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Going bananas

17 Jan

Time spent with the family, the lack of internet access and the almost constantly overcast sky meant that I have neglected the blog for a while.  I must say that I really miss it!  And then when I was finally ready to blog again, my DSLR died on me.  Sniff!  I felt so crippled without my camera.  Who food blogs without a camera?  Who can?  That was enough to make me go bananas.

Anyhow, the hubs bought 2kg of bananas for $1.  We all know what that means –  Bananas that have to be eaten or used ASAP.  The family suggested banana chips in a bid to be helpful.  The banana chips that we were familiar with are deep fried (in oil used goodness knows how many times) and coated with sugar.  I was aiming for something a little healthier.  So I opted for baking them.  Each tray was finished even before the next tray was in.  Highly addictive but highly labor intensive.  So the rest of the bananas have to be used in a different way – let me know if you have any ideas?  My fall back plan is always muffins.

Banana chips

Ingredients

Ripe bananas

Olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Slice banana into 2mm slices and lay on an oiled baking tray.
  3. Spray or drizzle some olive oil over banana slices.
  4. Put into oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Take out and allow to cool on a cooling rack before placing in bottles.

Tips

  1. It is easier to slice the banana at an angle to get larger pieces to save some time.
  2. The riper the banana, the softer it is and more difficult it is to handle but the sweeter the chips.  You have been warned.
  3. The riper the banana, the browner the chips will be as the sugars caramelize.
  4. The riper the banana, the more likely it is to burn.  If that is the case, turn the temperature down a little and take out when the chips are hard.  It will cool to a crisp.
  5. You can toss with honey and nutmeg.  But honestly, they are so good plain, I just don’t bother.
  6. Raw bananas can be substituted but I find them rather tasteless, necessitating the addition of honey and such.  Also, there is a slimy after feel when being handled before cooking which I dislike.
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Apple Chips

21 Nov

Apple chips

Potato chips are the most common kind of chips that’s available in the supermarket.  But with healthy living, the fruit chips such as apples and pears are becoming more common.  Not that they are actually very healthy per se.  A look down the list of ingredients, underlines this fact.  And in Singapore, there’s even a “censorship” of the word healthy on the package by way of a black marker over the word on the package!

We’ve been consuming a fair bit of chips at night.  A terrible habit.  Adds to the waist line.  But with the cold weather, one does tend to want to eat almost constantly.  Or at least, I do.  The potato chips are really yummy but the sodium load! HORRORS!

I could make potato chips but I figured, that’s too common.  Why not try apple chips?  If you want to go through the trouble of making something, it should be something that everyone goes WOW!, right? Haha…

With the Granny Smiths I had left over from the market, I thought a small experiment would be possible.  Afterall, I had all the ingredients in hand.  No mandolin.  Who needs one when you have a chopper (meat cleaver) to do the job?

The verdict?  Very simple to do.  Time consuming in terms of oven time.  But at least you get to dictate the amount of sugar and there are no preservatives!  It was so good I couldn’t wait and took a photo with the lousy lighting we have so that I could just finish it all off!

Apple Chips

(Adapted from Purple Foodie)

Ingredients

1 Granny Smith

1 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method

  1. Sharpen your knife if you don’t have a mandolin.
  2. Wash your apple and remove any stickers on it.
  3. Preheat the oven to 80 degrees celsius.
  4. Core the apple. You could skin your apple but I was lazy.
  5. Place lemon juice with 60ml of cold water.
  6. Slice apple thinly and place the slices into the water.
  7. Drain slices of apple and remove excess water.
  8. Line baking tray with parchment paper and place slices on the tray.  Sprinkle sugar over the slices.
  9. Bake the slices for 1.5 – 2 hours until crisp.
  10. Sprinkle cinnamon powder over the chips once they’ve cooled out of the oven.

Tips

  1. If appearance is not of the utmost importance, I find that by slicing the apple parallel to the stem on both sides towards the core the fastest way.  Stop at the core and turn the apple 90 degrees and slice the other 2 sides.  You will end up with a square core.
  2. A sharp knife really replaces a mandolin.  If you don’t have a knife sharpener, use the bottom of a ceramic bowl and drag the knife edge across it at an angle like you would on a sharpening stone.  It works a treat.
  3. Paper thin slices are too thin and get stuck to the parchment paper.  I found 1.5 mm slices the best – easy to manage with the knife, doesn’t get stuck and it doesn’t take too long to get crisp.
  4. In the middle of baking, I actually open the oven door to let the steam out (although it drops the temperature of the oven)  and I loosen the chips off the parchment paper as the sugar tends to make the chips stick fast at the end.  You can even change the parchment paper if you.  Am considering just using a thin layer of oil on the pan and baking without the paper.
  5. Brown sugar gives a lovely caramel color.
  6. You can use red apples and omit the sugar.