I got a new food dehydrator, and was craving apple chips. Funny how that worked out!
Anyway, here they are, in their organic, preservative-free glory:
They're pretty easy to make, even if you don't have a dehydrator.
-About four/five apples- use your favorite variety. I like organic Granny Smiths. You're going to want to go organic on these because you'll leave the skins on.
-A bowl with water and lemon/lime/orange juice. You only need a couple of tablespoons of citrus juice in your bowl of water.
-Knife/mandolin and cutting board
-Cinnamon and sweetener of your choice (I use stevia, but if you want sugar or Splenda or whatever, knock yourself out)
-Paper towels or clean dishtowels
-Food dehydrator or oven preheated to 250 F.
Ready? Here we go.
1. If you're using an oven, preheat it now. You'll also want to cover some cookie sheets with foil. If you're using a dehydrator, dig it out from wherever it lurks and separate your layers.
2. Wash your apples. Get 'em good and clean. Again, go organic- we're not peeling them.
3. Using your knife or mandolin, slice 'em as thin as you can. DON'T CORE THEM OR PEEL THEM. You can pop the little seed giblets out using the tip of your knife. Note: The thicker the slice, the longer the cook time and the chewier the end result.
4. As you slice, chunk them into your bowl of citrus water. This helps them keep their color and not brown.
5. After they've all been dunked in the water, lay out some paper towels. I use a layer of about four. Assemble your topping- 2 parts cinnamon to one part stevia was what I used; you use whatever tickles your fancy. Place one layer of apples on the paper towels. You don't have to dry or blot them, just let 'em hang out.
6. Sprinkle that cinnamon goodness over them. If you accidentally put too much, use your fingers to wipe some off (or a paper towel, if you're trying to be PROPER).
7. Load up your dehydrator trays/foil lined cookie sheets. You don't want them to overlap, but it doesn't matter if the apples touch.
8. Pop 'em into their destination.
Dehydrator- About four-six hours (if you have settings on yours, aren't you special? You'll need to put it on low. I'm not that cool. One speed/temp fits all.) Play around with what works best for your desired outcome.
Oven- Start checking after about an hour. You'll want your chips to get shriveled up, but not burn or brown too much.
Mine looked like this:
Note that the brown is cinnamon, NOT burned apples!
Let the chips cool completely before putting in storage or allowing them to overlap. Chips will crisp up as they cool. They won't be as crunchy as store bought chips, but guess what? These have no preservatives! They're pretty friggin' tasty, too.
Store apple chips in an air tight container. I used a big ziploc bag. If you're anti-bag, that's cool; just put them in a jar.
These are great in homemade granola (added after the baking process), good as to-go snacks, and a very clean way to get a messy child to eat more fruit. If you make some, let me know how they turn out!