by Tammy Taylor
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I’ve really been on a roll this year with my dehydrator. I’ve dehydrated carrots & potatoes, celery and squash, green beans & tomatoes along with many more veggies. Recently I fell upon a great deal on apples and I picked up about 10 lbs of sweet red ones. RancherMan doesn’t eat many apples and although I love to eat them raw there’s no way I can consume that many apples before they go bad. So I set out to preserve them.
But I’ve dehydrated apple slices before and although they were delicious I really wanted to preserve these in a way that would take the place of something I ordinarily would buy. I recently made my favorite pumpkin granola and I like to use raisins to add a natural sweetness. But I used the last of my raisins in that batch so now I’m faced with buying more. Hummm… wonder if I can dehydrate these apples into small raisin-sized chunks to replace the raisins that typically sweeten my granola. I decided to give it a try. With this many apples waiting to be processed, thank goodness I had my * apple peeler handy as I can peel, core & slice them literally in seconds. (This thing has to be the best invention EVER!) I put the peeled slices in a solution of lemon & water to keep them from turning dark and then I took the peels out to the goats who were immensely appreciative of my apple-preservation efforts…
I cut the peeled apple slices into about 1/4″ pieces and arranged them on the dehydrator to dry for about 12 hours. Then I sampled one and although the taste was delicious I wasn’t really happy with the texture due to how then the slices were when they were fully dry. So back to my apple peeler I went with a fresh supply of apples, this time lowering the core/slice section on the device and I just used it to peel the apples this time. Then I cut them into thicker slices, removed the core and cut the thicker slices into about 1/4″ pieces and arranged them on my dehydrator. These thicker slices took a little longer to fully dehydrate, probably about 14-16 hours. But they were chewy and sweet – the perfect addition to my granola!
This quest to be more self sufficient has been so much fun for me, and I delight in finding new ways to provide something for my family & me that otherwise would have been purchased. It’s a fun challenge to think outside the box when pondering our needs & It’s exciting to see what the next step will be. By using this abundance of apples & preserving them into sweet apple chunks I’ve used very little money to purchase a natural product and preserve it myself to sweeten my granola. I feel pretty good about that!
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