Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Apple Chips


I hope everyone had a great Father's Day!  If you're not a dad, then I hope you did something special for the dad(s) in your life.

Much like the speech I gave you about moms, hopefully you make them feel special on a regular basis... but nonetheless Father's Day is a good excuse to go above & beyond!

I spent the day with both my dad & my father-in-law, which was great, and I will see my stepdad later this week.

Mr. V and I are not parents yet though, so there is no celebrating within our little family.

No, our only 'child' at this point is our little Senegal parrot, CJ.


She's technically Mr. V's parrot since his last year of high school, but when we moved in together I forced her to love me (for those of you that aren't familiar with parrots, they tend to be very fickle and do not enjoy new people).


Recently we decided that since CJ has had the same cage for about 13 years now, she deserves a new one.

We went to Petco and picked out a really awesome one that's way bigger and cooler than her old one.  And while we were there, I happened to see a book in the bird aisle specifically dedicated to her species.  Mr. V and I both picked up a copy to thumb through, and between the two of us, we noticed some shocking information.

For one, Mr. V always thought that her species only lives to be about 20 years old.  Meaning she's lived more than half of her typical lifespan already.

But what he didn't realize was that's for Senegal parrots in the wild.

In captivity, she could live for fifty years.

Fifty.

Five-zero.

Half a century.

Are you kidding me??

The second shocker came when we read that her favorite food (sunflower seeds) is about the worst thing for birds in large amounts due to the fat content.  But most parrots love them, and so they fill up on the sunflower seeds first & then they don't eat much of the other stuff which can eventually lead to health problems.

(Hmm, I can relate to that.)

The book said seeds should actually only make up a portion of their diet, and the rest should be fresh foods.

What?!?

This was news to us.

Apparently, we are dreadful 'parents'.

All this time we thought we were giving her a balanced diet with all the different seeds & nuts in the mix, but nooo.

In actuality, if she was a child, it would be like giving her platefuls of Oreos all day and then wondering why she didn't eat the brussel sprouts we put alongside them.

Now as I mentioned, parrots are fickle creatures.  So you can imagine that after 13 years of getting unlimited quantities of her favorite food, she has not exactly been eager to try new things.

We decided the only way to do it is to give her a small amount of seeds for part of the day, then take that bowl out and swap it with one chock full of fresh fruits & veggies mixed with a tiny sprinkling of the healthier seeds & nuts.

I diligently cut up a bunch of stuff in bite-sized pieces the first time we tried this, only to watch her lean her little bird eye over the dish, and then go off to the corner to sulk.

Eventually she got hungry enough to pick out a few things from amidst the fruits, but I am fairly certain it was more out of necessity than enjoyment.

This went on for a number of days.  When she was feeling really feisty, she would pick the items out of the bowl and throw them on the floor of the cage in defiance.

Then this past Saturday morning, I put in her bowl and walked away to help Mr. Vittles with something.  When I came back, I stuck my head in the cage to examine the bowl and see what, if anything, was nibbled.

Then I heard the bird chomping on something next to my ear.  I looked over, and noticed orange bits smeared all over her beak.


CARROTS.

Ah ha!  Success!

Just goes to show you healthy things can be delicious too.

Yeah, I know, apple chips are no Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Snickers Cookies

But they are still a yummy snack you can feel good about.  So bust out your mandoline & get to slicing!


Apple Chips

  • 2 large apples, cored (I used Red Delicious)
  • 2 T. sugar (optional)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • canola oil spray

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Thinly slice apples crosswise about 1/8-inch (2 mm) thick with a mandoline or sharp knife.  Arrange apple slices in a single layer on two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, and spray with canola oil cooking spray.

If using sugar, combine in a small bowl with cinnamon.  Put mixture into a sieve and sprinkle evenly over apple slices.

Bake in the top and bottom third of the oven until apples are dry and crisp, about 2 hours (mine took a little longer than that to get crisp, but I didn't use sugar).  Remove from oven and let ‘chips’ cool completely before transferring to a sealed container for up to 3 days.  Makes about 2 cups of apple chips.

Recipe Adapted Slightly from Ontario Apple Growers, via Snack Girl

68 comments:

  1. Your apple chips are gorgeous! And your whole post had me giggling...you are definitely not dreadful parents~

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  2. HA!! Love it! Apple chips look delicious! And no you are not bad parents!

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  3. My kids love apple chips. Yours look so pretty and delicate. CJ is gorgeous, I'll bet she would like to nibble on these too!

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  4. Oh I just love apple chips! They are especially delicious with a sweet yogurt dip. Great recipe!

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  5. I've been looking for an good apple chip recipe for a long time. It's nice to find one that is easy and doesn't use copious amounts of sugar. Thanks! I'll be trying this ASAP!

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  6. Oh I loved reading about your birdie. 50 years?!! She(?) still has plenty of time to change her ways :P The apple chips look pretty good too :P

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  7. Ah, parenting. So much can be forgiven if your intentions were good...which they were :-) And you know what...I watched this program on a girl that had eaten nothing but chips and ketchup for every meal for three years, and she was doing just fine.

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  8. Please deliver more parrot news. I laughed so hard and the photos speak volumes. I'd love to hear more about your adventures in bonding and fresh food feedings. Haha! Your apple chips made my jaw drop. They look amazing. I'd love to give these a try and soon. Yummy!

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  9. Such a cute post. :) I love the pics.

    These apple slices make a great snack.

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  10. I always find myself buying these at the market, but I would feel s much better making them myself!

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  11. @Juanita Oh my goodness!! Haha was it because that's all she likes, or was it some kind of experiment? That does make me feel better though :)

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  12. Oh wow, beautiful picture and they look so easy to make :)

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  13. Mmmmm..... love apples, haven't made these in a while... thanks for the reminder!! Maybe my son will want to eat apples again?? I've linked over from the WhipperBerry Friday Flair where I've linked up too, I'd love it if you'd pop on over.
    Hugs, antonella :-)
    http://quilling.blogspot.com/2011/06/wondrous-wednesday-patriotic-printable.html

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  14. Those chips sound so good and I just love your pictures! I'm your newest follower. Also, every Wedesnday I host a recipe spotlight where you can come and show off your best recipes. I'd love for you to stop by!

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  15. I love apple chips. Thanks for teaching me to make them. They are so fantastic on salads. I'm going to go make some right now. Okay, maybe not this second, but tonight. Definitely tonight. :)

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  16. That was an interesting read :) 50 years! Really? wow... This apple chips idea is so great... I just HAVE to try it... Thank you for sharing!

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  17. Those apple chips look yummy. Its great to have a healthy snack that is a little bit different. Definitely gonna try and make these myself.

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  18. Your apple chips are gorgeous! And your whole post had me giggling. you are definitely not dreadful parents.

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  19. CJ is such a cute little bird! And I don't think you are dreadful parents either. Your apple chips look gorgeous - isn't it lovely when something that is good for you looks so good and tastes good too! Thank you for sharing them with the Hearth and Soul blog hop.

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  20. These apple chips look *so* good! And I had to comment. I too am a bird person - we have a gold capped conure named Kiwi. You are so right about birds being finicky.. Although my husband brough her home, Kiwi wants me & ME ALONE. Love your blog! I'm following now on twitter so I don't miss a post. Happy weekend!

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  21. Hi,
    I like the concept of apple Chips. Really very easy to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe..

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  22. I could tell that we’re on the same interest and obsession. Good to know someone I could share my ideas. Looking forward to know and learn some more from you. I'll be glad to share my own thoughts to you soon. Thank you for sharing such valuable articles. More power!

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  23. Wow, these pictures bring back memories! We used to have a brown-headed parrot (same family as CJ), and a quaker, and I remember all too well those days of 20 minutes just to get the food bowls filled, they ate so many different things! My BHP *loved* unshelled pinenuts, and the quaker was a big fan of Life cereal. Oh, I miss those days. :)

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  24. These look amazing! I have had them flagged on Pinterest for awhile now, and I think I am finally going to make them this weekend! Thanks for sharing :)

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  25. Great post.... thanks for sharing all. awesome. :)

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  26. We have a parrot also & when we bought it they said feed it anything you eat besides avocado & chocolate (both deadly) ours begs like a dog at dinner time & will get whatever meat we are eating. They said for thanksgiving give them a bite of each thing you are eating. Enough about birds. Love apple chips thank you for posting this

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  27. @cindi Wow that's amazing, I never knew parrots were interested in meat! Ours is pretty picky but I guess we could give it a try :)

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  28. I got a bird by marriage as well. I can totally relate! Our bird also throws food at me when he gets mad. Just wait until your bird likes food and then squawks non-stop during meals because he wants food too! It's great. haha. It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact I could have this bird when I retire. I'm 29. lmao

    I can't wait to try the apple chips!

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  29. I am trying these out today! thanks for the recipe. new follower!

    kathryn
    www.thedragonsfairytail.blogspot.com

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  30. I made them the second I saw this recipe but with green apples... deeeelish!! Thanks =>

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  31. Yummy! Has anyone tried doing these without the sugar and cinnamon?

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  32. @Anonymous I did not use sugar on mine (as I noted above), but I did use cinnamon. Give it a try though if you want, I'm sure they'll still turn out well!

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  33. Found this from Where Women Cook. Have some in the oven right now. Trying it with Granny Smiths because that's what I have. Thanks!

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  34. Yum! I'm going to make these tomorrow! Perfect snack food for my toddler if I go easy on the sugar. Thanks!

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  35. I loved your story about CJ. Fifty years! My goodness. But at this moment I would love a pet that would live that long. *S* I came here for your recipe and got a good story too. I have found a few other recipes that I will have to try also. Thanks again for the story.

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    1. Sorry, thought my name would be on the comment. It's Cyndi. I'll have to add that add.

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  36. Have you tried this same technique with sweet potatoes? I want crispy chips without the frying!

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    1. No I haven't but that would be awesome if they turned out crispy in the oven! It's a different consistency so I'm not sure how they would turn out, but it's worth a try!

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  37. Since these have to bake for so long, this will be a perfect recipe to try in our solar oven!

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  38. A tip from a fellow bird lover. Try fresh broccoli and corn on the cob. Neither one needs to be cooked. The birds have fun eating them because its like taking it apart. Birds are very inquisitive and enjoy moving parts.

    P.S. I love apple chips and cooking them makes my whole house smell wonderful. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the tips Cassey! Our bird doesn't like broccoli, but I never thought of corn on the cob. I'm sure that would be fun for her!

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  39. I've made these twice but they don't crisp up at all! Still yummy but more like a dried apple ring, not a chip. Any hints?

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    1. Yes, I would recommend either leaving them in the oven longer or slicing them a bit thinner. Or both :) You'll just have to watch them periodically in the oven so they don't burn.

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  40. Enjoyed your parrot stories. I had an Amazon parrot for 30 years and one day I found him dead on the bottom of his cage. I was shocked since I figured I had at least 20 more years with him. A consulted a vet who is a parrot specialist and after telling him i fed him 'healthy' store bought parrot seed mix and vitamins' he informed me that the sunflowers he mostly ate out of it were the equivilent of feeding him Macdonald's burgers every day for 30 years! He also warned me that the peanuts in the mix were in there shells and they can become highly toxic with bacteria if not stored and kept dry properly. My new 2 yr old African Grey gets mostly fresh veggies and fruit, and then some 'Nutriberries' that contain dried fruit and small seeds, (no sunflower or peanuts).... Your apple chips and zucchini chips will be a new treat for him (minus the sugar). thanks for the info.

    Diane

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  41. Just wanted to say your parrot is adorable. :3

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    Replies
    1. Aww thank you Kiyenna :) She's definitely a cutie!

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  42. Zucchini chips are in the oven now. I was exploring your other recipes and found your bird story. Thanks for wanting to be better bird parents! I will be trying apple chips soon!

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  43. Love your bird story. I have a cockatiel and they sound just alike. Parrots will be parrots. They eat what they want and toss the rest. Good for you for standing your ground. I don't know if I could do that. I hope she is enjoying all the good fresh food you give her now. She's really cute. I'm getting ready to the try the apples and zucchini. Thanks for the receipies. Penni

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  44. Love your bird story and the apples look delish however, I burned mine seriously just now.Do you mean 200 F or 200 C ?

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    Replies
    1. F! I live in the US, so all my recipes are Fahrenheit! Sorry for the confusion :(

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    2. Ahhhh, thank you :) Apple Chips-part 2, in the oven...at the proper temperature this time: )

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  45. I plan to make something like this today with my apples!

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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  46. Your apples sound wonderful and delicious! I shared your recipe on my blog.

    http://thesweetestmemoryblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/apples-awesome-recipes-and-snacks.html

    Thank you, Kari
    the Sweetest Memory

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  47. Pampered chef has a microwave chip maker out there that would cook these in 4 minutes and they would be crunchy! Yum!

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  48. I tried this recipe and it took a LOT longer than 2 hours and after 4 I just gave up. They were crispy right out of the overn but then once they hit the air they weren't crispy anymore. After two attempts I decided it was easier just to eat the apple!

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  49. Hi, Thanks very much sharing such an amazing information... Keep posting.

    Regards,
    Generic Viagra

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  50. These look wonderful! I've been pinned it: http://pinterest.com/bethanyatlhb/

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  51. Great post! I'll be trying the apple chips for my birds and an extra apple for me to snack on. I'm going to need an extra pan.... I have thirteen birds!!! My conures love apples and sweet potato, fresh celery in the summer and corn on the cob is a giant favorite. I still wash the corn well and dip the pieces in very hot water to make sure I kill any bacteria but not the sweet potato... I wash those well and peel the skin off and do slices. The two big birds... both amazons are quite fond of red bell pepper and most anything else. They love banana too. I think I'll be making an assortment of chips! Really hard to pick a favorite bird here. I love them them all! Though I have to say, Henry... a yellow nape amazon can make me bust a gut laughing when he says " YUM YUM!!! Parrot... tastes like CHICKEN!!!" :-)

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  52. I've got some in the oven right now... The house is smelling YUMMY!!

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  53. My first "real" bird was a senegal. She was the bird I would introduce to everyone because she would go to anyone and do tricks for them as well. When we first got her she would hiss and nip at us, even though she was just weaned. We worked hard with her and she really became a lover to all people. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your little friend. Our little girl died when she was 15 years old and we miss her so so much. Seeing your little pet made my heart squeeze. I was close friends with a woman who's hubby researched south American parrot nutrition, going as far as to the rain forests to study several times a year. You're on the right track! Keep going.

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  54. I enjoyed your story about your Senegal. I am now mom to a male Eclectus who may live to 85...he's only 2 1/2 now! He has really inspired me to eat healthy. I make him a salad every morning with every vegetable and fruit imaginable! While I have everything out of the fridge, I fill my Vitamix and blend it up for me. I get a powerhouse of nutrition in my "green drink" with little extra effort. BTW, he likes me better than my husband BECAUSE I feed him! :P Glad to see you're bonding well and wish you a long happy life together. Thank you for the apple chips recipe. I think I'll make those today!

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  55. Hello;
    Thank you for this recipe. I have found that I prefer a thicker apple chip (one more like dried pineapple or such - - chewy without being sloppy), but I am at a loss as to where to buy or how to make them. Can I just cut the slices thicker? Will they keep as well as the thinner chips? Will I need to refrigerate them? I appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you.

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    1. I think you are looking for dried apple rings, not apple chips... those are chewier. I have never made them personally, but here is a recipe I found on the internet that you might want to check out: http://www.buttercreambarbie.com/2011/07/dried-apple-rings.html

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  56. Hi,

    Sorry for the stupid question, but is that 200 in fahrenheit or celsius?

    Helen

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  57. Ok my parrot loves corn on the cob raw, loves banana, likes carrots, likes vanilla cookies, likes papaya, likes ripe mango. just don't give them chocolate because its poison to them.
    Love the recipe-

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I love reading your comments!

If you have a question or problem you can also feel free to email me at vittlesandbits@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting :)

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