Dehydrating apples is a great option for long-term storage if you don’t want to fill your freezer. These chewy, sweet and nutritious finger foods make a great snack foods and keep perfectly well in your child’s backpack or a desk drawer for weeks!
Last autumn, I didn’t get around to dehydrating apples, so it has been in the back of my mind to make some chewy fruit snacks this year. Our favorite is the sweet-tart dried apple chip!
Some fruits (apples, pears, bananas, and peaches) need to be pre-treated before dehydrating in order to make them taste better, look better, or last longer. That pretty white flesh will turn brown in a hurry if you skip this step. Your fruit will simply look unappetizing.
I have experimented with a few pre-treatments on the market, but the best I’ve used is pure ascorbic acid powder (buffered Vitamin C) which you can get in almost any pharmacy or health food store. I use 1/2 tsp. per quart of water. Another option is lemon or lime juice in a 1:4 ratio…(1/4 c. juice to 1 c. water).
Doing smaller batches of 5-6 apples each, you can reuse the acidic water bath many times. For sectioning apples, cut into 16 wedges (4/quarter). You can be less wasteful if you cut out the little semi-circular core with a knife instead of using a corer. I chose to leave the skins on after washing them well because it provides more fiber and they are so much more colorful. It also saves oodles of time.
My friend Jennifer just did her apples and recommended organic apples from Azure Standard. She got a 20 lb. box for about $18.00-$20.00 depending on the variety…priced less than conventional produce!! I’m looking into this now.
OK, I got side-tracked: Blot dry your pre-treated apples with paper towels before putting them on the racks. I got the equivalent of 5 apples per tray.
Fruit dries at 105-110 degrees to preserve enzymes and nutrients. See chart for drying times. Apples take 6-12 hours, so test them!
The resulting chip is very flavorful, and you could never eat just one. Dried apples are naturally sweet and are a great substitute for candy or unhealthy snacks. One thing I really like is that little ones won’t get sticky hands 🙂 Dried apples provide fiber pectin, potassium, Vitamin C, and some iron.
The perfectly dried chip should be flexible and not break. All the natural essential oils and nutritional goodness is locked inside. This is raw food in a highly storable form when done correctly. Experiment and enjoy the fruit of your labor with your family…laugh, sing, and praise God for His wonderful bounty!
“Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.” ~Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples
Thanks for reading!