Looking for a simple zero waste after-school snack for kids? These simple homemade dried apple chips are a cinch to make and a fan-favorite among the littles in our house. Check out all the details and the recipe below!
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Every afternoon, after a long day at school (sometimes in person and other times virtual), my boys scramble to the kitchen for an after-school snack. Undoubtedly, they want junk. And I want them to eat something nutritious and delicious.
With our new(ish) Excalibur dehydrator, we landed on a perfect compromise. Homemade dried apple chips.
These homemade and zero waste apple chips are super simple to prepare and my boys devour them every day. They consider these homemade dried apple chips a snack, while I secretly indulge in the fact that they’re eating healthy, whole foods.
I know some dried fruits can have an increased concentration of sugar, but these homemade apple chips feel like a great compromise between a sweet indulgence and a healthy snack.
Making these homemade dried apple chips as a great zero-waste snack is super easy. I have an Excalibur dehydrator that works perfectly for this zero waste snack. I simply slice the apples, lay them on the dehydrator trays, and let the dehydrator do the hard work for about 6 to 8 hours.
I use a mandoline to slice the apples, but you could definitely slice them manually if you prefer or if you do not have a mandolin at home.
My boys eat these homemade apple chips as mid-morning snacks during virtual learning, as after school snacks, and as part of a zero-waste snack tray. We’ve also included them on our low waste leftover charcuterie boards for lunch and dinner.
If you do not own a dehydrator and think that you would use it regularly, I highly recommend buying one. We use it once every few weeks and love the healthy, low waste snacks it provides. If you don’t want a dehydrator or it’s out of your budget (they are a bit expensive and a little large if you have limited space), you can certainly make these in your oven at a very low temperature for several hours.
I haven’t tried this method, but I suspect baking them at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 to 5 hours would do the trick. Even in the dehydrator, I check on the drying apples periodically because drying time can vary. The length of time to dehydrate varies depending on how moist the apples are and the humidity of the environment in which the apples are being dehydrated.
Do you have a dehydrator? Have you tried making homemade dried apple chips? Or do you have any other great dehydrator recipes? I’d love to try them so be sure to share in the comments!
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- 8 apples, any variety
- Slice apples into 1/8" thick slices. It's easiest to use a mandolin but you can cut the slices manually as well.
- Lay apple slices on the dehydrator trays without overlapping them.
- Set dehydrator to temperature as noted in the appliance instructions for fruit. Our Excalibur dehydrator suggests dehydrating at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is a corresponding setting for this temperature noting it's for fruits on the dehydrator.
- Allow dehydrating for six to eight hours, checking periodically, until the apples are quite dry.
- Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.