Aren’t we always on the lookout for cheap, healthy and easy-to-make snacks? Dried apple chips and pieces tick all the boxes…they can be added to cereals, homemade granola, baked goods (such as muffins and cakes), yogurt or they’re tasty and totally satisfying as a nibbly treat all by themselves.
Even better news: it couldn’t be easier to make them. I’ve laid out the steps below for oven drying the slices but you could use a dehydrator too–just follow the instructions that came with your dehydrator. Here’s how…
- Preheat oven to 225°F.
- Wash firm, ripe apples and core them (you can keep the peels on). If they have bruises or soft spots, remove them. Keeping the peel on adds extra flavor & fiber.
- Slice into very thin rings (about 1/16″ thick). A mandolin or food processor does the job perfectly but you can certainly use a sharp knife…just make the slices as thin as you can (and try to keep them uniform in size so they’ll dry evenly).
- Dip both sides of each piece in lemon juice and arrange them in a single layer on a rack placed on top of a cookie or baking sheet. This helps prevent them from browning but also enhances their flavor.
- Get a little fancy (optional): You could also try pineapple or orange juice (preferably unsweetened) or a mix of the flavors to your preference with some water lemon/pineapple/orange.
- Note: If you don’t have a suitable rack, you can line the sheet with parchment paper and lay the slices in a single layer on that.
- Optional: Sprinkle a light touch of salt to enhance flavor (not necessary).
- Place the sheet in the oven and plan to bake for approximately 2 hours (or until fairly dry and lightly browned).
- Flip the slices after 60 minutes. If the heat is too high, lower it and extend the cooking time.
- Watch carefully starting about 90 minutes in, time is dependent upon thickness and size of the pieces.
- When they look done (after about 2 hours), turn off the heat, prop open the door and leave the sheet inside for another 30 minutes or so.
- Remove from heat and lift each piece up off the rack (or parchment) to prevent them from sticking as they cool. They won’t be crispy at this point but quite leathery.
- Once they are cooled, you can tell they are done if they are crispy/crunchy.
After cooling completely, store them in an airtight container (a glass jar works nicely) and keep in a cool place. Watch the container carefully, if after a couple days you see moisture developing inside the jar then the pieces aren’t fully dried and need to be put back in the oven or dehydrator.
Alternatively you can spread them out in between layers of cheesecloth and let them finish by air drying (will take a day or two). If you plan on eating them within the week, keep the package refrigerated and any signs of moisture will be fine since these will be consumed before mold can develop.
- Once dried they can be frozen for a longer shelf life.
- You can cut into thicker rings, simply adjust the heating time.
- For an extra treat, lightly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar before putting them in the oven.
- If you’d like to rehydrate them before using, pour boiling water over top and let them soak for about 5 minutes or so.
- Ideas for using them: Add to granola, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, dessert garnish, mix with cranberries, raisins and other fruits.