One of the oldest forms of food preservation is done through dehydration. Long ago, people used salt to preserve food and placed the food under the sun to dry. Nowadays, the preservation process is even made easier with the help of an electric food dehydrator. Different kinds of foods such as meat, vegetables and fruits can be preserved. Dehydrated apples for instance make wonderful dried goodies that you can take anywhere and snack on anytime.
Start with a lot of apples. Keep in mind that the process of dehydration works on removing water or moisture. This leads to considerable shrinkage when it comes to volume so the fruit will get smaller. Starting with a lot of apples guarantees that you have a good quantity of dehydrated apples at the end of the process.
Prepare the apples. You’d like to select the apples that are firm in texture. Prepare them by making sure that they are thoroughly washed. Make sure that you also remove surface blemishes. Once the apples are clean and dry, cut them into ¼ to ½ inch slices. Take note that peeling is an option. This is really based on your preferences. Some people would like to have the skin off while others would still want to see the bright red skin as part of their dried product.
Prepare the pre-treatment. This is done by mixing lemon juice with water solution. One option to mix a cup of lemon juice to a quart of water. Another is to use an Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) solution. Pre-treating the apples prevents them from turning brown. This makes the apples more supple and appealing when they dry.
Dip the apples into the prepared pre-treatment. Pour the prepared water and lemon solution into a shallow bowl and dip the slices of apple into it. Once they are dipped into the solution, make sure that you pat the excess moisture from the apple slices. This can be best done with the use of a paper towel.
Lay the apple slices into the electric dehydrator. Place the apple slices in a single layer of the dehydrator one tray at a time. Continue doing this as necessary until all of the dehydrator trays are full.
Dehydrate the apples. It is important that you adhere to the necessary procedures as stated when it comes to turning on the machine and stacking the trays. Take note that various models come with different settings. Drying duration will also depend on the instructions that come with the machine. Remember to rotate the trays likewise as instructed.
Pack away. Remove the apple slices from the tray and allow them to cool. When they are ready you may choose to store them in air tight bags or jars. Make sure that they are kept in a dry and cool place. These goodies will last up to a good 6 months to a year.
Dehydrating apples is indeed an easy and equally healthy project to make at home. Very different from canned apples, they take up less space and are processed more naturally giving you the better nutrition for you to enjoy. If you eat less fruits, then is a good way for you to build on the fiber. It even is a better alternative in snacking.