We’ve been writing about preserving seasonal foods that grow locally, but if you live in the United States there are some tasty treats that have to come from somewhere else. Like pineapple.
Pineapple is an amazing food. Pineapple isn’t just tasty, it contains Bromelain, a powerful digestive enzyme that helps break down protein. It’s a good accent or side dish to serve with any protein, including ham and fish. And, pineapple is one of the most popular items to freeze dry. It’s crunchy and delicious, but also healthy because there are no additives or preservatives to keep it tasting great for years to come.
To freeze dry pineapple, cut into pieces that are approximately 3/4″ thick. Then, lay out a single layer of pineapple on your trays. Because pineapple is high in sugar content and has lots of water, and can sometimes take longer to freeze. One thing you can do to help insure you get the best quality of freeze dried pineapple is to set your freeze dryer for 12 hours of freezing time and 12 hours of drying time. At the end of the process, check to make sure your pineapple is nice and crunchy and that there is no moisture or ice nugget in the largest pieces. If there is, simply add a little more dry time. When complete, store your pineapple in an airtight container until you’re ready to eat it.
Freeze dried pineapple has an addictive, intense flavor when eaten as freeze dried chunks. (Add it to trail mix for a new take on an old favorite.) It’s also a great topping for yogurt or oatmeal. You can add freeze dried pineapple to your favorite quick break and muffin recipes. To re-hydrate pineapple for side dishes such as salsa for fish tacos, or to top a baking ham, soak in a bowl of water until it returns to the original consistency. But, freeze dried pineapple is so delicious that you’ll end up eating it as a crunchy snack before you rehydrate it.
Winters don’t have to be wall-to-wall root vegetables and apples. If you’ve got a home freeze dryer, you can enjoy a taste of the tropics all year long.