If you’re interested in growing a fruit at home, then apples are a good option to consider. Apple trees are easy to grow in most climates. You can grow them at home, turn them into numerous products, or go purchase some that are locally-grown at your farmers’ market.
Autumn is the best time to celebrate everything that apples provide for us because that is when most trees are ready for harvest. Some of the 2,500 varieties are available all year long, but it seems like the flavor of the apple, with the tinge of cold from the weather, creates the perfect combination.
Why Do Apples Make Such a Great Snack?
Apples are a great snack because they have a fibrous texture to them. The fibers in the apple are strong enough that they can even clean your teeth for you. Although an apple is not a substitute for proper brushing and flossing, it is true that an apple a day can keep the dentist away.
There are many common ways to enjoy apples. You can grab one to eat it fresh. Some people slice them, and then dip them into peanut butter. An apple pie or apple cobbler is a wonderful warm Autumn treat.
Another option to consider are dried apple slices. They’re very easy to make at home and you don’t need any special equipment to create something tasty.
How to Make Dried Apple Slices
Step #1: After washing your apples, slice them with the skin still on into a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Peeled apples will also work, but it will lose some of the nutritional content if you peel it first.
Step #2: Soak the apple slices in a Vitamin C solution. This will prevent them from browning on you during the drying process. The ascorbic acid will also prevent bacterial buildup on the fruit while you are prepping them and drying them.
Step #3: Set your oven to 145 degrees Fahrenheit at maximum. If you set it any higher, the apples will cook instead of drying out. Some ovens do not have a setting that low, which means you’ll want to invest in a fruit and vegetable dehydrator to enjoy a treat like this.
Step #4: Arrange your fruit slices so that they form a single layer on the tray or baking sheet. Apple slices need to be dried for at least 6 hours with most varieties. Some varieties may take up to 12 hours to fully dry. You’ll know that they are done when each piece feels a bit leathery while maintaining its overall flexibility.
Step #5: Cool your apple slices before eating them – if you wish. Storing them will require that you condition them in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Give them a shake each day in the container. If you see more moisture in the container, you’ll need to dry out the apple slices for a couple of hours more.
When properly dried, apple slices can be stored in a cool, airtight container for up to 6 months.