Homemade Apple Chips

There’s nothing like simmering homemade applesauce to fill the entire house with a wonderful fall spice aroma.  Oh, but yes there is… the sweet apple fragrance coming from a dehydrator while making apple chips.  It’s almost the same and it lasts for twelve hours!  This very simple process requires nothing more than slicing apples, dipping them in lemon juice and placing the slices on a dehydrator tray.  It’s a fun autumn weekend project with a football game or cooking show on the TV in the background.

Mesh Red Delicious.jpg

Start with a nice bag of apples, organic if possible. Picked from your own tree is the ultimate in bonding with mother earth and zero waste.  Even the lemon juice was squeezed from lemons grown in our yard, this batch is 100% home grown and homemade.

Here we’re using the Red Delicious variety but any apple will work. The apples were nice and ripe, so the chips came out very sweet. This sweetness combined with the sour tang of lemon juice is a tasty combination.  Varieties like Granny Smith or Pippin will produce chips that are more tart.   I choose to leave the apple peel on because many of the healthy nutrients in fruits and vegetables are located in the skin.

Reasons that this Recipe is Eco Friendly

  • Completely zero waste, buy apples in bulk using reusable bags and compost the cores
  • Use local apples in season to minimize transportation carbon emissions
  • If you use organic ingredients there are no pesticides or chemical fertilizers in growing

Reasons that this Recipe is Healthy

  • Fresh apples have the highest vitamin and antioxidant content
  • No refined sugar, preservatives or pesticides if using organic apples
  • No potentially toxic plastic packaging

Ingredients:
6-8 pounds of medium sized apples
½ cup of lemon juice

Recipe Summary:
Prep Time: 1 to 2 hours
Dry Time: 12 hour
Makes about 2 quart jars of apple chips

Kitchen Tools:
Dehydrator
Knife, cutting board, shallow bowl for lemon juice

Directions:
Slice the apples into ¼ in thick pieces and remove the core.  Immediately dip the slices in the bowl of lemon juice and coat both sides. Pack them tightly on the dehydrator trays.  When all of the trays are filled set the temperature to 135 degrees and turn on the dehydrator.  After about ten hours I begin checking the apple slices for the desired level of dryness.  I prefer them chewy but not hard, so I remove the slices that are done and dry the others more.  I repeat checking every hour or so, until all of the chips are dried to the right level.

Let them cool for a few hours at room temperature and then store them in a glass jar. They are great as a snack or dice them up and add to your oatmeal or granola.

Note: If you don’t have a dehydrator you can make apple chips on wire racks in an oven.  Set the temperature to its lowest setting and check the drying progress after a few hours.

 

 

Ron Czinski