Sure, you can buy dried apple rings in the grocery store but I don’t think they really taste like apples. Too much processing and not enough apple for me. When you make your own dried apples you know that they are pure apple and they taste that way too! No preservatives or added sugar, just tart tasty apple.
Why make dried apple rings or pieces in the first place? Apples are available all year long in the grocery store and why not have fresh? If you’re concerned about eating locally and not eating food that has traveled halfway across the world to get to your grocery store, it makes sense to harvest food when its in season and available fresh locally. Fall is apple season where I live and going to a local orchard to either pick our own or to buy a box of apples is an enjoyable family outing. The smell and taste of fresh picked apples just doesn’t compare to the grocery store. If you don’t have a local orchard, there’s sure to be a farmers market nearby where you can stock up on local fruit.
Its easy to make your own dried apple rings or pieces to keep in your pantry for snacks or an addition to your morning oatmeal especially if you have a food dehydrator. I like using a food dehydrator because it works without me having to do anything to it after I turn it on. A set and forget operation! You can use your oven as well, but without a fan it takes longer and ties up your oven as well as heats up your kitchen.
Preparing your apples is the most time consuming part of the operation. You can do it by hand or use a handle-crank apple/potato peeler that sits on the counter. They are inexpensive and work great, peeling/slicing/coring all in one go. I don’t usually peel my apples but that’s a personal choice. However you choose to do it, core and slice your apples in as uniform pieces as you can. The thinner they are the faster they will dry. Cut out any bruised or bad spots as you go. Place the apple rings on the dehydrator trays or oven racks and set the temp to about 140 degrees. If you’re using a dehydrator with a fan check back in about 8 hours to see how they’re doing. The apple slices will be dry when they have a leathery consistency. Be sure they are completely dry before you package them so no mold can grow and contaminate your whole batch.
So easy! When you make dried apple rings or slices at home, you know that there are no additives in them just pure apple to be used as a snack or an addition to your morning oatmeal!
I love my nesco fd 75 food dehydrator. It makes drying the produce from my garden an easy job without all the heat and hard work of canning while keeping the garden-fresh taste of my produce, especially tomatoes! Want to learn more about what to do with all those tomatoes and other garden produce to get that fresh flavor all year round? Stop by my site http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-dehydrate-apples for more ideas.
Photo. Leslie Seaton