No Fast Food Challenge Day #6 - Our Daily Green

Saturday, February 2, 2013

No Fast Food Challenge Day #6

Here we arrive at the weekend, past the halfway point of our challenge. One of our other downfalls with convenience food is snacking. Not just for meals, but even the need for a snack and suddenly the vending machine or drive-through is a quick fix.

dehydrated apples
Again, the key is preparation. One of my favorite new kitchen toys is a food dehydrator. I actually have the very inexpensive Ronco one pictured in this post. I've been experimenting with a number of foods since I acquired it, but my favorite is truly dried apples. They key to drying apples is to slice them thin, but not too thin and not to over-dry them. They should still be flexible and chewy.  Unlike the prepackaged fruit colored and flavored roll-ups, fruit dried in a dehydrator does not contain any artificial flavors or added sugar. It is pure fruit, just more concentrated. 

The one quart canning jar in the photo holds 7 dehydrated apples. One secret to dehydrating apples so they don't look like the shrunken apple heads kids made in elementary school is to soak the slices in either a lemon juice and water mixture after slicing, or citric acid and water. I prefer the powdered citric acid because it really draws out the tart flavor. I order citric acid online from a cheese making company. What is great about the dehydrated apples is that they don't get bruised in a bag and they are lightweight, making them an easily portable snack. I sliced the apples in the evening and plugged in the dehydrator. In the morning, they were ready. 

If you've never used a dehydrator, we highly recommend them. It's a great way to make a bunch of easy to carry snacks, from fruit to vegetables to jerky. Part of the challenge involves having a strategy in place to avoid the easy lure of unhealthy fast food. 

How many of you are trying the challenge? How are you doing so far? 

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