At some point, I turned my back on eating whole foods and fell into the loving arms of individually packaged baked goods and chemical laden, processed foods. I can’t say that I fought the process. I was a willing participant, drooling at the mere mention of pub cheese.
The truth is, processed foods are amazing. We all know it. I dare you to look me in the eye and tell me that Oreos are gross. You can’t, because they are a gift from the food angels. Downside? Too many Oreos will actually kill you.
This is why I am slowly trying to put the good stuff back into my diet. An apple here, a single stalk of broccoli there. Baby steps. I have no intentions of ridding my life of the delights that can be found in the frozen food section of the grocery store. I have embraced my love of red dye 40 and preservatives that I can’t pronounce. I know that they will always hold a place in my heart and that I will never turn my back on a Firecracker Pop on a hot summer’s day. I just need some balance.
Sadly, it has now been two and a half years since my daughter was born, and it is no longer acceptable to eat brownies for dinner. At least not every night. Sometimes you simply have to eat brownies for dinner, with whipped cream. Maybe some half-melted coffee ice cream.
I think those last two sentences accurately portray what I am up against, in my newfound quest to rekindle my relationship with real food. These apple chips have been an easy way for me to ease into eating better. You will note that the recipe calls for a simple syrup, since a girl can’t be expected to just kick the sugar habit cold turkey…or really ever.
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 crisp apples such as Pink Lady
- In a medium sized sauce pan, add water, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and lemon juice.
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Wash and dry apples. Using a mandolin slicer, cut your apples as thin as possible, removing the seeds as needed.
- Place slices in the cooled syrup. Let them soak in the syrup for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Remove apple slices from the syrup and pat dry using paper towels. Line two cookie sheet with parchment paper or place cooling racks on top of cookie sheets. Spread the apples slices out on your cookie sheets in a single layer.
- Bake for one hour and then flip the apple slices. Bake for another 60-90 minutes depending on the thickness of your apple slices. Check them frequently to make sure that they don't burn. The chips will crisp up a little bit after you remove them from the oven.
- Resist the urge to jack up the temperature of your oven to make the process quicker. I tried that for a second batch. The chip on the left is what happens when you turn up the oven to 225 degrees.