Raise your hand if you hear the phrase “Mom I’m huuuungry” about 437 times a day.  How children with such tiny tummies, who seemingly eat all day long can be in a constant state of hunger is beyond me.  And I even cook for a living!  The one thing that fortunately never lacks in our house is food, yet they seem to always need a snack.  One thing I care a lot about is having healthy snacks around, for both the kiddos and the grown-ups, because we are definitely a family of snackers.  And while my kids love to eat fruit, it’s always a bonus when they don’t realize they’re eating something healthy.  These apple chips totally satisfy a craving for the munchies, and my kids especially love the fruity-flavored colorful ones you see in that photo.  Apple chips are obviously easy to make in a dehydrator, but just like our Homemade Fruit Roll-ups, you can make them at home without any special equipment. Keep reading to see how it’s done!

These are pretty darn easy, and although they do take quite a bit of time to cook, the actual work you have to put in is less than 5 minutes.  Your oven will do the rest!  First up, remove the cores of your apples.  If you don’t have a little apple coring gadget, the sharp end of a vegetable peeler works great.  I just do one side of the apple, about half way to the core, and then flip it over and do the other side.

You’ll need these thinly sliced, and it’s also helpful to have then evenly sliced.  If you have some thick ones, and some thin ones, they’ll take different amounts of time to cook.  So if you’re using a knife, take some care to cut in thin and even.  I use a mandoline, which really comes in handy here.

You don’t have to put a darn thing on them- they’re great baked up plain, but a little sprinkle of cinnamon is great too.  I usually do half and half.  What works best is if you sprinkle it on first and then rub it in a little.

Just use clean hands and run your finger around each one, it goes super quick.

My kids’ favorite, however, are fruity apples!  Sounds ironic since apples are fruit, I know.  My friend Britanie made these in her dehydrator for a workshop we did at church once and I thought they were so fun.  All you need is a packet of Jell-O.  I use sugar free, and with a light hand, just sprinkle it over the apple slices as evenly as you can.  Try to avoid getting it all over the baking sheet.  You don’t need to use a whole packet, just use enough to give all of the apples a nice coat.

After that, put your pans in a 170 degree oven.  It’s super low, basically just on ‘warm’ so I just leave it on and go about my day, coming and going as usual.  Baking time will depend on your oven, and your apples, but I usually leave mine in about 7 hours.  They should look shriveled up  a bit, and the plain apples get a little golden brown.  They should feel pretty dry to the touch.  At this point, I just turn off the oven and leave them there until they’re completely cooled.  They won’t be crunchy until they’re cool.

What I usually do is pop them in my oven in the morning, let’s say 10-11am.  Then I turn off the oven around dinner time, and before I go to bed I take them off the sheets and put them in an airtight container, like a mason jar.

Like I said, the process is long, but the work load couldn’t be easier!  What results is light, crispy, flavorful chips, perfect for munching on.

My kiddos always go straight for the fruit flavored ones.  The added flavor is very mild, it just adds a hint of sweetness and lots of fun colors!

I love that my boys are obsessed with these, because they’re so healthy.  They’ll pick these over fruit snacks any day.

And I don’t blame them!  They’re one of my favorite snacks too.

The apples shrink up so much to make the crispy chips, that I sometimes don’t let my kids notice I’m baking them.  That way I can do a few batches over the course of a few days and fill up a few jars- because they eat them super fast!

It’s a pretty cute gift, too.  Fill up a mason jar and tie a ribbon around it and you’re done.  I could easily eat that whole jar (which is about 2 whole apples).  Yum!

 

 

If you missed yesterday’s giveaway, check it out!  We sent so much traffic their way, it was a little slow yesterday, so head over today if you missed it!

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83comments

  1. 1
    Eloise says:

    GenIus, absoloute genius! Would never thought of the jello idea! Xx Eloise

  2. 2
    Tammy says:

    I would kindly argue that adding artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and colors to the Jello apples does not make them “so healthy”.

    I do like the idea of being able to make my own dried apple rings in the oven, and how easy and little work it is. I’m sure my daughter would love these!

    • 2.1
      sara says:

      I’m referring to the fact that adding a small sprinkle of Jell-O adds nearly no calories or sugar, and for many- including me, that definitely falls into a healthy diet. Avoiding artificial colorings and sweeters is a personal choice, so if that’s something you don’t eat, enjoy a little cinnamon! Hope your daughter loves them!

  3. 3
    Lauren says:

    Love it! Definitely gonna have to try these. :)

  4. 4
    Crystal M says:

    What a great idea!!! I have an abundance of apples and had run out of ideas. This is perfect timing.

  5. 5
    Kristi says:

    I will definitely be making these! Thanks for the healthy snack idea!

  6. 6
    CrystalLee says:

    Yummy! What’s the shelf life of these?

    • 6.1
      sara says:

      My plan was to make a batch and see how long they could last, but everyone kept eating them! I did have some in a jar for almost a week and they were as crisp as when I made them.

  7. 7
    Amie says:

    Can you fill up both racks in the oven? I have a regular oven (not convection), and I’m guessing that it won’t matter with these like it does with cookies or rolls.

    • 7.1
      sara says:

      Absolutely. It takes a lot of space and they shrink a ton, so definitely fill up as many trays and racks as you can! If you have several in there, you may want to rotate a time or two during baking.

  8. 8
    Steph thompson says:

    These are so fun! And I would still consider them healthy with a little Jello. So I know it says any flavor of Jello will work, but what are your favorites? Do you rub in the Jello like you do the cinnamon or not? Do some kinds of apples work better than others? Thanks! I can’t wait to try them!

    • 8.1
      sara says:

      No, I don’t rub in the jell-o, just try to sprinkle it on evenly. It naturally spreads out with the moisture of the apples. We love strawberry and raspberry, orange, lemon and lime. Pretty much we haven’t tried any flavors we didn’t like!

  9. 9
    Becky says:

    So I’m always finding older, slightly shriveled apples in the bottom of the fruit bin… so far I’ve only found that pie and muffins still turn out with those guys.

    Do apples have to start out nice and crisp for this to work?

    • 9.1
      Becky says:

      I also have major snackers and I’m a little worried about sending my kindergartener off to school with good food because most of what we eat needs to stay refrigerated, not just a cooler…like real cheese and yogurt.. This would be a worry-free lunch item for sure!

    • 9.2
      sara says:

      I doubt it, because all of the moisture is removed. Try it out!

  10. 10
    Jeff says:

    Between pickles last week and zucchini ribbons and apple chips this week, clearly I need to get a mandoline. These look like a great snack for my kids — and for me! They would also be a fun variation on the apple for the teacher on the first day of school.

  11. 11
    stace says:

    How about bananas? Cook time??

  12. 12
    Kayleigh says:

    I love this idea! But I don’t want to keep my oven on all day in the summer… I wonder if you could raise the temp and bake for a shorter period of time?

  13. 13

    Wow these look awesome! I hear you about the kids. Mine never eats at the table and then wants snacks all the time. This sounds like an easy solution.

  14. 14
    CleoGwen says:

    This is a great idea – the cinnamon is a great idea. But I don’t think jello powder is a good choice, eek. Artificial colour and flavors (and if you’re using the “light” version, then you’re also adding artificial sweeter!) really should be avoided – they are soooo bad for us. You could tint the apples with natural colourings. It would require a little experimentation to see how it works with apple slices, but maybe brush a little carrot juice on there? or raspberry juice maybe? It might even work :)

    • 14.1
      Simone says:

      I was thinking that Pomegranate juice might work good for color and additional flavor???

  15. 15
    Kelly says:

    I’ll give these a whirl! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with the half packet of Jell-o I have left over from making popcorn balls the other day! Finally found the answer I was looking for!

  16. 16
    Pam says:

    I’ve dried apples for years but I love the idea of the Jell-O apples. How fun! They are no less healthy than eating a serving or two of Jell-O. Just curious as to what flavors of Jell-O you have tried and which are your favorite. I am definitely making these….soon.

  17. 17
    Sue W. says:

    I got some Fuji apples today and tried this. Would have been nice if I had read to put down parchemnt paper BEFORE I baked them. They are stuck like glue to my cookie sheet. Was getting frustrated, so I’m leaving them til the hubster gets home (he has wayyyy more patience than I do!) and hopefully he can get them unstuck. The bits I did manage to scrape off were very tasty. I did one sheet plain and one with cinnamon.

  18. 18
    Trist Rich says:

    This is amazing! I am totally doing this tomorrow!!!! Thanks!

  19. 19

    Love this! We will be giving it a try! I’m going to have to get a mandolin soon… Also, I like the Jell-O idea – you know, every once in a while… Seriously not that big of a deal!

  20. 20
    Deirdre says:

    Those are so pretty AND fun! little fingers could thread them on a string, wear as a necklace and have a portable snack! Very cool!

  21. 21
    Kailie says:

    Ohhhh, Im so making these for my road trip coming up! Thank you!!!!

  22. 22
    Angie E. says:

    These will be fun to make with my kids!

    Sara, I think the jello is a fun take on dried apples get kids interested in eating dried apples. I’m pretty sure a light dusting of jello won’t kill anyone :)

  23. 23
    SLO Dian says:

    Is there a particular apple that works best or one that doesn’t work? I can see where my apple corer/slicer will come in handy for slicing the apple. Have you ever made these with Granny Smith apples?

  24. 24
    Krista says:

    This is a great snack to have on hand! My boys are always hungry too. Always. They will just love these!

  25. 25
    garysgirl says:

    YUM! Great post, Sara. I love all your pics, too!

  26. 26
    Erika says:

    These would make great teacher gifts too! I can’t wait to try them with my kids.

  27. 27
    Kristine says:

    I have a small dehydrator that is round, plugs into the wall type that I got at Wal-mart. You can dry all kinds of fruit. We love apples, peaches, nectarines, apricots etc. they keep a long time since you take the moisture out of them. You can cut them up and put them in muffins, cookies, oatmeal, granola, trail mix, etc. We love the tartness of Granny Smith apples. Haven’t really found anything we won’t eat dried. Warning: don’t eat too many at once or you are bound to have some tummy issues!! .

  28. 28
    Tania says:

    Thank you so much for this, I am always looking for healthy snack for my kids’ lunchboxes and avoid sugar like the plague. Love your blog!

  29. 29
    Stephanie says:

    Made these this weekend and they turned out great!

  30. 30
    Nicole Peck says:

    AWESOME!!! We have 3 overgrown and beyond control apple trees we have no idea whatever to do with each year, and I’m too chicken every year to can apple sauce, even though I say I will. I need to attempt your pie filling and now these. These would be a HUGE hit with my kids! Thank you!!!!!

  31. 31
    Heather H says:

    For a grown-up version of these, use Granny Smith apples and a mix of sugar and cumin. Tasty!

    http://www.food.com/recipe/granny-smiths-cumin-apple-chips-151396

  32. 32
    Denice says:

    We love dried apples! This adds an extra step (more work, anyone?), but dipping the apple slices in pineapple juice before dusting them with cinnamon is super delicious. Just a little extra tang, and it keeps the apples from turning brown. Thanks, Sara.

  33. 33
    Denise says:

    Holy cow this looks not only amazing but like so much fun! These would be WAY healthier than any snack my kids normally eat! I can’t wait til fall when apples are cheaper here! Thanks!

  34. 34
    Heather Talley says:

    So I totally went and bought that mandoline you recommended, which came today (I’m excited to use it!)…however, my oven doesn’t go very low. The lowest setting is 260 degrees. What would be the best way to work around that for these? I tried the homemade fruit rolls in my oven and it did not go well. I need help! We are totally looking forward to trying these!

    • 34.1
      sara says:

      Hmm, that’s actually strange- most ovens go to at least 170. That might be a little too high, but you’d have to experiment to find out!

      • Heather Talley says:

        Once the weather cools down out here (Southern Cali) I will definitely try experimenting…wish me luck! We have been throwing around the idea of replacing an oven and I told my husband that my one requirement would be that it needed to go to at least 170. Now I know that shouldn’t be a hard requirement to fill! Thanks for the info!

        • Rach says:

          You could try sticking a wooden spoon in the door to keep it ajar. I’ve heard of people doing that to make fruit leather.

  35. 35
    Sally says:

    I finally got some apples today to try these out, but realized I don’t have any parchment paper. So sad! I’m curious though, could I use the same method to make baked potato chips?

  36. 36

    So, my neighbor has six apple trees. Six! Soon they’ll have so many apples they won’t know what to do with them, then they give me boxes full of them. You can only make so many apple pies and cobblers. This will be a fun change. Thanks!

  37. 37
    Connie Miller says:

    We did these for our county fair and all of us got blue ribbons on our entries and my daughter won a sweepstakes for her entry. Not to mention they taste wonderful! Thanks for your great ideas

  38. 38
    Molly Sperling says:

    Had a blast making these with my 3 year old this morning. Wish I would have read the comments and the directions at the bottom more carefully because I didn’t put down any parchment paper and they are stuck like GLUE. Now I have 3 cookie sheets with apples stuck to them and two very unhappy boys who wanted to try them. :( Darn!

  39. 39
    Kim says:

    I love the twine that you’ve wrapped around the jars! Is there anywhere you know of that I could get something similar?

  40. 40
    lee says:

    My grandmother used to make these, but she’d just string them on strings and let them dry naturally.

  41. 41
    Colette says:

    I have made these two years in a row (from various recipes) and I love the apple crisps but when I take them out of the dehydrator they are crisp but after a day or two even in a jar, they are not crisp. This time they were in the dehydrator for 24 hours almost at 135 degrees. Has anyone else had this problem?

  42. 42
    Jacqueline says:

    Is there a mandoline that you recommend? Which one do you have? I looked at the one that you linked and it talked about not being able to do long things. Also, did you buy the gloves that go with it to not slice your hands? I cut myself with a knife often enough that this looks a little dangerous for me. But it looks like I need to try all your recipes that I want to do. Thanks!

  43. 43
    Jennifer says:

    It’s so nice to easily make a healthy “chippy” that my kids love.

  44. 44
    Gabe says:

    Has anyone played around with temps and cooking times at all? I’ve had success previously with standard cinnamon&sugar chips before at ~275 for 2 hours (turning once half way through) and then allowing to cool in the oven, the whole process takes less then 3 hours. Wondering if that will be too high and maybe burn the jello? I really am just too impatient to wait >8 hours for such a simple recipe.
    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

  45. 45
    Michelle says:

    Made these today w/ the Jello sprinkled on them for my kids. None of us can stop eating them because they are so good. I did raise the temp to 190, and I cut them extra thin with the mandolin, so it took about 6 hours total, including cool time. So crisp and yummy!

  46. 46
    Britany says:

    I am making these for neighbor gifts and wondering how far in advance I can make them? If I store in an air tight container, how long will they last? The tricky part is going to be keeping my kids from noticing they are cooking because they seem to eat them before they make it to a container :). Thanks in advance!

  47. 47
    Anne says:

    I made these today but they stuck to the paper! Any ideas on how I can avoid that happening next time? The little bits I picked off around the paper were so tasty – what a tease! :(

    • 47.1
      sara says:

      That’s weird! I’d spray the paper with a little non-stick spray next time, I bet that would do the trick. Better luck next time!

  48. 48
    Rachael Hectus says:

    I just put these in the oven with cinnamon. I used wax paper – isn’t that what parchment paper is?

  49. 49
    Rachael Hectus says:

    I went and took it out of the oven. I sprayed the cookie sheets with oil and will dry them that way for now until I can get to the store for parchment paper. Google.com is my friend :)

    Thank you for these easy to follow directions. I love these, but at $4 a tiny bag a Whole Foods, I was going to break the bank. I thought it was much more involved and complicated to do this and that I needed a dehydrator.

    I am now a devoted follower of your blog :)

  50. 50
    Diane says:

    I am making apple chips today. I hand sliced my Granny Smith apples, which are well on their way to being past prime. I put them on a uncoated, metal cooling rack with little holes. Oven is on 225 and I am venting by putting a wooden spoon in the door. It takes them about 1 1/2 hours to dry, no turning required. The only problem I am having is that they get eaten before I can put them in the container! These are awesome, and I am not afraid to try the jello! Good luck!

  51. 51

    Thanks for posting this…I know I’m a year late commenting :) Was looking for a snack for the kiddos. I always lament that I don’t own a dehydrator because my husband freaks out if I use the oven for too long because of cost. He’s the practical one, I’m not. At first I thought you had sprinkled the apples with kool-aid…I wonder how that would taste?!?!

  52. 52
    Carlyn says:

    These look like so much fun! Are you sprinkling/rubbing both sides of the slice, or only one?
    Carlyn

  53. 53
    Bekah says:

    Hi Sara! These look divine!!! Im super excited to try these out as soon as Im out for my next grocery trip. I don’t have kids, but Im definitely saving this for when we do because its such a healthy alternative and I love that you can still make it super fun by adding the jello coloring!!
    I do have one question, I tried to read through all of the comments and the entire post before asking but I wasn’t able to find anyone else who asked or anywhere where it was mentioned so Im truly sorry if it already was and you are re-answering this!
    I’m sure you guys go through these so fast that you might not be able to answer this, but do you know how long they last stored in the glass containers? I doubt that they will last long in our house either but Im always looking for new healthy snacks to store for easy grab and go!
    Thanks so much for posting this, I can’t wait to try it out!!
    ~Bekah

    • 53.1
      sara says:

      I’ve never really had them last long enough to know, lol. But I’d say a while! I know, super helpful, right??

  54. 54
    linda casanova says:

    Please post “F” next to your oven degrees to help the non-USA readers not get confused, as for the apple recipe, 170C is a hot oven. 170F.. just warm.

    Great ideas. Love these recipes. Nice blog!

  55. 55
    Kim says:

    What kind of apples work best? Can’t wait to try!!

  56. 56
    Anna says:

    I know the Jello ones are pretty, but if anyone gifts them or shares them with those outside their immediate family, please let them know that they contain artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. These things cause real problems for some people. Even in seemingly small quantities.

  57. 57
    Debra says:

    How long do these last?

  58. 58
    Anna says:

    Hi :) Is it 170 C or 170 F? And is it possible to cook them quicker at a higher temperature?

  59. 59
    Lindsey says:

    I think these would be pretty good lightly salted- the salt could be a nice contrast to the sweetness of the apple, like salted chocolate or salted caramel. I like to put a tiny bit of salt on watermelon when I eat it for the same reason.

  60. 60
    Natalie says:

    I tried these and mine never got crispy. They are still a little chewy and stuck to the parchment paper – maybe I put too much jello on and that’s why they’re sticky? Any suggestions on how to make them crisp up and not stay sticky? They are delicious either way, but can’t put them in the jar because they stick to the sides. Thanks for the great idea!

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