Snack-lovers, listen up: I’ve got a HEALTHY, in-season snack recipe for you that’s not only crispy and satisfying, but easy, gluten-free, inexpensive, and perfect for little hands, too.
‘Tis the season for Baked Apple Chips!
The Perfect Healthy Snack
We are a house of snackers. There’s no way around it. Ben eats a salad almost every day for lunch so he comes home from work starving (say it with me, Ben: CARBS) I’m 35 weeks pregnant and am always hungry, and Lincoln’s 3.
That said, I’m always on the hunt for easy healthy snacks and Baked Apple Chips are SLAYING. Like I said, simple, inexpensive, delicious, and CRISPY. Because, no matter your age, doesn’t a pile of crunchy apple chips sound like a better snack than a soft cup of applesauce?
Kids Love Apple Chips!
One of our favorite fall activities is going apple picking and between those fun weekend trips, and the mountains of inexpensive apples taking over the produce department at the grocery store, we have a constant stream of fresh, mostly-local apples in the refrigerator from early September through November.
It’s hard to argue that a more perfect snack than a raw apple exists, but Baked Apple Chips are giving them a run for their money. It’s all about that chip appearance and texture, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s getting something way more decadent than a piece of fruit. If you don’t believe me, the proof is in the pudding – aka this sweet face. Lincoln goes nuts for Baked Apple Chips and I have zero problem giving him as many as he wants (within reason, of course.)
I would 1000x prefer to give him fresh Baked Apple Chips than some cracker or pretzel with no nutritional value.
No Dehydrator Needed
Ok, so how do you make these things? Good news – no dehydrator necessary! Just a mandoline or sharp knife, half sheet pan, and an oven are all it takes to get a pile of Baked Apple Chips on your table. These chips are so good I had to make SIX BATCHES in order to get enough to style for these photographs – Lincoln and I were eating them faster than I could make them!
Seeing as how I’ve made nearly a dozen batches of Baked Apple Chips within the past two weeks, I’ve picked up a trick or two, including which apples work best for these chips, how long they’ll last (hot tip: not long!) and an explanation of their final color and shape, down in the recipe card below.
How to Make Baked Apple Chips
Start by slicing fresh apples 1/8″ thick. I recommend a mandoline slicer or an extremely sharp knife and steady grip. You can fit roughly 1-1/2 medium-sized apples to a half sheet pan so plan on having at least 3 apples on hand if you want to make two half sheet pan’s worth.
Next, use a round cookie cutter to cut out the hard centers or do what I did and use an icing tip (#kitchenhack!) You CAN bake the apple chips with the centers still intact but they get kind of sharp and can irritate your mouth. Totally your call though.
Line your half sheet pans with parchment paper or silpats then line the apples up – they can touch but don’t let them overlap. Bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees, rotating the pans halfway through, or until an apple chip crisps up 2-3 minutes after taking one off the pan to test. The final baking time really depends on the moisture level of the apples, so don’t be discouraged if they’re still a little soft after two hours. Just keep baking – they’ll get there!
Note: the apple chips will curl slightly when baked on parchment paper and stay flat when baked on silpats. I also noticed that crispier apples like Honeycrisp stay lighter throughout the baking process than softer apples like Priscillas, but the taste was unaffected.
Let the apple slices cool completely before packing into an airtight container or Ziplock bag, or, you know, devouring immediately!
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Baked Apple Chips
Baked Apple Chips are a healthy snack recipe that will satisfy your craving for something sweet and crunchy. Just slice, bake, and eat!
- fresh apples (see Notes for varieties recommended,) sliced 1/8" thick
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees then line a half sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper. Line with apple slices (they can touch but not overlap,) then bake for 2 hours, rotating the pan halfway through, or until an apple chip crisps up after sitting out and cooling for 2-3 minutes. Keep sheet pan in oven while testing the apple chip for doneness.
- If you're baking more than one pan at a time, plan on adding an extra 20-30 minutes of baking time.
- I use an OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicer to uniformly slice my apples. Use a cookie cutter, icing tip, or other round cutter to remove hard centers from the slices.
- Crispy apples like Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Ladies will hold up better through the slicing process.
- The color of the final apple chip depends on the variety of apple you're using. I found crispier apples like Honeycrisp stayed lighter throughout the baking process than softer apples like Priscilla. Both tasted delicious.
- Chips tend to curl a little more when baked on parchment paper vs a silpat.
- The time it takes for the apple slices to fully crisp up depends on the individual apple - just keep baking even if it takes longer than 2 hours - they'll get there eventually!
- Store leftover Baked Apple Chips in a Ziplock bag or airtight container for up to 3 days.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.