What kid (or mom?) doesn’t like dried fruit? It’s chewy and sweet and usually less messy than the fresh fruit. Dried apples keep longer than fresh so it’s a great way to preserve an apple harvest in very little space, like your prepper’s pantry. I also find that drying is a lot less work than canning and I like that the chips can be eaten plain as a snack or reconstituted to make apple pies or apple sauce later on, or provide some quick fuel in an emergency situation later on.
Store-bought dried fruit is usually treated with sulfur and coated with sugar to preserve it. It’s also pricy. If you have a dehydrator, or a sunny spot, and some screens, you can dry your own fruit much cheaper and the results will be just as tasty and much better for you! This week I made homemade apple chips. Or dried apples. Same thing. Whatever you call them, they are yummy!
If you don’t have a dehydrator you should still be able to dry apples! A lot of people put their fruit on cookie sheets in the sun and cover with window screens to keep out the bugs and birds. I’ve even seen the trays set on the hood and roof of the family car to increase the heat which speeds the drying process.
How to Prepare Apples for the Dehydrator
Dried apple skins can be pretty tough, so I always peel the apples, even when I’m using organic apples. I just like enjoying my apple chips without the skins. To quickly peel a bunch of apples, use a fruit and veggie peeler. It will take very thin peels, so you’ll end up with less waste and it’s easy to peel quickly without cutting yourself.
Once your apples are peeled, quarter them and cut out the cores. Then use a paring knife and thinly slice your apples.
Tip: To Avoid Browning, Soak Your Apples Before You Dry Them!
To keep your apple slices from turning a nasty brown color, place them in a bowl of water with a tablespoon or two of citric acid (available in the canning or spices aisle) or a quarter cup of lemon juice. I usually leave them in the mixture for about 10 minutes and mix them up a bit once or twice to ensure they’re all coated well. Then I drain them on paper towels.
Continue to page 2: How to Dry Apples