Mar 29, 2020

Dehydrated Apples - Preserving

Covid 19 is here and with it a lot of programs are set up in the area to make sure kids are being fed while they are out of school. It’s a huge blessing in these days of cut hours or flat out job loss that it doesn’t matter if the kids are public school, homeschool, or private school kids. These programs are for every kid. My kids, like many, aren’t huge fresh fruit eaters so when they get apples and oranges in their meal bags they tend to pile up. I hate waste, so instead of having them go bad I’m turning them into one of their favorite snacks, dehydrated apples. Now that my blood pressure isn’t too high and my sugars are a bit more stable I’ve got the energy today to tackle the job. I still have a few to get done and that is a blessing I don’t take for granted. All you really need is apples, water, and something acidic like vinegar or lemon/lime juice and something to put the apples on and a way to slice them. I used a mandolin I got a few years ago as a gift from my MIL to slice them evenly and used the huge baking trays I got from my mother not long ago to use in the oven. *warm fuzzies*

In the above photo I’m using a NESCO dehydrator I purchased second hand. It’s not in perfect condition but the price was right and I trust the NESCO brand. Beat up and this bad boy was it’s served me well for about 2 years now. For fruits you set it to 135° F or 85°C. Depending on how thickly you slice the fruit will determine how long it’s in for. Mine is never the same twice and with today being somewhat humid I’m looking at a little longer time. I’ve had as low as 8 hours and as many as 18. It also depends on if you like them leathery or more of a crispy, chip like texture.

In the above photo I’m using my Emeril Power AirFryer 360. This is the first time I’ve used it as a dehydrator so we will see how well it does. I used the crisper tray on shelf position 2, turned the knob to dehydrate on 120°F or 49°C. It says on the onion recipe to set for 10 hours. I set it for 8 and will be watching it. (For the record this thing fries up some bombing onion rings and is great to bake small batches of cookies.) 

Here I’m using my oven and the awesome baking sheets my mom gave me to dehydrate them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°F or 93°C. Again it will take a bit hours to get done depending on how thick they are and how you like them. Start checking about 1 1/2 hours. I turn mine when I use the flat sheets like this too.

Now there is a way to dehydrate them using good old fashioned sunshine but I’ve not done this yet and yes, I really want to give this a go. 
Dehydrated Apples
Lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar

Slice apples. Put apple slices is water mixed with a few tbsps of lemon juice. When ready spread them out on sheets. Follow the directions on your dehydrator. If using an oven 200°F or 93°C for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turning once. 

(2 hours later) I forgot to check the apples in the oven. Use parchment paper or don’t forget to keep checking and turning them or you’ll end up with this.  🤦‍♀️

BTW warm fuzzies in reference to a book my mom used to read to me as a kid, The Original Warm Fuzzy Tale by Claude Steiner. I highly recommend it for young kiddos. 

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