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.
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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.
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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.
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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.