- Thank you to Becky Wilcox for this wonderful guest submission!
I’m a firm believer that the simplest pleasures in life are often the most enjoyable. I’d far rather go for a walk than go to a movie, I appreciate a warm bath just as much as a new cell phone, and I’d usually opt to spend time at home with my family instead of jetting off for a lavish vacation. So it doesn’t come as much surprise that my favorite dehydrated food products are also among the simplest and most universal ones.
My love of dehydrated strawberries and apples is no exception. This love grew out of camping trips taken with my family. For a while, when we started taking such trips, I attempted to bring a combination of fresh foods, frozen foods in a cooler, and freeze dried meals for camping of which the whole family could approve. But we continually ran into problems: the coolers melted, the fresh food got exposed, and the freeze dried food storage was difficult under our mobile conditions. We didn’t run out of food or starve, but I was always on edge regarding the quality and availability of our meals.
And then I discovered dehydration, specifically of the strawberry and apple varieties. While my family still uses other food products when we eat dinner at a campsite, there is truly no better snack to carry while hiking, canoeing, or biking. In fact, I’ve come to enjoy my dehydrated fruit so much that I’ll eat it at home, after work, while sitting in the living room and reading a book. Here’s the recipe that I follow:
-Buy two granny smith apples and 1 pound of strawberries.
-Cut the fruit into thin strips.
-In a bowl, mix ½ cup of lemon juice with 2 cups of water.
-Put the apple and strawberry strips in the bowl and soak for 30 minutes.
-After the fruit is well soaked, remove the strips and steam them in a steamer basket for a few minutes.
-Remove fruit from the basket and dry them of any water (I usually plot the slices with a towel).
-Move the fruit slices onto a dehydrating tray. Dehydrate the fruit until all moisture is released.
-Put the fruit in an airtight container for long-term storage – or simply eat and enjoy.
I’ve found that my dehydrated fruit can last in a container for over 6 months without showing any discernible change in look or taste. But, of course, it usually gets eaten long before that point arrives, especially if it’s the summer and a camping trip is impending.