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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lemon sesame kale chips with coconut milk sour cream (vegan, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

Hi, I’m Alessandra and I’m addicted to lemon sesame kale chips.

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Particularly these golden crispy, nutty, satisfyingly crunchy nuggets of pure and utter flavour with the zesty whiff of sparky, spunky citrus dipped in a creamy, thick, rich, tart dip. Seriously, these are good. When I was growing up, lemons were always the only constant in our bustling fridge; in the humid, warm climate of the Middle East, lemons were abundant and their bright, cheery hues could be seen on every street corner.

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I remember chomping on handfuls of ‘bird seeds’ at a time, convinced that the pale, nutty seeds would send me flying in to the air squealing with joy at any moment. It may be a decade later, a few countries further, and I certainly don’t refer to sesame seeds as ‘bird seeds’ any more, but that’s not to say I didn’t find myself concealing a joyful squeal when I tasted them with the deep, earthy flavour of kale.

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 19.03.44And, dear reader, the coconut milk sour cream – oh my. Sweet and creamy from the gloriously thick coconut cream hidden in the depths of a chilled coconut can, and tantalisingly tangy from the fragrant, acidic lemon juice. It fits so perfectly with the lemon & sesame kale chips, but I can only imagine what else this would be perfect addition to. Sour cream is one of those intriguing magical ingredients which can completely change a meal but which tastes quite, well, abhorrent on its own. Vanilla extract, anyone? The tangy taste seems to intensify every other flavour in a dish without stealing the limelight; certainly an underrated fridge necessity. Drizzled, dipped, or eaten by the spoon, you need it in your life.

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It is an axiom of making kale chips that you are allowed to eat at least half the batch in the process, right? Right. Enjoy!

lemon sesame kale chips with coconut milk sour cream (SCD, GAPS, candida diet, Palaeolithic, Primal)

by Alessandra Peters

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

    For the Kale Chips

    • 200g curly kale, washed, dried, and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • sea salt, to taste

    For the Coconut Milk Sour Cream

    • 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 12 hours
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • sea salt, to taste

    Instructions

    For the Kale Chips

    1. Preheat the oven to 120C/240F.

    2. Place the kale into a large bowl and toss it thoroughly with the olive oil, sesame seeds, lemon juice, and a good pinch of sea salt.

    3. Spread the kale on a large baking sheet. It shrinks as it cooks, so it’s okay to not have it in a single layer.

    4. Zest the lemon over the tray of kale.

    5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until crispy.

    For the Coconut Milk Sour Cream

    1. Turn your cold can of coconut milk over and, using a can opener, open the tin from the bottom. Set aside the coconut water to use another time (it’s great in smoothies!), then scoop out the white coconut cream at the bottom of the can.

    2. Add the lemon juice to the coconut cream and stir to combine. Add salt to taste, then leave in the fridge for 15-20 minutes in order for the flavours to meld.

    To serve: Put the kale chips on a large plate and serve with fresh lemon wedges and coconut milk sour cream. Enjoy!

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