Homemade dried apple rings are SO much better compared to storebought ones. Most commercially dried apples that I have found have not included the peel (where the majority of the nutrition lies), they have already turned brown from oxidation, they have had oil and sugars added to them, or they have been sulfured as a food preservation technique. In the picture below, I compare home dried apple rings with a few commercial ones from my local grocery store – there is really no comparison!!! And the home dried one tastes MUCH better!
SIMPLE STEPS FOR HOMEMADE, DRIED APPLE RINGS
- Wash and core apples. For maximum nutrition, leave the peels on. They also look prettier that way when dried!
- Slice apples into rings about ¼ inch thick.
- Lay apple rings on a lightly oiled dehydrator sheet. The oil will prevent sticking. (Optional: Before laying the apple rings on the dehydrator sheet, soak the rings in pineapple juice or ascorbic acid mixture for 3-5 minutes. Pat the rings dry. Dipping apple rings is not necessary to dry them. However, it does extend shelf storage life by slowing oxidation of the apples. The ones shown here were not dipped.)
- Place apples in the dehydrator at 135 degrees for 8-10 hours (time will depend on thickness of rings). Check the apples for doneness – there should be no visible moisture when you bend the apple ring, but it should still be pliable and be able to bend without breaking.
- Store apple rings in an airtight storage container. I prefer quart-sized glass canning jars or airtight ziplock bags. Label and date your container.
Tips for storing dried apples: I prefer to use a clear container so that you can see when the dried apples need to be used (you can see if there is any moisture in the jar, or mold growth). The container should be airtight, to prevent oxidation of the apple rings. You should also store the apples in a cool, dark pantry, away from light. Avoiding exposure to heat, air, and light will help to preserve maximum nutritional value. The dried rings last for about a year if stored properly. You can also put them in the freezer, in a freezer appropriate sealed container, for extended storage.