Fall is a wonderful time of year, the leaves change from green to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, the air is crisp and the sun shares with us its last warmth of summer and of course delicious apples are now in season! We have all heard the old adage: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” but have you ever wondered why? The answer is pretty amazing! Raw apples contain a water soluble fiber called pectin. Other fruits, like pears also contain this fiber but apples are known to have a greater concentration. Pectin has many health benefits including, but not limited to: lowering cholesterol levels, reducing and preventing gallstones, promoting healthy digestion, regulating blood sugar levels, aiding in weight loss and is a natural antioxidant.
With apple season upon us it is the perfect time to head out to your favorite orchard or your local farmer’s market to stock up. Apples are such a versatile fruit, you can make pies, ciders, sauces, juices…you name it! One of my favorite ways to enjoy the health benefits of apples is to turn them into chips. Apple chips make great on-the-go, no-mess snacks that your whole family will love! Here is a great recipe to try:
- Baking Sheets
- Parchment Paper
- Knife, Mandolin or Apple Slicer
- Medium Bowl
- Paper Towels
- Quart Jars (for storage)
- Peeler (optional)
- Corer (optional)
- Lots of fresh, delicious apples! (Sweet apples work best over sour for this recipe)
- ½ a cup of lemon juice
- 4 cups of water
- Ground Cinnamon (optional)
- Position you oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 200°F
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl combine 4 cups of cold water with a ½ cup of lemon juice (this will help prevent browning)
- Using your cutting tool of choice (you can either core and skin the apples or leave them whole) slice the apples as thinly as possible, around 1/8 inch thick
- Soak your slices in the lemon water for about 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes remove the slices from the water and pat dry with your paper towels
- Place in a single layer on your baking sheets
- If you would like to, sprinkle them generously with ground cinnamon
Place your slices in the oven to bake, after one hour turn each slice over and add more cinnamon if you wish. Bake for an additional hour for soft dried apples or an additional 2 hours for crispy apple chips. (The timing of this will depend on your oven and the thickness of the slices; check periodically and reduce or increase the total time as needed). Once you feel they are finished baking turn off the oven, leave the slices where they are and crack open the door with a wooden spoon to let the moisture escape and wait until the oven cools completely before you remove them, around 1 to 2 hours Store in an airtight glass jar for up to a week or refrigerate for up to 1 month and enjoy!!
Autumn is a wonderful time to get out with your families to take in the beautiful weather, what fun fall activities do you and your family enjoy? What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Do they include apples?!