Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dehydrating Your Own Fruit

So, John and I have signed up to run this CRAZY race in May.  (More on this topic later.)  But, as we train, we are making an effort to eat in a more conscious, healthy way.  Sugar has basically been drastically reduced.  But, I LOVE sweet things (I have an entirely inappropriate relationship with strawberry fruit roll-ups)!  The other day at the grocery store, I spent way too long reading labels on dehydrated fruits.  Everything seemed to have extra ingredients-- preservatives and sweeteners.  I decided it was time to bust out the old dehydrator.

I got mine for Christmas a few years back, but when I looked it up for this post, my dehydrator was selling for $29.99 on Amazon.  This is not a major investment.  I'd guess a lot of hunters may have access to dehydrators (deer jerky, right?), so you're good to go.  Now, my version of the dehydrator does not get excellent reviews.  And, I wouldn't use it to dehydrate meats.  It gets the job done, though, for fruits.

Apples and pears were on sale this week, so I decided to start there.  For apples, I'd suggest Granny Smith, as they make delightfully sweet yet tart apple chips.

Just peel, core, and slice (my handy-dandy apple corer slices mine into 8 equal pieces.  I, then, slice each of those in half.  That way I know that 16 slices is equal to eating one apple) .  The apples need to soak a couple of minutes in a lemon juice/water mixture to prevent browing.  Lay them out on the trays of the dehydrator and in 1-2 days, you'll have yummy fruit snacks that will be shelf-stable indefinitely and are easily packable for snacks.

Dehydrated apples -- still a little chewy, which means they're just right!

Pears are supposed to be dried until nearly brittle.  They were okay, but couldn't compare to the tangy apples!

Wonder what the kids think of them?  Hmm.  Me, too.  I guess I'll have to share them to find out.  ;)

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