Category Archives: Preserves

Stop Apples from Turning Brown

How to Stop Fruit like Apples, Bananas from Turning Brown.

When making apple dishes or preserving apples, the first challenge is how do you stop them from turning brown and preserve their nice, white color. A very simple and easy technique will keep your apple preserves, salads and other desserts looking as fresh as when the apples were just sliced.

As you can see by our photo, apples will turn brown the minute air hits them. The apple core on the corer is already turning brown seconds after we sliced an apple. However, the slices in the bowl with the secret ingredient are nice and white and even after we put them on the dehydrator, the flesh is still nice and white. And it will stay that way indefinitely. The secret ingredient? Vitamin C powder.

Vitamin C powder and ascorbic acid are the same thing, and is used as a preservative in many commercial foods. When canning and making any kind of preserves, it is invaluable for preserving the color of foods that turn brown; not just apples, but bananas and any food that turns brown when exposed to air.

dehydrating applesHow to use Vitamin C as a preservative to prevent fruit from browning.

If you can buy Vitamin C in powder form, do what I do and keep it in a jar with a lid in your cupboard and use it just for such occasions as canning, dehydrating and making desserts. It doesn’t take much vitamin C powder to do the trick. If you can’t get it in powder form, you can crush up vitamin C supplements into a powder and use it that way. It’s not as convenient as the powder when you are making large batches of fruit for canning purposes, but it works just as well.

For Dehydrated Apple and Banana Chips:

Mix 1/2 tsp Vitamin C powder in about 2 cups of water in a bowl. Dip each piece of fruit into the C water for a second, coat both sides well, shake off lightly and use according to recipes or place on your dehydrator racks as is.

If your apples have already started to brown, sometimes just dunking them in this vitamin C wash will reverse it. No kidding.

Share Healthier Recipes With Others

Dehydrating Foods

dehydrated_preservesDehydrated foods make great, healthy snacks, a convenient lunch or a vitamin-saving way to preserve foods.

Most commercially dried fruits and vegetables use sulfides and preservatives even on dried foods as a precaution. Many people have allergies to these preservatives and if you don’t want chemicals on your foods, you might consider dehydrating your own. Dehydrated fruits make excellent snacks as drying preserves almost all of the vitamins and nutrients of foods.

Dehydrating Basics: Clean and slice vegetables very thin. They will dehydrate better if cut into thin slices rather than chunks. Lay all the pieces out on racks in a dehydrator or use metal oven racks. Make sure none of the vegetable slices overlap or touch each other.

They must be completely dry before you store them or they will get moldy, so it’s better to over-dry them than not dry them enough.

If using an oven to dehydrate, you will have to get some very small-spaced metal racks or use cookie sheets and flip the produce on a regular basis until completely dry. Use a heat setting of 200 degrees or less. You want to dry it not cook it, or it will still rot and spoil. Dehydrators are not that expensive and well worth the investment. They will pay for themselves in no time.

dehydraterPeach or Apple Chips:

Rinse and clean fruit. Core or pit it but leave the peels on for flavor and nutrients. Slice thinly, about 1/8 inch thin or less. Arrange on dehydrator or oven racks and dry according to directions.

When fruit is dry enough to snap it in half and it is not rubbery or flexible, it’s dry enough for chips and to store for about 6 months in a glass jar with a lid.

Not only do these make tasty nonprocessed snacks, but you can add them to your homemade granola. Recipe is on page 122.

Banana Chips: Slice bananas 1/8 inch thick or less. Banana slices must be dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from browning while they dry. Mix 1/2 cup lemon juice in a bowl and after slicing the bananas, drop them into the bowl to coat them. Then arrange them on racks for drying.

Dried Vegetables: Vegetables such as Okra, peas, carrots, potatoes, onions etc., can be preserved and used in soups, stews or other dishes. The best way to use them once dried is to either put them in a dish with enough liquid to re-hydrate them fully, or to soak what you need for a recipe for a couple hours to re-hydrate them before use.

Share Healthier Recipes With Others

Make Your Own Apple Butter

Apple Butter10 apples such as Granny Smith (cored and sliced – don’t peel, all the flavor and nutrients are in the peel.

1/2 cup honey or to taste (some people find apple butter is sweet enough without much sugar or honey, it depends on the type of apple you are using and your taste, but we find a minimum of 1/2 cup honey is a good place to start for any apple.

1/2 cup apple or cranberry juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Simmer everything in a pot until the apples are soft, most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick and dark brown. Puree the mixture in a blender if necessary. Put in canning jars and process according to the directions for your canner or keep refrigerated and eat within one week.

Variations: Add your own special twist, such as adding cinnamon or ground cloves, another type of fruit such as peaches, or raisins.

Want to follow our recipe club and get updates on new postings, holiday recipes when they get posted and special pages? Follow this online recipe book.

Share Healthier Recipes With Others