Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dehydraded Apples - An update

As I promised in this post, when more apples were delivered, I would take pictures of the entire dehydration process. Well, I did. Kinda.

The Apple

Almost any apple will do. I personally prefer the sweeter types, but as long as the flesh is nice and firm, it will probably dry out nicely. The juicer the apple, the longer it will take to dry!

These apples (Discovery, I believe) are nice and super sweet. The flesh is a nice golden and pink colour! Very nice.

The apple variety is from Suffolk, England and was 'invented' in 1962.

Bonus tip: Take the peel and the core and boil it down with a bunch of sugar, and you will have the prettiest and tastiest syrup!



The Machinery

A couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to get an apple peeler, and that is one of the best and most time saving pieces of equipment we've ever got for the kitchen.

As you can see, you will need a small child to operate it.

First you attach the apple with the spikes, that go right through the centre of the apple. Then you start spinning it, and the apple will start to rotate through the knife part of the peeler. I never get tired of the process.

See the apple spinning! Woooo!

The arm that cuts the peel off, follows the contour of the apple nicely. Some apples that are completely crooked, will end up looking weird. Eat it!

This process as two outcomes.

  1. The apple gets peeled
  2. The apple it turned into a spiral!


See! I told you! A spiral!

Isn't it cool.

Besides being a huge time-saver, it gives a nice and consistent thickness of the slices, which makes the dehydration process easier, as all slices are done at the same time!

All we need now is...

...The Cut!

One cut, right through one side of the apple, will turn the spiral into slices. No, they won't be perfect circles; Actually, they'll look like C's when they are dried, but the flavour is the same.

Look as the nice colours of the flesh! Yum!

The Process


Spreading the slices on the drying rack.

For my Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Dehydrator, I have about 10 trays and I try to use the all, at the same time. A dehydrator is not cheap to run, so the more is in it, the better!

Avoid overlapping the apple slices. If they overlap, it is impossible to dehydrate them consistently. You can to move the slices closer together, saving a couple of trays, half-way through the process, but not worth the effort. In my house, halfway through the process, is in the middle of the night, anyway. 

Apples are done!

Or dehydrated, anyway.

As you can see, there is much less space between them, than when they were put in the dehydrator. Also, they weigh about a fifth. Gone is the water, kept is the flavour!

 And here they are.

A medium-sized Ziplock, filled with dried crispy apple-slices. This was one good sized bucket of apples; Now its a bag of apple chips.

Good for a quick snack, to put in your oats when camping, for semi-long term storage, gifts and even decoration!

Conclusion

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to create your own snack. A healthy alternative to all the other stuff we fill ourselves with. Also, a great way to waste fewer resources. Most apples ends up in the garbage or the compost, but dehydrating them, makes them store longer and that way you can use more!

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