Thursday, August 30

Decision Time

Thank you, you survey monkeys, for willingly participating in my "What Should I Do Next?" survey. (And if you'd still like to participate, it's still available.)

I've decided on my first act of human experimentation.

My very clever, very knowledgeable neighbor Christina, the Spice Merchant's Daughter, has persuaded me that my first experiment needs to be "none of the above." It is, she admonishes, all about the spices. "Use more cinnamon," she says. "It burns fat. Lots and lots of cinnamon." (Next week we'll undertake experiment number two, based on your survey results.)

Wee one and I are spending the upcoming week at family camp, and we're prepping food now to haul out to the woods. So this will be a simple experiment to conduct. We're beginning this cinnamon loading by tossing a ton -- well, a large scoop -- of beautiful brown spice into our morning green smoothies, which has the unexpected benefit of completely disguising the slightly seaweedy taste of spirulina. That's a win-win.

A friend gave us an entire bag of apples, fresh off her tree, so we're also working on drying cinnamon apples in the dehydrator.  (And if we use enough cinnamon, maybe it'll fend off bears!)

The recipe -- like everything raw -- is stupidly simple. If you have the right equipment.

  • A dehydrator. Mine, with its collection of eight square shelves, is an earlier version of this, the Excaliber 9-Tray Dehydrator.
  • An apple corer/peeler/slicer. This nifty gadget tears through apples at industrial speed, making peeled apple slices ready for drying, snacking, or loading into raw apple pie.
  • Look at that baby rip through an apple.
  • A shaker, for sprinkling cinnamon. 

  1. Peel, core, and slice a dozen apples.
  2. Lay dehydrator shelves over kitchen sink, load each shelf with a single layer of apple slices, and sprinkle the slices with cinnamon.
  3. Dehydrate at high setting for two hours to prevent browning and to quickly evaporate surface liquid. 
  4. After two hours, turn dehydrator setting to 115 degrees, and continue dehydrating about eight hours, or until apple slices are leathery. Thickly sliced apples will take longer.
This tray: Half tomatoes, half cinnamon apples.
Note peeled, cored and sliced apple ready to
fill the next tray.
And the final product, dried apples and
dried 'matoes. Yum!

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