Plain, seasoned, or dipped...these are an easy and healthy alternative to store-bought.
Of course you can buy these in the store...but only at home can you truly know what ingredients you and your family are eating. And don't forget all the choices for seasonings and dips, or being able to pick out your favorite apples.
What you'll need:
Apples. Although Gala apples are usually suggested, any kind will do. Remember, the sweeter the apple, the less need for adding processed sugar to your healthy treat. You can peel them, or leave the peels on for color.
Mandoline, slicer, or sharp knife. You will want your apple slices to be no more than 1/16 of an inch thick to get the desired crispiness, so having a mandoline will be both safer and easier than a knife (They are also fairly inexpensive and can be used for lots of different healthy chip ideas).
Parchment paper. Butter and oils are neither used nor necessary in this recipe, with the parchment paper ensuring the chips don't stick while baking.
Optional seasoning or dipping sauce.
Slice apples 1/16 of an inch thick. Exposing the core will make for attractive slices with a star design in the middle.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet, then spread out the apple slices in a single layer.
Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings, avoiding the use of sugar. Remember that apples are already sweet with their natural sugars concentrating as they crisp.
Place in the center of a preheated 225° oven. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until chips are golden in color, curling at the edges, and crisp.
Remove from oven and slide the parchment paper with the apples onto a cooling rack. Let sit for 20-30 minutes, until cool.
Store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
Seasons and Dips
Many different options are available for seasoning. Although some people insist on including sugar in the mix, at least try the chips without. You'll be surprised how unnecessary it is, especially if you have used a sweet variety of apple to begin with.
apple pie or pumpkin pie spice
Chinese Five Spice
For the adventurous:
cinnamon with cayenne pepper
Ancho chili powder (with or without cinnamon)
rosemary, with or without sea-salt
Commercial dipping sauces can be tricky and filled with hidden calories, unhealthy fats, and preservatives. Here are some healthier alternatives:
Yogurt. These come in many flavors. Be wary of some whose ingredients might provide unwanted calories if you are watching your weight.
Honey. For those who need the extra sweetness, honey is a good choice. It can also be added to plain yogurt with other natural ingredients such as mint and lemon. Be creative!
Cocoa dip. Everyone needs a chocolate fix, but premixed dips and syrups take away from our healthy objectives. A quick and healthy dip is 1 cup of vanilla yogurt with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder mixed in. If you need extra sweetness sprinkle on a little Stevia or dab of honey.