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snacking on dehydrated apples

Posted by bitguru on November 13, 2008

Weight Watchers Apple Snacks have been unavailable for decades, so I’ve been on the lookout for alternate sources of crunchy tart dehydrated apples. Here are two I’ve found.

– oOo –

Trader Joe's dried fruit toasted, lightly salted Granny Smith Apple Slices unsulfered & unsweetened

Trader Joe’s Granny Smith Apple Slices

The top quality Chilean Granny Smith Apples in this bag are air dried before they are very lightly salted and toasted for this unique and healthy fruit snack. The result is the crispest, chunchiest apple chips you can find, without any of the oil usually used but with all of the texture. The little bit of salt brings out the typically tart taste of the Granny Smith Apples.

INGREDIENTS: granny smith apples, salt

The apple pieces are not uniform in size. Some are fairly large (living up to the “slice” title) while others are quite small. The larger pieces have too much moisture to them. They aren’t floppy like typical dried apples but they can be bent without snapping. Chewing them has no powdery crunch and feels a bit like chewing leather at first. The texture of the smaller pieces is almost identical to Weight Watchers Apple Snacks, though, with a nice powdery crunch.

The problem is they are just too darn salty. I guess it’s possible that a “little bit of salt” would “bring out the typically tart taste” (though I doubt it) but I’ll never know because there is far more than a “little bit” of salt in these things. I’ve sampled a few different bags, and the saltiness seems to vary. Some bags have been shockingly salty—extreme salt flavor masking any apple flavor, virtually inedible. Other bags have been less salty, with an overall flavor that’s not exactly unpleasant, but puzzling in a “these might be delicious without all this salt” kind of way. (Either there is a lot of variability between bags or this guy Mike lives in an alternate universe because he says “the salt isn’t noticeable” and “the chips get stuck in your teeth,” both completely false in my experience.)

If Trader Joe’s were to produce a salt-free version of these, I believe I would purchase them regularly.

– oOo –

Gerber Graduates for toddlers Mini Fruits bite-size Apple healthy freeze-dried snack

Gerber Graduates Mini Fruits: Apple

specially made for Toddlers

  • Made from 100% real fruit
  • Freeze-dried. No preservatives
  • No artificial flavors
  • Perfect food for little fingers
  • Great for on the go and at home

INGREDIENTS: freeze dried apples

The good news is that these have no salt. The bad news is they are a too soft in texture and flavor. Admittedly this may be ideal “for toddlers,” the intended audience, but not for me. My six-year-old didn’t care for them, declaring them too tart (which is odd, since he likes Lemonheads and some other tart things), but I can detect only a slight bit of tartness and would appreaciate more.

I picked these up because I read somewhere that these were essentially the same as Weight Watchers Apple Snacks, but I beg to differ. Not only are they not tart enough, but the feel is wrong too. They do have a powdery crunch, but it’s a soft crunch. Weight Watchers Apple Snacks were much crunchier. Another difference is the faces of Gerber’s apple cubes are porous (almost fluffy) and are light in color. Weight Watchers Apple Snacks had browned, non-porous faces. One could stick a needle into a Gerber apple cube, but this would cleave a Weight Watchers cube.

There’s nothing objectionable about this product. I just didn’t find it compelling. I don’t think I will purchase it again.

– oOo –

Others?

I’ve tried a few brands of apple “chips.” These are very thin slices of apple, usually with a ring of peel around the edge. They are crunchy, but it’s not a powdery crunch, and they tend to have an off-flavor that I can’t identify. The sweetness comes through, but the tartness doesn’t. I don’t much care for them.

Two products I am looking to try are Brothers-All-Natural Fuji Apple Crisps. From the packaging I might have guessed that these were chips as described in the previous paragraph, but after reading a couple reviews I gather this is not the case. They are supposedly available at some local stores, but so far I’ve struck out actually finding any. The other product is this one—it looks promising but I’m unlikely to find it locally.

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8 Responses to “snacking on dehydrated apples”

  1. When I was in 2nd grade, I was quite fond of Weight Watchers Apple Snacks. These were apples, cubed, dried until brittle, and absolutely delicious. […]

  2. There is another brand of freeze-dried fruit snacks that I make under the “Today’s Farm” brand. Our current flavors are “Apple Cinnamon” and “Strawberry” with 2 new flavors coming in January 2009, “Peach” & “Pineapple”. You can view and purchase my products from http://www.justusfoods.com. Please try some soon. They are awesome!!!!

    [I will try them if you decide to make an apple-without-cinnamon flavor. Looking at the shelves I gather apple-with-cinnamon is widely popular, but I don’t care for it. I may try the peach. -ed.]

  3. […] snacking on dehydrated apples […]

  4. Heather said

    The best crunchy dried snacks I’ve found are Sensible Foods brand. I give these to my toddler who has food allergies to pretty much every snack food out there, and these contain only the fruit themselves with nothing added. Varieties include orchard harvest (apricots, peaches, and apples), Cherry Berry (cherries, blueberries, strawberries, and apples), and plain apple, plus others. I would give these a try. They’re really crunchy, sweet/tart. Awesome.

  5. I make my own at home easily and inexpensively using apples and a food dehydrator. They are incredible, not to mention as long as stores sell apples you’ll never have to be without them as long as you live ever again due to being discontinued =) I know this is not a “ready made” brand per se, but to me they are every bit as good as buying them and better for me because I know they are all natural and safe to eat. Tip: when you take them out of the machine remember to allow them to air out. They will crisp right up! If you want them on the softer side, bag them immediately.

    So many brands sneak in oil and sugar to make them more crunchy. I also find making them very relaxing, almost zen like! Hehe. Even my toddler can help!

    Hope that adds some spice to your life, and your apple search!

    Jessie-Marie

  6. George said

    At the Alhambra, CA farmers market, there is this woman who sells nothing but her own Fuji Apple products. Her Apple juice is amazing!! She sells 2 kinds(flavors) of dehydrated Fuji Apples. One with light sugar and cinnamon, and the other plain. These are the best dehydrated apples I’ve ever tasted in my life!! Small bags are $3, larger are $10. If interested, let me know. I think the packaging has a website URL. I’m heading out there later to day of get my dehydrated Fuji apples fix!

    noiseparty@yahoo.com

  7. M.Charlot said

    I made my apple chips from home. I can be sure that they are all natural. All I need were organic apples and dehydrator.

    [Fair enough, but do they come out crunchy? Were you to crush one of your home-dehydrated apples with a pair of pliers, would it turn to fine powder? If so I’ll purchase my own dehydrator, but in my experience they come out gummy like traditional store-bought dehydrated apple rings. -ed]

  8. Amanda said

    Are homemade dehydrated apple chips any weight watcher points though? Now that fruit is 0 points and am hoping that this is true of the apple chips!

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