It is officially Fall! And the one thing to rival pumpkin this season is APPLES! Gala, granny smith, jonagold, honeycrisp, ambrosia, you name it! Apple pie, caramel apples, apple turnovers, apple cider, applesauce, apple chips, and of course, fresh, crisp, juicy raw apples. Last weekend we drove about an hour and a half to Kiyokawa Orchards in Mt Hood, Oregon. It was a clear, blue, sunny day and we were able to see THREE mountains from the rows of apple trees in the orchard! It was the most picturesque place for apple picking by the mountains that you could ever dream of. We had so much fun, and I made delicious & healthy apple chips to eat up a good chunk of our hoard of apples!
Apples of All Shapes & Sizes
There are so many more varieties of apples than the infinitesimally limited selection at the grocery store. We picked an apple that was the size of my head and an apple that was the size of my fingernail! And the diversity of flavor – wow! Each apple is somewhere on the gradient of sweet to sour, each one giving you a unique taste that is so delicious, fresh and joyfully celebrating Autumn.
Bridge of the Gods
After picking a giant heap of apples all morning, we stopped on the way home to grab some burgers and fries. There’s a bridge on I-84 in the Columbia Gorge that connects Oregon and Washington. It’s called Bridge of the Gods. It had a Hollywood cameo in the movie Wild, when Reese Witherspoon walked across it while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a bridge in a breathtaking location – a perfect spot to devour a midday meal. 😉
Now, what do to with all these delicious apples?! There are a ton of recipes out there for enjoying apples. One of my favorite ways to eat up apples is to make apple chips! They’re as addictive as potato chips, but so much healthier! They have zero added sugar or oil.
It took several batches to get the recipe perfect. The first time I made apple chips, they ended up really chewy, more like apple jerky. And my ratio of spices was way off, because each bite was like a mini cinnamon challenge. My second batch didn’t include rotating the baking sheet after the first hour, so the front apple chips were perfect, but the ones at the back of the oven got burnt. But practice makes perfect! Follow my recipe below for the perfect crispy apple chips. And I hope you get to make your way to go apple picking by the mountains! <3
Warning: no matter how many you make, you will find it hard to save these apple chips for later, because they are so gosh darn tasty! Eat them like chips, or mix them in with granola or adventure trail mix!
Simple, Healthy, Crunchy Apple Chips
- 3 medium apples
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- Preheat the oven to 250° F.
- Using a mandolin, slice the apples from the bottom to the top on the ⅛ setting. You can also use a knife to slice them, but a mandolin will help make the slices more even, so they will bake more evenly in the oven. Lay out all the apple slices on two baking sheets so they aren't overlapping.
- Mix together the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle the apple slices on both sides with you spice mixture. You can press the spices into the apple slices so the juice of the apples will absorb the spices better.
- Bake the apple slices for one hour. After an hour, take the baking sheets out of the oven and flip over all the apple slices.Place the baking trays back in the oven, rotated 180° degrees, so the apple slices that were at the back of the oven are now at the front. This will help them bake more evenly, since the back of the oven is always hotter than the front of the oven.
- Bake your apple slices another hour. Check them often during the last 15 minutes of baking on this second side, and pull out any smaller slices to avoid them from being burnt. Enjoy right away or seal your crispy, crunchy apple chips in an airtight container.