This year has been a big year for me as far as foraging for food. Midsummer I was able to pick lots of mulberries locally and we used them in smoothies and I was also able to make jelly. I found a pear tree that looked neglected and spoke with the owners who said I could take what I wanted. I also discovered a neglected peach tree and spoke with it's owners. We swapped emails for future pickings and possible bartering.
The last couple years I have picked apples for free from my in-laws neighbor. He is happy to have someone pick them because it is less for him to pick up off the ground. Recently I found another source for free apples so I have been busy preserving. I love finding free, local food.
Along with freezing apples for turnovers and pies, making fruit leather, applesauce, and cooked apples for the baby I have been dehydrating apples. This has become my new favorite snack!
They are really easy to make. My MIL bought me this wonderful apples peeler last Christmas and this is the first time I have put it to use. Well actually it wasn't me that really used it. My son, who is almost 5, loved using the peeler. He did all the work for me.
The peeler actually peeled, cut and cored the apples for us. Then I just broke them apart and placed them in a mixture of 1 part lemon juice to 4 parts water to treat for coloring. Place in a single layer in a food dehydrator. If you don't have a dehydrator you can place them on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the lowest setting. It usually takes about 10-12 hours.
My dehydrator takes about 10 hours although I like mine a little less done so they are chewy. Just test it out to see what you like best.
You should be able to store these in a cool, dark place for 6-9 months (so I have read). This is the first year I am going to try and store some so we will see. Otherwise you can also store them in the freezer.
This post is linked to the Frugal Tuesday Tip.