Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Dehydrate Apples: Using my new Excalibur Food Dehydrator

Aah, the smell of apples and cinnamon! Who needs chemical room fresheners when you can have the real thing and eat it too?

Apples are fairly inexpensive this time of year.  I picked up about 12 pounds the last time I went to the store.

Last week, I sliced up some of the apples and put them in my new Excalibur Food Dehydrator.  They turned out quite tasty and all but one of the kids loves them (as do I!). Dried apples make a great nutritious take-along treat for backpacks and to keep in the vehicle for the "I'm hungry" mantra I seem to hear a lot lately. Packing a little something in the car has often saved me a (unhealthy and expensive) trip through the drive-through.

The process is quite simple: Wash the apples (I try to get unwaxed apples if I can), core them and slice about 1/4".  I sprinkled them with Simply Organic Cinnamon(a Frontier product, also available at Meijer) and popped them into the dehydrator.

Some may choose to put sodium bisulphite or citric acid or some other anti-browning agent on their apples. I choose not to use these things because they are not necessary, are highly processed and are one more thing I don't need to be putting in my body. I don't care if the apples are beige rather than pristine white--and the cinnamon rather negates the whole idea anyway. 

I dried my apples for 11 hours at about 130*. If you are a raw foodie, you can do them at up to 125* for a longer period of time (specific instructions are included in the Excalibur book that comes with the dehydrator) , until they are dry and leathery, pliable but not brittle.. There should be no crispness when you bite into them.

Testing the warm cinnamon-y apples before they are done is a treat, too! And far fewer calories than apple pie!

The timer on my dehydrator makes it so easy to use. My apples got done in the middle of the night, the timer turned the dehydrator off and my apples cooled by morning so I could jar them up.

Each tray held one pound of apples. I did 5 pounds yesterday and they all fit in a gallon jar.

I wonder what I shall try drying next? I think I need to go find some more apples...

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