*The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the tree, Malus domestica, a member of the rose family Rosaceae, believed to have been originated in Asia.
*The fruit has edible skin, white edible flesh and inedible seeds inside the core.
*Dried apples are cored and sliced apples, with skin on or off, dehydrated or dried to remove the moisture.
*Cored and sliced apples can be dried at home in an oven or a dehydrator or just under the sun on a very hot day until they lose most of its moisture and turn leathery. Store them in clean dry zip-lock bags or airtight containers. They turn reddish brown on drying.
*Commercially prepared dried apples are treated with sulphur to extend their shelf life and also to make them look brighter.
*Taste varies greatly from acidic to mildly acidic to sweet to very sweet.
*Buying and storage: Select dried apples that are firm, with a sweet apple aroma, without any visible darkening. Keeps well in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag at room temperature for several days.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, unsulphured dried apples are raw.
*No, because dried apples are sometimes treated with sulphur as a perservative. Make sure you read the label.
1. Dried apples are healthy snacks with good sources of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, very low in fats and absolutely no cholesterol.
2. Apples are good sources of phytonutrients, like flavonoids and phenolic compounds that include quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin in their skin, to a lesser extent in the flesh. These demostrate an antioxidant activity and are protective against certain types of cancers by preventing the proliferation of cells, and heart disease.
3. Good source of both insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. It adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, promotes the health of the colon, and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, etc. It also reduces the risk for colon cancer.
4. The insoluble fiber works like bran, latching on to and removing the LDL cholesterol from the digestive tract, while the soluble fiber, pectin, reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in the liver. Thus apples lower the cholesterol in the blood.
5. Unsweetened dried apples have fructose, a simple sugar, instead of glucose. So the blood glucose does not shoot up suddenly after eating a fruit.
6. Low sodium and high potassium help maintain normal blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension.
7. Moderate source of copper, which reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, enhances the activity of enzymes that are needed to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, ligaments and joints.
8. Moderate sources of iron, which helps in respiration at the cellular level by synthesizing hemoglobin that helps to carry oxygen to cells.
9. Moderate source of other minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese, which play a very important role in maintaining proper metabolic activities of the body.
10. Moderate source of Vitamin B6, which helps in the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system apart from red blood formation, protein metabolism and functioning of the central nervous system.