Cinnamon apple chips

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday complete with family, laughter, gifts (both giving and receiving), and food. I had all of the above in abundance this year, and my heart and belly are full.

I'm pumped to show off my new toy: this dehydrator. Ever since a Recipe Redux theme involving dehydrators earlier this year got me inspired to try drying anything and everything, I've been wanting a nifty gadget like this one that makes dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and more a breeze.

These apple chips are a very basic recipe, but they're easy and make a great snack. Wins all around.
To me, cinnamon is the essence of the colder months. Warm, sweet, and fragrant: precisely what I want when the weather is chilly and I'm craving the homey scents of the holidays. Fortunately for us, cinnamon is also loaded with health benefits. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties that work by inhibiting the release of arachindonic acid from cell membranes. Arachidonic acid is an inflammation-promoting fatty acid that, when released, activates a chain of messages that tells the body to create new platelets and clot blood. Cinnamon also boasts anti-microbial properties that allow it to act as a natural preservative. Cinnamon may help control blood sugar by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties, thus stunting the rise in blood sugar after eating (great if you have diabetes or are prone to blood sugar swing). Add a sprinkle to your oatmeal and your waffles. And make these apple chips.
Can't you smell the goodness?
Cinnamon apple chips
Makes 3 cups

4 sweet, crisp apples (fuji or gala work well)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Slice the apples in half lengthwise and cut out the cores. Thinly slice the cored apples crosswise with a mandolin, knife, or food processor.
  2. Transfer the sliced apples to a gallon ziploc bag, sprinkling with cinnamon as you go in order to coat the slices evenly. Close the ziploc bag and give the bag a good shake to distribute the cinnamon.
  3. For drying in a dehydrator: Arrange the apple slices on dehydrator trays and dry according to manufacturer instructions (mine took around 3 hours) until desired texture is reached. For softer apple slices, remove from the dehydrated when dried but pliable, and for crunchy apple slices, wait for a firmer texture. 
  4. For drying in an oven: Preheat oven to lowest setting, usually 180F. Arrange the apple slices on  baking sheets lined with parchment paper and dry in the oven for 1 hour. Flip the apple slices and return to the oven for 1 hour more for soft apples and 2 hours more for crunchy apples.
  5. Allow the dried apple slices to sit at room temperature for an hour before packing into airtight containers. 

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