Now that fall is here, it’s officially apple season. We’ve all heard the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While I’m not sure that’s entirely true, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Apples are a delicious, healthy and filling snack. Apples are low in calories and provide a good amount of fiber and immune-boosting Vitamin C. In addition, they’re packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants that help prevent many diseases. Apples contain a good amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber in apples, called pectin, helps prevent the build-up of cholesterol plaques in your arteries, thus reducing your risk of heart disease. The insoluble fiber helps provide bulk in your intestinal tract, thus promoting good GI health. Many of the nutrients are in the skin or just under it, so be sure to leave the skin on.
If you’re looking for a new way to incorporate more apples into your diet, try my Cinnamon Apple Chips. They’re nutritious and they can satisfy a serious sweet tooth. To achieve the best, crispiest chips, slice the apples as thinly as possible. The best way to do this is with a mandoline, a kitchen tool used for uniformly slicing food. I think a mandoline is a good investment and there are several inexpensive varieties you can buy online. If you don’t have one, you can thinly slice the apples with a knife. If desired, you can core the apples before slicing them but I chose not to because the uncored apples have a really pretty appearance.
Once your apples are sliced, lay them out on lined baking sheets in a single layer. Don’t overlap them or they will steam and get soft instead of crispy. Use multiple baking sheets if you need to. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your apple slices and pop them in the oven. Many apple chip recipes call for a sprinkling of sugar but I found that they didn’t need the extra sugar. Besides coming back to flip them over halfway through, you can pretty much forget about them for the next 2-2 ½ hours. And while they cook, they will fill your house with the most heavenly aroma. When they’re done baking, I turn the oven off and let them cool in the oven for an additional hour. As they cool, they will continue to dry out and crisp up some more.
I experimented with four different varieties of apples and found that the Gala and Granny Smith apples achieved the best, crispiest results. The Honeycrisp and Fuji apples turned out a bit chewier. I’ve also read that Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples work well.
Cinnamon Apple Chips
Makes 4 servings
2 medium apples (like Gala, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
Using a mandoline (or a sharp knife), slice the apples crosswise into very thin slices (the thinner you slice them, the crispier they will become). Remove the seeds.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners. Arrange the apple slices on the baking sheets in a single layer and sprinkle them with cinnamon. Bake in the oven for 1 hour then flip the apples over with a spatula and cook another 1 to 1 ½ hours until they are dried out. Turn the oven off and leave the apples to cool in the oven for an additional hour. As the apples cool, they will crisp up.
Store apple chips in an airtight container up to 1 week.