All we need is love

All we need is love
All we need is love

Friday, March 16, 2012

Strawberry Apples for Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, I made a healthy treat for my kids and my Girl Scout troop to enjoy. I was anticipating these kids being bombarded with sugary treats from their friends and wanted to offer something festive and guilt-free. I had done this once before, so it only took me about 30 minutes to prepare.
I came home from work on Valentine's Day morning to find the dehydrator and the meat slicer pulled out from storage and ready to use. It was a wonderful surprise! My husband knew I wanted to make these for the kids, and that I wouldn't have much time before I had to go to sleep. I felt so loved!

So.... here's what I did.

I bought a bag of Granny-Smith apples. I washed and dried them to start.
Next, I cut them into uniform slices using my *very clean* meat slicer. I didn't make them too thick because I wanted them to dry in time for my Girl Scout meeting just 6 hours later. I could have peeled them first, but I think the peel makes them healthier, and adds a lovely hint of color. Plus- it just takes too long!
Then I cut the star-centers out with a heart cutter. Originally I planned on throwing these out, but then I ate a couple and realized that as long as the seeds were removed, this inner tough portion was not offensive. If the kids didn't want them- I would eat them!
After they were cut, I quickly soaked them in a mixture of strawberry preserves and hot water. The hot water helps to open the cells of the apple so the diluted preserves can permeate them better. It makes for a darder red color on the completed treat. Sooo pretty!
Once they were soaked, they were placed onto greased dehydrating trays. The machine was set on high for a shorter dry time and I went to bed for 6 hours!

These little cuties are what I woke up to! I placed a number of them in a clear treat bag and tied them with an apple-green curling ribbon and that was it! The kids got a kick out of them- they were so pretty and yummy! Sweets for my sweethearts!!

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