Real Food Snacks: Dried Apples
In my desire to eat more real food and fewer processed ones, I became interested in dehydrators to make jerky, dried fruit rolls, and dried apples. My first experience with a dehydrator was with one I had purchased from a garage sale for $5. It had no directions and I was too excited to look any up online, so I just went for it…and ended up melting things inside and destroying any chance of using it again!
So, for Christmas, my dad got me a new dehydrator (this one which is pretty inexpensive compared to a lot of them!), and this time, I pored over the instructions multiple times to make sure I had it right. (I sometimes learn from my mistakes.) I wanted to make fruit rolls but thought I’d start with something a little easier and do dried apple slices.
I used a mandolin to slice these apples after coring and peeling them. Quick public service message: Do not get comfortable with a mandolin ever! The thing will try to bite off your thumb.
I think I might just stick to slicing with a knife from now on. The slices are supposed to be about ¼” thick, but mine had large variety in slice size and it didn’t seem to matter. They won’t be as pretty as the store-bought variety, but the ones I make are literally gone within a couple of hours so the look of them doesn’t seem to matter.
I just laid out these slices on the dehydrator trays, trying not to overlap at all. Then, you pop the top on, turn it to 135 degrees and let the drying commence. I started checking them after about 4 hours, and pulled off any that were obviously dry. They aren’t supposed to have any moisture beading up when you rip one in half. I know that some recipes for these will suggest dipping them in lemon juice first to avoid discoloration, but I didn’t and really wasn’t bothered at all by the color they ended up being.
You can store these in the fridge to help encourage longer life and then pop them in a storage bag or lunch box when you are ready to use them. Of course, I have yet to see how long they keep as I haven’t had the opportunity to allow them time to sit—they are eaten by my family and me almost immediately. They are delicious!