Happy New Year!!!!!
2009 was a good year at Equal Opportunity Kitchen. We've had much to celebrate - We've experimented with many new foods with varying degrees of success, made alot of new blogging friends and happily were part of creating and publishing The BloggerAid Cook Book I'd say that's a good year. Thank you to all of you for visiting, commenting and sharing some food and fun with us.
Now... it's a new year and all indications are that it going to be great.
Here we are, early January and going into our 4th year of blogging; where does the time go. After the ultimate of gluttony during the holiday I'm feeling the need to detox for a while.
On to today's recipe. Psychgrad bought me a dehydrator a few years ago. As many of you already know, I spent 5 1/2 years on dialysis for kidney failure. During those years fluid restriction was a must and all intake had to be monitored. This dehydrator was an extremely thoughtful gift as it allowed me to enjoy fruit without the addition of liquid. I pulled it out today and decided to make use of it by making some healthy apple snacks. The recipe is so simple that there really isn't much of a recipe.
10 apples (mixed macintosh, delicious and cortland apples). I enjoyed the combination because each has a varying degree of moisture and the end product gives you slightly different textures.
sprinkled cinnamon on them (great for lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart)
Peel and core apples with a corer. Slice into 1/4 inch rings. Dip into a pretreatment mix - this can be pineapple or lemon juice. Remove the apples promptly (about 2 minutes) and place in trays. You could also use Sodium Bisulfite to pretreat the fruit but I prefer to go the natural way.
Some with cinnamon
Some just plain
Before you know it you have a full 6 shelves of apples happily dehydrating.
Pasteurize in the oven for 15 minutes at 175 F
Ten apples netted approximately 3/4 large ziplock freezer bag
The length of time for dehydrating varies on your dehydrator, the thickness of the fruit and type of fruit. For apples the spread can be as little as 4 hours or as long as 14 hours.
1. After dehydrating, make sure your fruit is completely cooled before packing
2. Pack fruit as tightly as possible without crushing into a clean, dry, insect-proof container, i.e. glass jars or moisture-vapour proof freezer containers or bags (heavy gauge plastic type)
3. If you want to pasteurize the fruit, spread on a cookie sheet after dehydrating and bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 175 F.
4. Use only good quality fruit.
You can also try your hand at favourites such as pineapple or mango. Pineapple dehydrates for about 10 hours. I put the mango shelves on the top since they're quicker to dehydrate.
Fruits are only one option for dehydrating. Beef jerky is a favourite as are dehydrating herbs when they're in season. I'm still using dehydrated herbs from the summer (I store them in the freezer).
I have it on good authority that dogs love dehydrated liver. The only caution would be that your house will smell like liver for days. You could always plug your dehydrator outdoors but don't be surprised if there's a lineup of neighbourhood canines holding doggie bags :).