If you’re looking for egg-free, dairy-free, wheat or gluten-free teething rings for your baby to chomp on, here’s an idea: forego biscuits altogether for dried apple rings. Depending on their thickness and the baking time you allow them, they can be chewy and rubbery or more firm and crisp – it’s up to you. Softly chewing/gumming a dried apple slice softens it, much like a hard packaged cracker. Best of all, you know exactly what’s in them: just apples, and they’re cheap, too. (You can make handfuls of natural apple teething rings for well under a dollar, depending on the type of apple you choose.)
Even better, if you don’t have a teething baby, don’t worry: kids and grown-ups alike love sweet, munchable apple chips.
There’s no need for oil or deep-frying; the heat of the oven dries them crisply, making them a perfect portable snack for lunchboxes or backpacks. Once you’ve sliced the apples (try using a mandolin for perfectly thin, uniform slices), older kids will have fun sprinkling them with sugar and cinnamon. Bonus: in the oven, they’re better than the best potpourri.
Note: Ensure you’re within arms’ reach of your baby at all times while he or she is eating. There’s no teething biscuit that’s completely resistant to crumbling and breakage, and the thinner and crisper the apple chips get, the more easily they’ll break off into pieces.
Homemade Apple Chips
2 large apples, preferably organic
Preheat oven to 200ËšF.
Thinly slice apples crosswise about 1/8-inch thick with a mandoline or sharp knife. Arrange apple slices in a single layer on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets.
Optional: sprinkle a bit of sugar and cinnamon evenly over apple slices.
Bake in the top and bottom third of the oven until apples are tough and leathery to dry and crisp, however you prefer, about 1 – 2 hours. Remove from oven and let the chips cool completely before transferring to a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Makes about 2 cups apple chips.