeberry can be dried naturally or with household appliances. The natural method is more suitable for owners of private houses or summer cottages, where there is a place to spread / hang the blackberry for several days. In apartments, it is better to use household appliances to speed up the process.
How to prepare berries for drying
In autumn, fruits are cut from plants with scissors or with a sharp knife directly in bunches, without separating the stalks. It is better to fold the crop in a rigid container so as not to crush ripe fruits. At home, the blackberry is dismantled, the fruit legs are removed and the spoiled berries are removed.
Do I need to wash the chokeberry before drying
On the territory of the former USSR, people are accustomed to washing fruits before eating. But whether it is necessary to wash the blackberry before drying it, everyone will choose according to their convictions. If the plant was not sprayed from pests shortly before harvest, and the garden is no closer than 200 m from a busy road, then there is no difference between washed and unwashed fruits. The only theoretical benefit: pest larvae can crawl out of the berries. But not all.
When drying in household appliances, the maximum temperature will be 50-60 ° C. Any pest larvae will die. When drying black chokeberry in a natural way, pests will have time to lay eggs in the drying berries again.
If the choice was made in favor of washing the blackberry, then the berries are washed in running water. After the procedure, the chokeberry is placed on a towel to dry. Dried fruits can be prepared for drying.
Drying chokeberry at home
If there are special installations in the industry that allow you to set the drying time and temperature, then at home you will have to do with improvised means:
- electric dryer;
- harsh thread;
- thin twine.
Using household electrical appliances, you can quickly dry the chokeberry. It only takes a few hours to do this, except for drying after washing. But if you make a mistake with the temperature, then the result will be either coals, or chokeberry will burn on top and remain moist inside.
Important! With any drying method, care must be taken that the blackberry does not change color.
A change in color to brown or reddish indicates a violation of the regime when the blackberry is drying. In this case, some of the vitamins are lost.
How to dry chokeberry in an electric dryer
The Electric Fruit Dryer is a household appliance that has no other function. Products for drying in it are located on several tiers. It will be necessary to dry the blackberry in an electric dryer in a layer one berry thick, since the fruits must dry evenly, and it is impossible to stir them up in an electric dryer.
How long does it take to dry chokeberry in an electric dryer
Drying of black chokeberry in an electric dryer is carried out at a temperature of 50 ° C for 3 hours. Then the blackberry is brought to readiness at 45 ° C.
How to dry chokeberry in the oven
Drying chokeberry in the oven is somewhat more difficult than in an electric dryer. The oven is intended for other operations.
In the oven, chokeberry is also laid out in a thin layer, after which it is dried for half an hour at a temperature of 35-40 ° C. Therefore, the temperature is raised to 60 ° C and the product is brought to readiness.
To properly dry the chokeberry in the oven, you need to leave the cabinet door ajar. There is no normal air circulation in the oven. This makes it difficult to regulate the temperature inside the cabinet. If you keep the door closed, the berries will burn.
Important! During the drying process, the blackberry must be agitated.
Failure to comply with the temperature regime leads to a deterioration in the quality of the finished product. After drying, the blackberry is allowed to cool to room temperature and only then is it removed for storage.
How to dry blackberry in an airfryer
The principle of drying chokeberry in the airfryer is the same as in the oven. The temperature regime is the same. The advantage of the airfryer is that you do not need to stir up the chokeberry fruits for uniform drying. Since the heat treatment takes place due to the hot air circulating in the enclosed space, the fruits dry out evenly.
The downside is that mesh pallets will have to be specially selected for the blackberry. Otherwise, the use of an airfryer will become economically unprofitable. The included small mesh tray will allow you to dry only a small batch of black chops. In this case, more than ¾ of the working space of the airfryer will remain empty.
How to dry in an airfryer
For drying, ripe berries with a dense, intact skin are selected and laid out on a mesh tray. Initially, the temperature is set at 60 ° C and the blackberry is dried for 30-60 minutes. The time depends on the number and size of the chokeberry fruit. After drying, the berries are checked. If complete drying has not occurred, the chokeberry is again sent to the airfryer.
Important! A gap is left between the flask of the airfryer and the lid for the outflow of moist air.
A skewer or other heat-resistant thin object can act as a "spacer", which will not allow the lid to lie tightly on the flask.
This is the end of the artificial accelerated methods that can be applied in the household. Drying fruit naturally has been practiced for several hundred years and has proven its worth.
How to dry bunches of chokeberry
Aronia got the name "chokeberry" due to the fact that the berries grow in clusters similar to mountain ash. This property is used if you need to dry the black chokeberry in bunches.
Preparation begins at harvest time. The bunches are carefully cut with scissors whole. Cut berries are fastened in bunches of several clusters and hung in the shade under a canopy so that the bunch is blown by the breeze.
The second option is to stretch a thin string under a canopy and hang bunches on top of it. In this case, it is not required to fix them, but there is a risk that the stalks, which hold the whole bunch, will disappear after drying. And it is difficult to achieve balance in this case.
The blackberry is left under a canopy until it dries. After that, the chokeberry is separated from the stalks and placed in storage.
How to dry blackberry in the shade
The easiest way is to sprinkle the chokeberry in a thin layer on a clean cloth under a canopy and turn it over from time to time. After a few days, the chokeberry will dry out enough for the crop to be stored.
The second way is more complicated. The blackberry is strung on a thick thread and hung in the shade.
Important! Care must be taken that when drying on a string, the berries do not touch each other.
Otherwise, there will be insufficient dry places in the places of contact. When stored, the chokeberry will begin to mold. Stringing a black chokeberry on a string is not difficult. There are several small grains inside the fruit, the needle passes freely through the pulp.
Why you can not dry the berry in the sun
Strictly speaking, it is possible to dry the blackberry in the sun. And this drying will be faster and more efficient than in the shade. But under the sun's rays, many vitamins disintegrate. Therefore, in the sun, chokeberry is dried, if the presence of vitamins in the product does not matter. Such drying can be carried out if they plan to make compote from the blackberry further. Vitamins that decompose during heat treatment, in most cases, coincide with those that disappear under the sun's rays.
Application of dried chokeberry
In winter, dried chokeberry berries are used as a vitamin supplement. They are also used for diabetes and sclerosis.
Blackberry has the property of thickening the blood, so it is contraindicated for hypertensive patients. You can not use it for stomach ulcers, constipation and increased blood clotting.
Storage rules for dried chokeberry
Dried chokeberry harvested in a "natural" way can be stored for up to 8 months. A chokeberry cooked in home appliances can lie for a year. This difference is due to the fact that with artificial drying moisture evaporates better.
Dried chokeberry fruits are stored in canvas bags. They cannot be stored in sealed containers, since tightness does not mean sterility. If there is a temperature drop in the room where dried fruits are stored, condensation will appear inside the sealed dishes. This will create excellent conditions for mold growth.
At the same time, when stored in fabric bags, bugs can start in the blackberry. But with bugs, you will have to wage a full-fledged war within the same apartment. They eat more than just dried berries.
Each owner chooses how to dry chokeberry, depending on whether he has household kitchen appliances or enough space in the house. Many people prefer not to dry the chokeberry at all, making jam from it or making liqueurs. The easiest way to preserve blackberries is to freeze them.