Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Apple Season - Dehydrate Some Apple Slices
They Make A Healthy Lunch Box Snack!

Dehydrated apple slices are easy to pack and eat.

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It's Apple Season
We picked our entire tree of Fuji apples and wanted to do something this year besides just making applesauce. (Check out my Sugar-Free Applesauce recipe.) So I pulled out my mandolin V-blade slicer (BIG MISTAKE) and started slicing and dehydrating apples.

Please Be Careful!!!
I'm usually very careful when I use sharp tools, like a vegetable slicer, but I was not using the guard for the first slice in order to get the apple to hold. Without realizing it, I sliced the bottom of my thumb - OUCH!!! I won't describe the rest, only to beg you never to use a mandolin without holding the vegetables and fruit with the guard. Better yet, throw out your mandolin and slice the apples with a knife.

If using a mandolin, ALWAYS hold the fruit and veggies
with the plastic guard.
I was scheduled for a manicure the next day
and could only have 9 nails polished.
Thankfully I still have a thumb!

Organic Apples
When making your own applesauce or dehydrated apple slices, always start with organic apples. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), apples top the list for containing the most pesticides. So if you don't have your own organically grown apple tree, make sure you purchase organic apples. 

Making Dehydrated Apple Slices
Wash and core the apples. No need to peel - Hooray!!

Place the apple slices on the non-stick sheets in your dehydrator (you can put them directly on the grating, but the grates get sticky and they are harder to wash than the non-stick sheets.

If you want "RAW" dehydrated apple slices, set the temp to 115 degrees F. Otherwise, set the temp at 135 degrees F. Dehydrate until the are dry and are no longer sticky (at least 12 hours.)

Turn the apple slices over and place directly on the grates. If you start out with the apples on the grates, you don't need to turn them.

I love my Excaliabur 5 tray dehydrator.

Continue to dehydrate the apple slices until they reach the desired texture. We like them crispy and leave them in the dehydrator for a day and a half. But if you like them pliable, you can take them out sooner. The time will vary with the thickness of the apples, the type of apples, the temperature of your dehydrator, and how crispy you want your slices.

When they reach the desired texture and dryness, shut off the dehydrator and let them cool.
Place them in a large freezer bag, seal and place in a dark, cool storage area. You can also refrigerate or freeze for longer storage times but I think out of site is out of mind. I tend to leave some on the counter and watch them disappear! They also make a nice gift for friends and neighbors.

A Great Snack
Did you ever pull out an apple in the middle of a meeting? I didn't think so. But these little jewels are easy and discrete to eat at work. And they make a great snack for the kids lunch boxes too!

But don't go overboard. It's a lot more filling to eat the entire apple than to eat a lot of dried fruit slices so just put "an apple's worth" of slices in the lunch box and enjoy!


gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I have a dehydrator for 3 years and have never attempted to use it. I love the idea of these dehydrated apples for my grandkids.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

So glad I inspired you to break out that dehydrator. You can also make fruit leather for the grandkids!
I'm sure they will appreciate your efforts.