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Dehydrated pineapple is fresh pineapple that has been through the process of drying as a preservation method. Most of the moisture is removed — approximately 15 percent to 20 percent moisture is left to prevent spoilage — resulting in a smaller, more compact product that is easier to store. Dehydrated pineapple is stored in a moisture-proof container at room temperature, rather than refrigerated, canned or frozen. Preserved pineapple often has a longer shelf life, is more convenient for taking on trips and is an effective method of preservation for year-round use. The natural sugar content is concentrated in dried fruit, and it can be eaten in its dried form or reconstituted for use in recipes.
Often eaten dried as a snack, dehydrated pineapple makes a healthy alternative to candy and other processed-sugar treats. It can be purchased in dried pineapple rings or chunks, either alone or in combination with other dried fruits. The soft, chewy texture combines well with crunchy textures in trail mixes and granolas. It stores well in snack mixes for camping, traveling or hiking. It also can be used in school lunch boxes, because it takes up less space and is less messy than fresh pineapple.
One can make dehydrated pineapple at home to save money and to create an available, year-round supply of pineapple. Purchasing fresh pineapple in season and on sale in bulk quantities will help reduce the cost. After the pineapple is peeled, cored and sliced into rings or chunks, it can be dried in a commercial food dehydrator or in an oven at 130° to 135° Fahrenheit (54.4° to 57.2° Celsius). It also can be pureed, spread in a thin layer and dried as fruit leather. The dehydrated pineapple should be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container to preserve its freshness.
Preserved pineapple will store well for six months to a year when it is stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry location. Dried pineapple can be used in baking recipes such as cakes, muffins and breads. For other uses, the pineapple can be reconstituted by pouring just enough boiling water over it to cover it and allowing it to soak. The amount of time needed to reconstitute the pineapples depends on the size of the chunks being reconstituted but averages around 10 minutes. Reconstituted pineapple can be used in fruit salads, as a pizza topping, in smoothies, as a yogurt add-in or any other way one would use fresh or canned pineapple.
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