These easy apple chips are healthier and cheaper than the store made ones. Make a big batch today for a healthy snack. And if you don't have a dehydrator, don't fret! I've included instructions for making them in the oven.
A few years ago, Joe requested a food dehydrator for Christmas. When we first got it, we were absolutely obsessed. We made our own fruit rollups, dried veggies and apple chips on the regular for months. But I realized recently that we hadn't pulled it out since our move nearly two years ago.
After our apple picking adventure, we had a ton of apples and Joe requested some apple chips. It was a perfect reason to bust out the dehydrator, and a great way to preserve our harvest for days to come. Oh, and it made the whole house smell like fall, which is just the best.
Table of Contents
- How to make apple chips in the dehydrator
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Need more healthy recipe inspiration? Check out these other yummy snack ideas:
How to make apple chips in the dehydrator
First up, wash your fruit very thoroughly. While we picked our own apples at an organic orchard, apples are often treated with all kinds of pest deterrents and then are coated with wax or shellac to make them look pretty on the shelves.
Next, set up a large bowl and dissolve your citric acid in water. (Lemon juice works too!) This will not only prevent browning of the apples, but will also give your apple chips a longer shelf life.
While you have the option of peeling the apples, you certainly don't have to. I usually don't because I feel like there's some good nutrients in there, plus I can be a little lazy sometimes. You do want to core the apples, though, if you're planning on eating these like candy.
Next up, pull out your handy mandoline. Using the 3mm or ⅛in guide, slice your apples. Be certain to use the hand guard or wear kevlar gloves. Seriously, don't mess around with this. Once in college I was slicing cucumbers for sunomono without the hand guard and sliced my pinky finger so badly that I'm still missing my fingerprint. It hurt. A lot.
TIP: If you don't have a mandoline, you can still make these apple chips by using a very sharp knife to make even, small slices of fruit. The mandoline just makes the process faster and more accurate
Toss the apple slices in the citric acid bath and let them soak for at least 15 minutes and up to overnight. If going the longer route, I recommend covering and refrigerating your apples.
Drain your apple slices and pat them dry. A few tea towels can hold a whole lot of slices! Layer the apple slices on the dehydrator racks, then sprinkle with your seasoning of choice. Now start the dehydrator and let the magic happen!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make these without a dehydrator?
Totally! While the dehydrator is my preferred method for making these chips because it doesn't heat up the whole house like the oven will, you can definitely make them in the oven. After soaking, towel them off and lay in a single layer on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment.
Sprinkle with the seasoning you prefer and place in an oven at 200F. Bake for an hour, then flip them and season the other side. Bake for another hour or so, until crispy.
How should I serve these?
Y'all already know my obsession with dessert hummus, right? Well it turns out that these little bad boys make a great scooper for the pumpkin pie hummus Joe just brought home.
I also love snacking on these plain. They make a great addition to a cheese platter or to homemade trail mix. And finally, if you cube the apples instead of slicing them, you can make your own instant apple oatmeal packets with them.
What kind of seasoning should I use?
This is where you get to go Willy Wonka crazy and decide for yourself. We love making them super traditional with just a sprinkling of cinnamon, but we've also made them with a bunch of other flavors too. Here are some of my favorites:
- Chai seasoning
- Pumpkin Spice Seasoning
- Tajin (or Chili Lime)
- Cinnamon Cayenne
- Rosemary and Sea Salt
Basically, the sky is the limit. Feel free to experiment to find the apple chip of your dreams!
If I get citric acid for this recipe, what else can I use it for?
Ok, I know citric acid seems like a weird thing to have in the kitchen, but it's very useful. Not only does it get used in canning and preserving quite a bit, it can also be used in cheese making, beer brewing and wine fermenting. It's also responsible for the sour part of your favorite sour gummies!
It's also a great natural cleaner and disinfectant, so it can be used all over the home. I'm talking everything from laundry to toilet bowls, people. Citric acid is a miracle worker.
Need more healthy recipe inspiration? Check out these other yummy snack ideas:
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Homemade Apple Chips
- 1 tablespoon Citric Acid or sub 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 C Water
- 4 Apples your favorite variety
- Seasoning of Choice e.g. cinnamon, cinnamon-cayenne, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, chai, chili lime (Tajin), sea salt, sea salt and rosemary...
- Dissolve citric acid (or lemon juice) in water in a large bowl.
- Wash your apples thoroughly. Core apples if you prefer. Slice apples ⅛" thick, using either a mandoline (preferred method) or very sharp chef's knife. Be careful!
- As you slice the apples, toss them in the water bath. The citric acid will prevent browning and brighten the flavor of the apples. They can soak for as little as 15 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Remove and pat dry with a tea towel.
- Arrange apple slices in single layers on different levels of the dehydrator. Sprinkle with your favorite spice mix, then turn the dehydrator on to 135F. Depending on how thick you cut your apples, dehydrating may take anywhere from 6-8 hours. They should be crisp when you're done.
- Enjoy as a healthy treat anytime!
- No dehydrator? No problem. Use a sheet pan lined with parchment and bake in a 200 degree oven for about an hour, then flip and bake another hour.