I happen to have a fairy godmother who supplied me this summer with apples and grapes (and also does all my sewing projects and supplies Vivi with tutus and costumes and clothes). She is one of those friends who is incredibly crafty and equally generous with her talents and skills. Because of her, I rarely needed to use my neighborhood apple trees because she would have buckets waiting for me just a mile away. Those apples made countless pots of apple cider, apple sauce, apple juice, apple fruit leathers but most of all, they were turned into apple chips.
Between apple chips and pear chips my dehydrator ran 24/7 all summer and fall. I believe it waved a white flag at one point but I wouldn’t accept surrender, not when I had grape jelly needing to be turned into fruit roll ups!
You may read about the need to dip apple slices in lemon juice before dehydrating them on various blogs and website. I did this…twice. And then I realized that my apples didn’t really turn brown without the lemon juice and I also realized that it is awesome having one less step to do and one less thing to wash. So skip it. I highly doubt you will regret it.
I also recommend using a mandolin. This will ensure a consistent size of slices and save a huge amount of time. Here is a big tip…don’t go cheap with a mandolin. I did that. It quickly got dull, I just as quickly ended up with nice big cuts in my fingers due to a dull blade. Dull = dangerous. I also recommend using a guard of sorts to keep your valuable fingers safe. You can slice fast and keep the apple slices blood free with a good mandolin and guard.
Cinnamon. It’s not all created equal. Ceylon Cinnamon, which is also called ‘True Cinnamon’, comes from Sri Lanka. The most common type of cinnamon at the grocery store is Cassia cinnamon and comes predominately from China. Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin which is a blood thinner and some studies that I have read have linked it to liver toxicity if you consume a significant amount of cinnamon on a regular basis. Cinnamon has wonderful benefits for blood glucose levels so while I highly suggest adding cinnamon to desserts and to your yogurt or fruit, I would recommend buying ceylon cinnamon. From a culinary perspective, ceylon cinnamon has a lighter and sweeter flavor vs the stronger more pungent flavor of cassia cinnamon.
I like to do most things in the kitchen by hand and make an effort to master all culinary skills without the help of modern appliances so that when I come into someone’s home for a cooking lesson I can feel confident that I can work with only the basic items. I also have a relatively tight budget for “extras” in my kitchen and would rather spend my money on quality ingredients. That being said, I couldn’t survive without my dehydrator. It was the best spontaneous gift I bought myself from Bill. I am not home all day long. I work multiple jobs and am constantly in and out of the home. Dehydration takes a long time. Hours long. So being able to turn the dehydrator on and not have to worry about being home the entire time is wonderful. My dehydrator cost $60. It was completely worth the investment. From fruits to vegetables to nuts, my dehydrator has saved the day and coming up this winter it will be used for jerky and crackers. I loved being able to dehydrate my fruit at a low enough temperature that the would still be considered raw. I can’t do this in my oven. I love my dehydrator, enough said.
So instead of paying a silly amount of money for bags of apple chips. You can make your own for a fraction of the price! And… if you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t fear, you can make them in your oven too! Just bake for an hour at 200 degrees, flip them and bake for another hour. Your apple chips in the dehydrator are done when all the moisture is out of the slices.