Healthy Halloween: Baked Apple & Pear Chips
After back-to-back weekends of traveling, staying home was at the top of my agenda this weekend. And lucky for me, a rare rainy Sunday led to lots of relaxation and a little fun in the kitchen. The time away from home led to quite the stockpile of apples and pears that needed to be used up. I usually make applesauce with extra fruit because it’s a real hit with my toddler, but decided to venture away from the norm and try baked apple and pear chips instead. Though they took all afternoon to bake, these chips made for a fun and healthy Halloween treat for my little pumpkin!
To get started on these chips, I washed and rinsed several apples and pears. You can use any variety that fairs well to cooking temperatures. I had Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp apples and Bosc pears on hand. This trio of flavors worked very well!
Because I didn’t have a mandolin handy, I enlisted the help of my husband, who has better slicing skills than I do. I passed the apples and pears off to him and watched as he sliced them as thinly as possible.
Next, fresh slices were placed neatly on a baking sheet, which I had previously lined with parchment paper. Then, I sprinkled a little pumpkin pie spice over the top of the fruit. You could leave them plain if you wanted, use any fall spice, or even sprinkle them with sugar. The fruit was plenty sweet for my liking, so I opted to just add some spice.
The baking sheet went into the oven, which had already been pre-heated to 200°F. An hour and a half later, the edges of the fruit had curled slightly, which meant it was time to turn each slice.
It was about this time that I wished we had a dehydrator as the process to make these chip was longer than I anticipated! I imagine the “set it and forget it” feature a dehydrator offers would be nice (especially if making these in bulk), but since we weren’t making too many chips and had no other plans for the day, the baking time involved wasn’t an issue. After turning, the fruit spent another hour and a half in the oven until the chips were finally ready to come out.
Once cooled, I placed them into a Halloween-inspired treat bag that was going to be set aside and packed into my son’s lunch later this week (a special Halloween treat). But, as is common with a curious toddler, he was instantly at my feet saying “peas, peas” (please), and I had to oblige. We all enjoyed baked apple and pear chips for snack that day. Simple, healthy, and a hit among kids and adults alike…I’d say this snack idea is definitely a keeper!