Make Dehydrated Apples--Plain and Cinnamon!
My husband brought home about 20 pounds of organic apples yesterday, and as of right now, we have absolutely NO room in the fridge or even on the counter due to TONS of vegetables. So, I quickly peeled, sliced, and dried them in our dehydrator! YUM. These are delicious and will last for many months without refrigeration! Find out how to make your own dehydrated apples!
Things You Need to Make Dehydrated Apples
1. You'll need apples
2. A solution to keep the apples from browning. I use a solution of 1 tbsp. lemon juice to 1 cup of water. OR about 1/2 cup lemon juice to 4 cups of water.
3. A low heat source like a dehydrator or an oven. I recommend the dehydrator, but I'll address the oven too.
Another option, depending on where you live, is solar. See more below.
4. You might want to use a peeler/slicer/corer gadget, as in the following picture.
How to Make Dried Apples--Cinnamon and Plain!
First, you'll need to slice and core your apples. You can peel them if you want. Leaving the peelings looks pretty and also adds fiber to the dried apples. However, some people prefer them to be left off. ALSO, if the apples are not organic, I would ABSOLUTELY peel them. The thinner they are sliced, the more quickly they will dry.
This is an apple peeler/corer/slicer. This is the same type I use, with the suction base. You can also find them with clamps to hold them onto your counter top. I love mine, and this is the fastest way I have found to slice/core/peel apples for pies, canning, or dehydrating! (BTW, this is an affiliate link. If you do happen to click through and purchase something, I will make a very small commission, and it won't affect you. Thank you for supporting my blog!)
You need to place a solution on your apples to keep them from going brown (oxidation). I just use a solution of approximately 1 tbsp lemon juice to 1 cup of water or for a larger amount about 1/2 cup lemon juice to 4 cups of water. I just eyeball it, but you can measure if you want! I let the apple slices soak while I'm peeling more. As the bowl fills, I shake them off a bit, then place them on the dehydrator sheet.
NOTE: If you don't have lemon juice, you can also use citric acid if you have it on hand. There are other ways to make solutions that cause apples to not brown. These include salt and water, orange juice and water, etc. I haven't tried these methods, because lemon juice has always worked great for me, and I always have it on hand.
Now lay out the apples in a single layer on your dehydrator tray. If you are using the oven then using two cookie sheets, lay out some parchment paper on top, then place the apples in a single layer.
I better mention how to make the cinnamon apples real quick. Once finished in the browning solution, I just place them in a ziplock bag with a bit of cinnamon to your taste. Shake around a bit, and you have cinnamon-covered apples ready to dry!
Now, to Begin Drying:
Using a dehydrator:
Set the temperature to the "fruit" setting, which is 135 degrees. I generally set the timer for about 8 hours, then begin checking every hour or so if they are not done at that point, just resetting the timer again.
Using an oven:
This method is more hands-on, but still doable. Set your oven to its lowest setting (most ovens' lowest setting is 200 degrees). Then allow to dry for about an hour. Turn the apples over, then allow to continue drying for another two hours or so. Start checking every 30 minutes or so at that point until you feel they are completely dried.
Using the sun:
If you happen to live in a hot dry area (like Las Vegas, NV), you can actually dry thinly sliced apples in the sun. Just cover them with a few layers of cheesecloth or cotton cloth to keep the bugs off. If you know anything about the desert, the temps often get above 110 degrees with very little humidity. This is an economical option if you live in an area like this. HOWEVER: If you have high humidity, I'd not choose this method---mold can form or bacteria can take hold before the drying process is complete.
One of my neighbors made a dehydrator himself that allows the surrounding air to circulate through, with no added heat. Even up here in the mountains, where it's a bit cooler than down in the valley, he is able to do a great job dehydrating his extra veggies/fruits! It's truly off-the-grid! I'll see if I can get him to tell me his steps and share that with you all!
Once the apples are dried to your satisfaction, just store them in a Mason jar with an oxygen eater. OR you can store them in a Mason jar and vacuum lock the lid. Here are the two options:
You can just place one of these in your Mason jar of dried apples, and the oxygen will be absorbed. (The picture above and below are both affiliate links.)
I just bought one of these, and I haven't tried it out yet! You can seal the Mason jar lid and seal with this kit. I'll let you know how it goes! Because our climate is very dry, the oxygen absorbers seem to do just fine. But I'm going to give this option a try too! I'll write an update when I know more!
Saving Extra Apples to Eat as Snacks:
After I filled all the trays I wanted, I decided to slice up some of the apples to eat later as ready-to-go snacks. You can use the lemon/water solution as explained above to keep the apples fresh and unbrowned, and just store them in bags in the fridge! I just ate mine right away, though. I love apples!
NOTE: If you enjoyed this article, you will find even more homesteading awesomeness at the BLOG HOP! :-)
Here is a great tool for just simply slicing and coring apples:
I have two of these! When apples are in season, I can't live without them!
I love this dehydrator! I actually bought it for my husband a couple years ago so he could make jerkey. I have used it a LOT more for dehydrating our extra fruits and veggies as well as when I find killer deals on frozen fruits/veggies in the stores!
*This article contains affiliate links. This simply means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you for helping support my blogging habit and HHH! Heidi
Hugs, Self Reliance, and a Beautiful Day!
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