Preserving Apples

Our library, in addition to books, has a “library of things,” which is a collection of various household items that you can check out just like a book. The items include board games, an InstaPot, video cameras, a ukelele, a metal detector….and a food dehydrator! I put it on hold a month or so ago, and it became available last week!

I’ve been wanting to try dehydrating apples and other things to find another way to preserve seasonal fruit.

The instructions are pretty simple: cut the apples into slices (it didn’t specify how thin), lay them on the trays in the dehydrator, set it to “Medium,” and run it for 7 hours, rotating the trays every two hours or so.

I cut up four apples and filled all but two and a half trays. I think this dehydrator would fit maybe 5 apples? Maybe 6 depending on how think your slices were and how close together you packed the slices.

I was pretty loosey goosey with timing and rotating the trays, but here’s what the apples looked like when I was ready to take them out of the dehydrator.

Some of the slices were very dry and crunchy and some were still just a tiny bit moist. I was hoping they would come out the ones you buy at the store – not crunchy, more smooth and gummy. Maybe I should have cut thicker slices? Or maybe they put special chemicals into the apples to make dried apple rings have such a nice texture? I’m not sure.

Also, it doesn’t make a ton. You’d have to run several batches of apples in the dehydrator over the course of several days to get a substantial amount of dried apples. I’m hoping to use the dehydrated apples, not only as snacks, but also as an addition to my oatmeal – perhaps they would rehydrate as I cooked my oatmeal and taste similar to having cooked a fresh apple in my oatmeal? I’ll go through this batch of dried apples pretty fast. The jury’s still out on whether I think a dehydrator is a worthwhile appliance.

Four apples in a jar

I think, next, I want to try dehydrating a banana and an orange. Isn’t the library great!

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