How to Dehydrate Apples

Dehydrating is a great way to preserve the flavors of summer and fall. The hardest part is the emotional part – taking delicious plump fruit and willingly committing it to becoming a dry, shriveled memory of itself. I put a lot of cherries away this summer and, though it was hard not to gobble them up when they were fresh, I’m looking forward to using them soon.

Apples take a little preparation. They’ve got a variety of uses, though, so its worth it.

1. Before you begin, prepare your apple bath. I used 1 tsp. of citric acid mixed into 1 quart of water. (I have citric acid for cheesemaking.) You can also use equal parts lemon juice and water.

dehydrateapples

2. First, peel and core the apples. Slice them into even 1/4 inch pieces. As soon as you’ve sliced them, toss them in the prepared bath to soak.

3. When you’re all finished slicing, spread the apples on the trays of your dehydrator. Do not overlap them. If it has a temperature, set it to 135F.

4. Dehydrate your apples for about 4-6 hours. (I know that’s vague, but you really need to check in on them after 4 hours and then decide how far you want to let them go.)

applesindehydrator

Uses ffinishedapplesor your dehydrated apples:

  • mix into oatmeal
  • use when making granola
  • munch as a crispy snack
  • mix into cereals
  • add to a trail mix

I referenced CO State University pamphlet on the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website.

It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Winter

From juicy fresh berries to sad freezer blobs

It’s easier to eat locally during the summer, when the markets are overflowing with delicious choices. In the winter, things get a little bleaker and, if you’re not careful, you could get sentenced to five months of salad greens. Here’s what I learned from last year: plan ahead. We were lucky to have storage potatoes and carrots, but I hungered for the variety of summer. (Berries!) For me, it’s so painful to take beautiful, fresh produce and commit it to the freezer bag, but if you want to eat in January, you’ve got to find some way to preserve summer. So far this season, I’ve frozen strawberries and rhubarb, dehydrated cherries, and turned spring’s plentiful arugula into frozen cubes of pesto. I’ve come to rely on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website to help me figure out how to do it all. It’s a great resource for any question that you might have about preparing produce for the freezer, drying, or preserving in other ways.