Thursday, March 4, 2010
I sometimes think I could subsist on snacks, but then sense kicks in and I know that thankfully it’s just a temporary phase. The fact still remains that I do get these cravings, usually at tea time for something crunchy to munch on.
Unfortunately for me, most crunchy munches are invariably the kind that either head straight for my hips or else gently coat my blood vessels.
Sure there are plenty of healthy alternatives like carrot sticks and cucumbers. I may be a vegetarian, but you wouldn’t find me looking very happy when faced with eating raw vegetables. And who ever heard of anyone having raw vegetables with their tea, anyway?
Then of course, I could make healthy chivda, oven baked fries and some of that stuff. Much as I enjoy these, there are sometimes when I have to honestly admit to myself that they’re not a patch on the original deep-fried versions.
And what about fruit then? Fruit? With tea? Really!
If you want to have fruit with tea, it usually needs to be propped up and padded with butter, flour, sugar and cream maybe. This is a wonderful way to eat fruit (think apple pie, for one) but I am looking at a healthy snacking option.
And I found it sometime back in baked apple chips. Funnily enough, at the time I came across it, the apple chips were decorating a calorie laden confection. I stuck the idea in some corner of my mind and then eventually forgot all about it till last week.
I have previously mentioned that I’ve joined a couple of photography groups on Flickr and one of the group assignments required us to shoot an apple. How we envisaged the apple and presented it was up to us, but it had to be apple.
So I was thinking about how to go about this in a different manner from the usual when the baked apple chips popped into my mind.
The result of the photography exercise was the proverbial “two birds with one stone” thing. I got a picture that I was reasonably pleased with and a healthy and crunchy snack as well. In fact, just what the doctor would have ordered, if he knew about these crisp apple chips!
They’re fruit, minimally sweet and satisfyingly crunchy. They don’t take too much effort to make. I spent more time trying to get a good shot than I spent slicing the apples.
2 apples (I used Red Delicious)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Mix the sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl and keep aside. Line your baking trays with parchment paper or aluminium foil. Now lightly sprinkle half of the cinnamom-sugar evenly on the prepared trays.
Wash and dry the apples. Cut off a thin slice off the top and the bottom of each apple. Slice them as thinly as you can, using a sharp knife or a mandoline. You may choose to core the apples before slicing them. I didn’t because I like the pretty flower-like pattern the seeds make in the baked chips.
You can use lemon juice here to prevent the slices from discoloring. I didn’t find the need to do so. And the chips turn brown with cinnamon and the baking anyways.
Lay the slices in a single layer, close to each other, on top of the sugar sprinkled trays. Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly on the apple slices.
Bake them at 120C for about 2 hours till they’re dry and crisp. This recipe makes a big bowl full of apple chips.
If you can resist eating them all, store in an airtight container. Baked apple chips can also be used to decorate desserts.
If you would like something more substantial with your tea, then these Crunchy Peanut Hearts I made for Ria as a gift might be more to your liking. Enjoy!
On an aside, my monthly post at The Daily Tiffin is up. If getting your children to eat healthy food is something is always on your mind, then perhaps you would like to read about my experiences with this - "When Popeye Doesn’t Quite Help Them Eat Spinach!"