Dried apple rings dusted with curry powder. Perfect healthy snack for autumn!
I’m on the hunt for sugarless snacks that are healthy. They need to be something I realistically want to eat more than once, and they need to be super-super-easy. I’m so busy these days with various projects, long drawn-out kitchen projects aren’t possible.
And I’m about to get even busier, it that’s even possible. We’re adopting a puppy, and next week we bring her home. I’m anticipating a rough first few days for her, since she’ll be missing her mom and litter mates (there were nine puppies in the litter!!). And I’m anticipating a rough first few months for Carnivorous Maximus and me. It’s been a long time since I’ve trained a puppy, and my husband’s first. We’re nervous and very, very excited. Here’s her photo at 6-weeks. Her name is Rika, short for Paprika.
OK, back to healthy snacks. This month is October Unprocessed, Andrew Wilder’s annual drive to encourage and support everyone to try to go unprocessed for one month. I’ve taken the pledge every year, and posted an article on his blog for last year’s challenge. I’ll be posting on his blog again this year since I’m such a huge believer in the health benefits of eating whole foods, and avoiding processed foods. More about that later in the month.
The question is always – “Where do you draw the line?”. Technically honey is processed, and so is most milk unless you live on or near a farm and get your milk right from the cow. Andrew has given this serious consideration and offers up his own definition. For me, I’m focusing on my worst offender, sugar. It’s been as hard to cut sugar out of my diet as it was to quit smoking many years ago. So I’ve decided to make a project out of finding or creating sugarless snacks that I really, really like.
And I’ve got my first one. A clear home run. Apple chips. I made this batch with a dusting of curry powder, but if you don’t care for curry, I can attest that cinnamon is pretty wonderful too. One of my favorite batches was with ras el hanout, which I think of as a North African version of apple pie spice.
Feel free to experiment, but don’t add any sugar – both Fuji and Honey Crisp apples are sweet enough on their own, with Honey Crisp having a slight edge.
* Buy an apple corer for these. It’s completely worth it since they make such quick work of neatly coring the fruit. Here’s where you can get them on Amazon.
* Use a mandolin to get even slices. If the slices vary in thickness, some will be crisp while others may not be dehydrated nearly enough. I have a small one that I use all the time. Go here to buy one on Amazon if you don’t have one. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll use it – and I find I really don’t need the large chef version I worked with and nearly lost part of my thumb on in cooking school.
* A little spice will go a long way. Err on dusting too lightly than too heavily.
* Use parchment paper to prevent any thinner edges of the apples from sticking to the baking sheet.
* Try not to check the slices during the dehydrating. You’re working with such a low temperature setting that it’s easy to lose a lot of heat by opening the oven even for a few seconds.
- 2 apples (Fuji and Honey Crisp work great!)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Preheat the oven to 200˚F.
- Core the apples using an apple corer, and thinly slice on a mandolin. On my small mandolin, which has three settings, I used the second setting. If the slices are too thin, it's difficult to get a full apple ring and they'll be more crispy. If too thick, they'll be very chewy and won't crisp easily.
- Mix the lemon juice, water, and vanilla together in a small bowl. Soak the apple slices, five or six slices at a time, for two minutes. Dry with paper towels and lay on a baking sheet lines with parchment paper.
- Place the curry powder in a sieve and lightly dust the apple slices. A little curry goes a long way, so it's not necessary to dust both sides of the apple rings.
- Bake for 45 minutes without opening the oven even once. Since you're baking them at a low temperature, it's easy to lose what heat you have. Turn the slice over and bake another 45 minutes, again without opening the oven. If they need a little more crisping, bake another 15 minutes.
- For the crispiest texture, allow to cool before eating, but they're pretty fabulous slightly warm.
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