How about a sweet treat?

apples

Success!

 

Need an extra sweet, guilt-free treat in your life?  How about apple chips?  I love apples, but I always forget to eat them after lunch.  I don’t know why – they’re the ultimate fast-food, right?  Just grab and munch.  But I don’t.  When I eat one, I love them.  But when I want something sweet, apples aren’t my go-to thing.

UNTIL….!

My husband gave me a dehydrator for my birthday a couple years ago, I’ve been testing out various foods to use inside of it and let me tell you – sliced apples are AMAZING once they’ve been in that baby for a while!

The first batch was very disappointing.  Oh – and I was pretty shocked to discover that it takes HOURS to dehydrate fruit.  The instructions in the package say that apples take about 8-10 hours.  DON’T BELIEVE THEM!  10 hours of dehydrating will give you some interesting, floppy apple slices.  That batch came out more like apple leather and I was hoping for apple chips.  I wanted chips just like the kind that you get in the bag at the store – but without all of the chemicals.

So I tried again.  But because I was extending the time – and it was summer – I put my dehydrator outside under a canopy.  It would be safe if it rained, but the machine wouldn’t be generating heat and spewing it in my house.  The next batch was closer, but still not right.  So the next batch, I went crazy!  I put the dehydrator on for 17 hours!

Bingo!  The apple slices were crispier but still a bit chewy.  They were weird, but still incredibly delicious.  That batch of apple slices (about 7 apples) were eaten in about two days by my family.  I just put those babies in a bowl on the counter and we’d grab a few of them as we walked by.  BAM – gone.  Fast!  But I didn’t mind.  These are the kinds of treats that I want my kids to eat!

BUT…they still weren’t perfectly crispy.  Fortunately, I am a nutcase and don’t give up easily.  I was undeterred!  I put a new batch out there and ramped the time up to nineteen hours!  Still outside though.  The machine only generates 158 degree heat, but I still didn’t want even a small bit of additional heat in my house.  Especially since it would be going for so long.

Just so you know, 19 hours is the limit on the machine.

My husband suggested that I put the machine in the basement this time.  For those of you who don’t know what Virginia summers are like, one morning when I went out for my run, it was 98% humidity.  All other seasons, the humidity is lower but summers are pretty rough.  So simply walking down the driveway causes a person to start sweating!  It’s miserable!  We should grow gills here because of the horrible humidity.  As the sun comes up, the humidity settles down to about 60-70% humidity – but add in additional heat, and we’re literally in a sauna from June through August around here.  It’s the same all over the south – I know.  Just not a fun time for those of us who hate (seriously – HATE!) being hot.

But I digress….

Anyway, we live in a small house in the ‘burbs of DC with a basement that is cold.  And when I say cold, I mean “meat locker” cold.  All the vents are closed and that area is still painfully cold.  (I love it!)  So finally, I put The Beast (what I’ve nicknamed the dehydrator) downstairs in the basement with a whole new batch of apple slices.  Voila!  Success!  Sweet, crispy apple slices galore!  Turns out, hubby was right – take away the humidity outside of The Beast, and the slices crisp up perfectly!

If you live in an area like me where the humidity is brutal, be sure to store your crispy apple slices in a plastic bag and close it up.  Otherwise, the humidity even inside of your house will take away the crispiness.  I didn’t protect my roasted chick peas (another post!) and trust me, you don’t want soggy chick peas!  Blech!

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