It’s that time of year again where I begin allergy-free cooking in my son’s classroom! This year we have a few highly severe nut allergies who are sensitive to touch, so while I am well-versed in allergy-free cooking, it is extra stressful making sure I keep these children absolutely safe! Fortunately, I am confident that I can (1) create a fabulous allergy-free cooking program that the kids will learn from as it ties to the curriculum, (2) have fun as we create new foods, (3) teach them to enjoy healthy, nutritious, unprocessed snacks, and (4) keep all of the allergy-free kids perfectly safe!
The first cooking lesson began with Apple Chips. The students were learning about Now and Long Ago, so they compared what we do today to what we did 100 years ago. (Sidebar: Brody told his teacher that his grandma would be 101 years old on Halloween this year, and she asked if he could bring her in! I thought that was the cutest thing — taking my adorable grandma to Brody’s school, so kids could ask her about her age.)
Mandoline by Pampered Chef
I chose to make Apple Chips because I could show the students what an antique apple peeler/corer/slicer looked like, and we could use one in class. We also used a mandoline and apple corer and said that they also used them 100 years ago. Below are the modern-day tools we used in our classroom:We used the dehydrator to make the Apple Chips, so I could compare them to the way that fruit used to be sun-dried in order to preserve it. I also baked a batch in the oven for the sake of comparison. Each student had their own preference for dehydrated Apple Chips, which made them soft, or baked Apple Chips, which made them crunchy. Here are recipes for both.
Watching the Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer in action.
Apple Chips – Crispy & Crunchy (raw, vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free)
- 2 ripe (but not soft) apples
- optional: cinnamon
- Parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray
Raw apples spread out on the sheet.
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
2. Slice the apples very thinly using a knife, mandoline, or apple peeler/corer/slicer. I prefer using a mandolin for the most uniformly sized slices.
3. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, or cover it with parchment paper to prevent the apples from sticking.
4. Spread the apples out evenly on the baking sheet. Optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the apples reach your desired crunchiness.
Apple Chips – Soft & Chewy (raw, vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, tree nut-free, peanut-free)
- 2 ripe (but not soft) apples
1. Slice the apples very thinly using a knife, mandoline, or apple peeler/corer/slicer. I prefer using a mandolin for the most uniformly sized slices.
2. Spread the apples out evenly on a dehydrator sheet. Optional: Sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 15 hours or until the apples reach your desired texture.
Dehydrated apples after 15 hours of low heat.
Next up: Teaching the students that every part of our food can be reused! Making homemade Apple Cider Vinegar with the left over cores and peels!