One of the benefits of using a dehydrator to prepare food for backcountry hikes is that you can buy fresh fruits and veggies in season when they are cheap and fresh to dehydrate and use for hikes all year. Slightly overripe fruits are also fine to dehydrate and will turn into tasty and sweet dried fruit. Over the fall, I scored an abundance of discounted apples at the produce market since they were a tad bit bruised. Knowing this would make delicious dehydrated cinnamon apples, I grabbed a bunch to dry and add to our camping food stockpile. This is an economical way to grow your camping supplies so make sure check the discounted produce bins throughout the year for fruits and veggies you can dehydrate for future use.
How to Make Dehydrated Cinnamon Apples:
To make delicious dehydrated cinnamon apples, I like to cut them in thin slices of about the same size. Much like making apple pie filling, I sprinkle them with brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a liberal shake of cinnamon. Adding a pinch of nutmeg would be a nice touch too. I then squeeze the juice of one lemon over the slices and mix it up. Next, spread the slices in single layers over the trays and turn the dehydrator on to medium. Voila! Making dehydrated cinnamon apples really is that simple. While there are many fancy (and expensive) machines out there that I am sure are wonderful, we use a basic Nesco 600-Watt Food Dehydrator. For dehydrated sliced fruits like in this recipe, Nesco Clean-A-Screen Trays will allow for easier clean up, but I only have a few of them so just placed some of the apples right on the plain trays. No big deal, just needed to scrub those trays a little harder when I was cleaning up. Depending on the moisture content of both the apples and the air will determine how long it will take to fully dehydrate the fruit. These took a little over a day to turn into the consistency of leather. Sweet and spicy, these dehydrated cinnamon apples are delicious. Once cooled, I divy up the fruit in ziploc bags and they are ready to eat. For added shelf life, I actually store all of my dehydrated food in a chest freezer although this is not necessary. A few of the ways I like to use dehydrated cinnamon apples are on their own as a snack, rehydrated and mixed into pancake batter, wrapped into a tortilla with peanut butter or Nutella, and added to breakfast oatmeal. Doing it yourself makes for much more delicious apples than any you can buy in a store. Inexpensive and easy to do, they are the perfect food to pack for your next backpacking trip.