It's easy to make dried apples and their crispier cousins, apple chips, at home in your oven without a food dehydrator.

Stacy Fraser

Want a healthy snack you can feel good about eating-and serving to your kids? Make dried apple chips! They are great for lunch boxes or as a packable snack. There are lots of healthy reasons to eat apples: they are high in fiber and nutrients. And they're naturally sweet-without any added sugar.

You don't need a dehydrator to make apple chips. Make your own soft dried apples or crispy apple chips at home in your oven by following the steps below. This no-sugar-added snack is a hit with kids and adults alike.

Here's how to do it in a home oven:

Step 1

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2

Combine 4 cups water and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a medium bowl. (The lemon juice helps prevent browning.)

Step 3

Using a sharp knife or a mandoline (if you have one), slice 2 large apples as thin as possible, about 1/8 inch thick. Soak the slices in the lemon water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat the slices as dry as possible with paper towels (or clean kitchen towels). Place on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer.

Step 4

Bake the slices on the upper and lower racks for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and turn each slice over; return the pans to the oven. Bake 1 more hour for soft dried apples or about 2 more hours for crispy apple chips. (Timing depends on your oven, the type of apple and thickness of the slices; check periodically and reduce or increase the total time as needed.) Turn off the oven, crack the door and leave the apples in the oven until the oven cools completely, 1 to 2 hours. Store airtight for up to 1 week or refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Makes about 4 dozen apple slices or chips.

Pictured Recipe: Dried Apples

Time-Saving Tips!

Keep the peels on. Save time and skip the step of peeling the apples first. This will retain the fiber from the peels.

Skip coring the apple. The star-shaped core makes a pretty shape in the center of each dried apple.

Soft dried apples have a chewy texture are just as delicious as apple chips-and they take less time in the oven. For crispy apple chips, bake the apples about 1 hour more.