Dehydrated Apple Chips

One of the special treats the girls get to have when we visit Nana's house, is dehydrated cinnamon apple chips.  There is a lot of time that goes into those, and we have to ration them, or the girls would eat through a day's worth of work in just a few minutes.  They are seriously tasty snacks though.  The most time consuming part of making apple chips is laying them out on the dehydrator sheets.  Other than that, it is mostly drying time.  So after our last trip to Nana's house I decided to get a bunch of extra apples and make some for the girls at home.  I took a chance and did them slightly differently than Nana.  At first, the reaction was, "Um, these aren't quite like Nana's apple chips."  By the end of the day though, they were just as awesome in their own way.  Now the girls say, "We love Nana's and we love yours too."  ☺  It's a matter of personal taste how thin or crispy you like your apple chips.  I like mine thin and crispy/chewy.  R prefers her a bit thicker and chewier.  Hubby gave two thumbs up on these as well, bonus!  Now I just need to add a few more trays to my dehydrator so I can do more at a time.  I set my mandoline at 1/8" and got slices a tiny bit thinner than that.  At that setting, three apples pretty much filled the five trays on my circular dehydrator.  I might go to 3/16" next time for half the slices.  I do recommend using the mesh sheets for that particular machine because the food removal is much easier.  Otherwise, remove while still slightly warm or heat back up for five minutes to avoid breaking the chips.  I really love this version of dehydrated apple chips because the simple syrup helps them keep their shape and color and also helps them get crispy if you want.  It adds just a tiny bit of sweet tart flavor while really adding hardly any sugar.

(But these are as good as adding candy to a lunchbox as far as my kids are concerned.)

Apple and Cinnamon Apple Chips in the Dehydrator

3-4 apples, washed well (I used organic Galas)
1¾ cups evaporated cane sugar
2 cups water
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp powdered sugar (optional)

In a 2Qt or larger saucepan over medium heat, stir the sugar, water and lemon juice together just until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and set this simple syrup aside while you slice the apples.  Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut the apples into thin slices between 1/8" and ¼" thick.

As you finish each apple, place the slices in the syrup and submerge.  Let the slices soak for an hour or so.

Drain the slices in a colander and set it over the pot to drip dry while you arrange the slices on the dehydrator trays.  (You may save the syrup in the refrigerator for more batches later that day or the next day.)  Once the slices are laid out, you may sift plain cinnamon, or a mixture of cinnamon and powdered sugar over them for cinnamon apple chips.  

Or leave them plain as desired.

Set the dehydrator for 135-145º and run for 3-4 hours or as long as overnight for thicker slices.  Test occasionally to see how crispy the chips are becoming.  Remember that the finished product will be crispier once it cools than when it is still warm in the dehydrator.  The chips I made ranged from chewy to just slightly crispy for the 1/8" setting on my mandoline.

They will keep for months in an airtight container but will never last that long.  I suggest hiding them in the freezer for longer storage or just to protect your efforts from being demolished in 5 minutes.

For other great lunchbox or just plain good ideas, check out Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love.


  1. Absolutely perfect! I made these chips earlier this week and have had the dehydrator pumping these things out ever since! I plan to bring them for our Easter gathering to impress the family, and I'll definitely link your fab recipe. Also, I skipped the heating of the simple syrup and just threw the cinnamon right in, to save time. Laying them out and breaking the loose takes forever! I wonder though, how many calories are these things? Diabetic family members may need to know.

    Great post!

  2. I am so glad they turned out well for you. I really like this recipe, but you're right, laying it all out takes forever! I'll have to look into the calories, I really don't think the syrup adds more than a few calories because the apples don't absorb that much. It would be hard to tell without laboratory analysis because even if you weighed the slices before and after soaking, you wouldn't know if they exchanged juice for syrup. I'll see if I can track down a commercial product that is treated similarly for some nutritionals. ☺

  3. Okay, I found something I think would be comparable. The difference would probably be the same as with these natural apple chips compared to their sea salt caramel flavor which has some added sugar.

    So the difference for them per ½ cup serving is 10 calories and 2g of sugar. And you've still got the 3-4g of fiber as well. So the net carbs should be running around 17-18g per serving. So depending on the apple and the length of time in the syrup, 90-100 calories, 26g carb, 3-4g fiber, and 21-23g sugars.

    These numbers are based on a 28g serving. The volume for homemade will depending on the thickness of the slices and how much moisture has been evaporated out of them.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Hello, what is the difference between "evaporated cane sugar" and granulated sugar for the simple syrup and how will that impact shelf life? I tried this using table sugar in the syrup and they were delish, but this next round I'd like to store longer term. Thanks in advance!

  5. @ Paula - I'm glad your batch turned out to your liking! Evaporated cane sugar is a slightly less processed sugar with a bit of a blonde color. I get it at Costco because it is organic and available in a large package. They are interchangeable and will have the same shelf life. The keeping time is really determined by moisture. The more moisture you get out of the apples, the longer the shelf life will be. If you are unsure about the water activity or prefer your chips a bit softer, I would suggest storing them in the freezer. If they are nice and dry, they should last from weeks to even a couple months in an airtight sealed container.

  6. Which type of apple you used to dehydrate? And which one you prefer to dehydrate usually? I'm curious to know.

  7. The batch shown was made using Gala apples. Generally I like Galas and Fujis because they don't brown too quickly. My personal preference is a sweet-tart, and somewhat crunchy apple. We also like Cameo, Braeburn, Honey Crisp and Opal apples, (Opals, only if fresh). But I would say you could be safe choosing whichever apple you prefer to eat out of hand. Granny Smith might turn out a bit tart, but the sugar syrup might temper that a tiny bit. I would not choose Grannys myself. Conversely, a sweeter apple benefits from the bit of lemon juice both in flavor and browning prevention. I would not recommend Red Delicious, I think they would tend to fall apart in the state they are normally received from the grocery store. Just too mealy. Right now our CSA box has the option of around half a dozen different specialty apples like Pippins, Cox, Mutsu, Arkansas Black, and Crimson Gold. It might be worthwhile to check out your local produce market or well stocked grocer and pick up a few to try. If you did one type per tray, you could decide if you like it dried or not. Good luck choosing!


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