spiced oven-dried apple chips (vegan, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, healthy)

I know; it’s most likely scorching hot outside and I’m here with a recipe for spiced oven-dried apples.

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Summer days are fleeting and the chill of winter is starting to tiptoe around my feet – last night, for the first time in months, I felt the need for an extra blanket warming me up at night, and this morning was no different as I pulled my jacket from underneath the towering ‘winter’ pile. But somewhere in my heart, hidden underneath the gloom and darkness of cold winter days, lies my love of warm, cozy evenings fragranced with earthy, aromatic spices.

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Crisp, sweet, fresh paper-thin slices of apple are rubbed lovingly with a mixture of sweet, warm cinnamon, bold, nutty cloves, and potent, complex star anise. Perpetual complexity and depth coat the dried, luxuriously chewy apple to make these wonderfully simple, unassuming snacks which hide a fragrant kick.

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On the bright side, winter also means celebration, love, and family. It means appreciation, great food, and laughter. Speaking of.. I was given my Christmas present early this year! Very early – yesterday, in fact. I’m absolutely over the moon to announce that I’m now the proud owner of a Vitamix! I think a spiced apple chip party is called for.

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And yes, my lovely new blender has a name. That’s normal, right?

Note:  I’ve used crisp Pink Lady apples as well as tart Granny Smith apples, and both worked wonderfully! If you’re taking part in the 21DSD, one fifth of this recipe using Granny Smiths (about 10 chips) would count as your daily natural fruit sugar.

spiced oven-dried apple chips

by Alessandra Peters

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Ingredients (about 50 chips)

  • 4 large apples
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground star anise
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 175F or 90C.

2. Wash and core all of the apples. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the apples in to 1/8 inch (1/4 cm) slices. I then cut all of the slices in half, but it’s up to you whether you prefer the whole slices or half slices.

3. Spread the slices out on baking trays, taking care to not overcrowd the trays. In a small bowl, mix together the spices until combined. With either a large paintbrush or your finger, rub the spice mixture on one side of each apple slice.

4. Bake in the oven for around 4 hours or until the top has crisped and the bottoms are still a bit chewy. If you like your apple chips crispier, simply bake a little longer, and if you like them chewier, bake them for about three hours.

5. Once they have finished baking, turn off the oven and leave them in the oven for another 3-4 hours or overnight (I like to start baking at around 5pm, turn the oven off before I go to bed, and let them dry overnight).

6. Store in an airtight container – the longest they have stayed around in my house has been around a week when I made a gigantic – I’m talking quadruple recipe – batch, but I would imagine they would stay just fine for anywhere up to about three weeks.

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