Best Ways to Preserve Apples

It’s apple-picking season!  This year produced an abundant crop of big, juicy apples in our orchard so we have been busy preserving apples here on the homestead.  Not only did our trees give us bushels of apples, but our neighbors' trees were also full and they graciously offered their harvest to us as well.  So, we have had plenty to make our favorite apple recipes to enjoy throughout the coming months!  Our favorites, if you’d like to try some for yourself, include dehydrated apple chips, cinnamon dehydrated apple chips, freeze-dried apples, applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, apple jelly, apple cider, and apple cider vinegar (made from the scraps, cores, and peels!).

For more information on dehydrating apples, check out our new online course in the Preserving the Harvest series:  Dehydrating.  In this course, we walk you through everything you need to know about dehydrating including the science of dehydrating, choosing a machine, tools & equipment, step-by-step how to’s for apples, onions, jerky, fruit leather, and more.

For more information on applesauce and apple pie filling using water bath canning techniques, visit the Preserving the Harvest series:  Waterbath Canning.  In this course we show you how to can with the waterbath method, how to know when you need the pressure canner and when to use the waterbath canner, plus much much more.

Apple Jelly will be included in our Jams, Jellies, Chutneys, and Marmalade course coming soon!

Apple Cider Vinegar is super easy and one of my favorites because we make it using the scraps from our other projects (the cores and peels).  Apple Cider Vinegar is a healthy addition to any diet.  And, when you make it yourself it is economical too!  Click HERE to read our blog about Apple Cider Vinegar and how to make it yourself.

Apples store very well fresh too!  Depending on the variety, apples can remain good for up to 8 months!  Store in a cold environment just above freezing for best results.  The colder the better as long as they don’t actually freeze.  Freezing causes the cells in the apples to expand, bursting the cellular structure and causing mushy apples upon thawing.  Chill those apples well for a great treat all winter long!

Regardless of the preservation method you choose, we encourage you to give a few a try.  Apples are one of the “dirty dozen” foods that contain high levels of pesticides and other chemicals when purchased commercially.  If you have access to home-grown apples through a local orchard, your own trees, or from a friend…it’s worth a little time and effort to make your own apple treats!  Delicious and so nutritious.  Happy Preserving and Happy Homesteading!

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