If you happen to be health-conscious and extremely picky about your meals, you should probably give dried apples a try. We have discussed different ways of dehydrating apples at home and make dry, crispy apple chips, apple rings, and more.
There is a wide array of dried apple techniques and recipes using which you can prepare that super-nutritious meal at home.
In case you are skeptical about adding it to your regime, the following are a few pointers mentioning its health benefits.
- Zero fat content
- High levels of Antioxidants
- The protein content is good (both soluble and insoluble fibers)
- Plenty of minerals
- Diverse groups of Vitamins
Apart from its high nutritional index, you can use dried and dehydrated apples to make a homemade course with minimal efforts such as apple rings and apple chips.
Be it the recipe or the ingredients—it is a child’s play. Now that you have a clear image of its significance let us know how to make dried apples using easy methods. T
he following are the instructions explaining the dehydration processes for the respective techniques.
4 Ways To Dry/Dehydrate Apples At Home
Apple trees are fast-growing indeed, but that does not guarantee its fertility. That is why drying and storing apples is a necessity. Even though there are variants of methods for dehydration, the initial and preparational steps remain the same.
- Start with vigorously washing the apples you want to dehydrate under cold tap water.
- Leave the peels behind and cut them into definite and identical pieces using a kitchen knife. The correct size and thickness may vary depending on the dehydration method and your preference as well. However, it would be best if you did not keep the thickness more than 2 inches because that will interfere with the drying mechanism.
- Next, remove the core using a knife or peeler and make sure they look even.
- In order to prevent browning of the cut apple pieces, add them into acidic water or a mixture of lemon juice and water. To make acidic water, use one tablespoon of ascorbic acid or vinegar per quart of water. You may also add various other juices and combine them to give a delicious yet subtle undertaste.
- The last step is followed by draining the excess amount of liquid or juice. You should never forget to drain the apple pieces as this is crucial for the final step, which is the drying. You may use a colander for this purpose or spread the pieces on a kitchen towel and gently press another towel by adding on top of it.
- After completing the previous step, you will need to spread the apple pieces on the required platform according to the dehydration technique.
1. Drying Apples In a Food Dehydrator
As already mentioned in the previous segment, the preparational steps will be the same while drying apples in a food dehydrator.
It would be best if you kept the size and thickness of the pieces about 1/4” because, in this way, you will be able to cover more in a single batch.
Also, this is a somewhat standard dimension used for dehydration. After cutting them into slices, follow the subsequent steps.
- For drying, place them on the trays of the dehydrator.
- Ensure that you put them in an equidistant manner and that there is enough space between the adjacent pieces—so that air can circulate easily.
- Next, place the trays inside the dehydrator carefully and set the temperature to 130 F.
- Turn on the dehydrator and check periodically for the change in the texture. Usually, drying apples can take around 8-12 hours, depending on several factors such as the moisture content, efficiency of the draining procedure, preferences, etc. You should get a leathery or crispy texture at the end of the process, based on your choice.
2. Dehydrating Apples In An Oven
Nowadays, drying food items in an oven or food dehydrator has become global. If you are not a fan of the traditional sun-drying method and want a quick result, then this is the best option for you.
Some people also choose to dehydrate apples in the air fryer along with oven and dehydrators. This process is similar to the previous one with minute technical changes.
You can use the standard dimension for the slices (1/4”) or make them thinner. Always make sure that they are 70% dry post draining because if the moisture content is more, then chances of obtaining poorly dried apples are high. This should apply for methods where you are using an oven or food dehydrator.
- Take a cheesecloth or a microfiber cloth and put it over the oven trays.
- Put the sliced pieces accordingly so that they do not crowd each other.
- Place the trays inside the oven and set the temperature to as low as possible. Mostly it is around 135 to 200 F.
- If your oven does not go lower than 200 F, it is best to keep the door of the oven slightly open to let air pass inside. This is a crucial step while oven-drying because the excess heat can cause moisture, ultimately hindering dehydration.
3. Sun Drying The Apples
Sun-drying fruits have been a tradition for ages now. It is a time-consuming process, but you may opt for this option if you want to dry apples without a dehydrator or any electronic aid.
Follow the same initial procedure to prepare the apple slices. In this case, make sure to keep the slices as thin as possible. As it is a natural procedure, it will require more time to dry the pieces evenly.
- Take a cooking tray and place a parchment paper on its bottom.
- Put the slices in an evenly spaced order.
- Place this tray in an undisturbed place on a hot and sunny day. Make sure to position the tray so that direct sunlight can reach.
- Keep this set up for as long as it takes to turn the pieces brownish. Check for the texture every day and turn the partially dehydrated slices of apples so that the dehydration takes place evenly.
4. Over a Wood Stove
This is the simplest method of all. All you need to do is prepare the apple slices first and then place them evenly on a drying screen. Now, put this screen over a burning wood stove and wait to see the color change. Based on the change of color and texture, you will need to toss the pieces and Voila!
Following the drying procedure, you should preserve them for future use. Preservation is another vital step here.
No matter which drying technique you choose, after you obtain the sliced apples, keep them at room temperature for a while.
If you store them in a jar or container immediately, they will generate moisture, and their texture will be lost.
Therefore, go slow and store them in an airtight container after they cool down. You may use a number of seasoning herbs, spices, or sweeteners to add flavor to it while storing.
Dehydrated caramel apples, apple chips, or apple rings are the best and widely known recipes based on dried apples.
You can also dry apples for tea if you want to add that fruity taste to your morning beverage. Try to choose sweet and tart flavored apples for this purpose.