Dehydrating Apples

Dehydrating Apples

Apple, like most fruits, is seasonal. Dehydrating apples makes them available beyond the season of their peak availability. Also, dehydrated apple is nutritious and less bulky to store.

Apples, like most other fruits, contain important nutrients which helps to keep us healthy. Therefore they are vital part of a healthy diet. The importance of having them around us cannot be over emphasized. This is where dehydrating apples come in. It enables us to have dehydrated apples within easy reach whenever we need it.

Dehydrated apples find a lot of uses in many recipes. Dehydrating apples is easy, straight forward and simple. Dehydrating apples properly adds pleasant nutritional value to some recipes and  constitutes a ready to consume snacks.

Interestingly, dehydrating apples can be fun! The steps involved in dehydrating apples are easy and simple enough for anyone to follow.

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Simple steps involved in dehydrating apples

  • Select the apples to be dehydrated
  • Clean the apples
  • Remove the outer skin or covering of the apples
  • Cut or slice the apples
  • Pre treat the apples (optional)
  • Spread it on the dehydrator trays
  • Pack the trays into the dehydrator and turn it on
  • Set the temperature and timer of the dehydrator
  • Watch for dryness
  • Unpack and store

 

 

Select the apples

You start with selecting the apple to dehydrate. For best results, do use apples that are fresh. They should be free from any sign of rottenness.

Clean the apples

After selecting the apples, clean them very well. This is done simply by washing them about two or three times.

Remove the outer skin or covering of the apples

 Fruit Peeler for dehydrating apples

dehydrating apples: Fruit Peeler

Remove the outer covering or skin of the apples.

This can be done using a knife. Remove also the seeds. Trim the core and remove the fibers.

 

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Cut or slice the apples

Cut the apples into ¼” slices or rings. One may cut the apples into any shape as desired or preferred.

 

 

Example of slicing in dehydrating apples

Example of slicing in dehydrating apples

Dehydrating apples:Spiralizer

Dehydrating apples:.

 

Dehydrating apples: apple slicer

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For uniformity of dehydration, the apples should be uniformly sliced. If not so, the thicker ones will not dry at the same rate as thinner ones.

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They contribute a lot in making dehydrating fruits a lot easier and much faster. Fortunately, too, they are not expensive in comparison to the work they do continuously and repeatedly.

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The . create spiral cuts and fruit noodles in seconds.

Popular ones are equipped with:

  • Shredder:  which creates long, spaghetti-like spiral strands
  • Chipper: which creates long, thick spiral strands
  • Straight:  which creates long, ribbon-like strands

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Pre treat the apples (optional)

Note: if you do not mind that your dehydrated apples changed color, you may skip this section or step.

Apples are one of the fruits highly prone to oxidation. When the flesh of apples are cut and exposed to air, a chemical reaction called oxidation takes place. This reaction leads to discoloration of the fruit which progresses with the drying process. For the apple, the oxidation gives it a rust-like color. Such oxidation marks the commencement of bio degradation of the fruit.

Dehydrating apples in such a way that color changes are minimized requires that they be pre treated.

Pre treatment will also help to minimize nutrients losses in the course of dehydration. Pre treatment also helps minimize the deterioration of fiber while in the process of drying.

A number of pre treatment options are available.

Steam blanching of the apple is optional. It may be carried out for two reasons. One, it helps maintain the color of the apple. Two, it helps soften the skin and surface of the apple which makes dehydration easier. It also enables better re-hydration.

Best result for steam blanching is achieved by electric steamers. However, in its absence, the improvised pan-type steamer may be used. In this case, the apple is poured on the perforated upper section of the steamer. The apple is allowed to steam for about three minutes.

Long steaming for blanching should be avoided. It has the disadvantage of destroying part of the enzymes and minerals that the fruits are rich in.

Allow the apple to cool. Drain of any water and use a paper towel to blot out the excess moisture.

Spread it on the dehydrator trays

Spread the apples evenly on the trays of the dehydrator. Better result is achieved if the apples are in a single layer and do not overlap. If doing this is difficult. It should be compensated for by stirring it from time to time during the process of dehydrating the apples.

Pack the trays into the dehydrator and turn it on

Place the trays back into the dehydrator and turn it on. Note that if you are using the Excalibur dehydrator, you must use all the trays or none.

Set the temperature and timer of the dehydrator

Set the temperature of the dehydrator at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or 57 degrees Celsius which is the optimum temperature for dehydrating fruits.

Watch for dryness

Dehydrating apples: poor finishing

Dehydrating apples: poor finishing

Dehydrating apples last for between 7 -15 hours. The actual time will vary depending on a number of factors. Such factors include the type and power of the dehydrator and the environmental humidity. The moisture content of the apples is also an important factor. Even different batches of the same fruits will likely take different times to dry.

If you are using shelf type dehydrators, it is a good practice to rotate the trays. This is done midway into the drying of the apples. It helps to ensure uniform dehydration.

Start checking for dryness after about 6 hours.

When the apple is dried, it becomes soft or flexible.

Under drying the apples make them mold after a short period. Over drying make  them nutritionally useless.

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Unpack and store

When the apples are dried, allow it to cool. Then unpack them from the dehydrator’s tray for storage.

Package it and store. Packaging of the dehydrated apples can be done using plastic food bag such as zip-lock or vacuum seal bags. They can also be packed in a glass containers with tight lid covers.

Dehydrated apple may be stored as is after the dehydration.

Storing the dehydrated apples in a freezer will help prolong its shelf life.

Re-hydrating the apple is also easy and simple.

Re-hydration or reconstitution is the process of allowing the dried fruits to acquire back water. This enables the fruit to return to its original (or near so) size, form, appearance and color for premium dehydrated apples or other fruits.

Re-hydrating the apples may be done by

Boiling: Place equal volumes of dried apples and water into a pan. Bring to boil and simmer until tender as desired.

Soaking: soak the apples for at least thirty minutes before starting to check for tenderness.

Cooking: dehydrated apples may also be reconstituted by cooking. Water is placed into a saucepan and brought to boil. The apples are placed into the sauce pan. It is simmered with the heat source turned down until tender.

It may also be added straight to any recipe of your choice.

Get the best out of your apples! To do this you must resist the temptation to increase the dehydrator’s temperature “just a little higher” . This is usually done so as to save some extra time when dehydrating apples.

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Share in the fun of dehydrating apples today and share your experience with us.

 

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