In just a few weeks, I will start teaching cooking at a Hebrew school in St. Louis. My only other experience with Hebrew school was teaching during high school, which was not my greatest success.
Now several years older and wiser, I’m hoping that I can handle the job. One of the challenges that I’m faced with is that I come with “baggage.” As a natural foods chef, I refuse to use partially hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, or food colorings in my curriculum. These ubiquitous ingredients seem to be the standard fare in the modern Hebrew school classroom, even though many parents don’t allow those foods in their own homes.
I will spend this year working to create fun and interesting foods and food-related activities for the kids that are both Jewish and healthy. One of my favorite simple fall treats is homemade apple chips. This is a great activity during Sukkot, especially if you can take the kids apple picking first! If you have a dehydrator, it’s even easier, though the recipe below calls for an oven.
Homemade Apple Chips
4 medium-large apples (approx 1.5 pounds)
1 quart unfiltered apple juice or cider
2 cinnamon sticks
1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees
2) Combine apple juice and cinnamon sticks in a large pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
3) While the juice is heating up, slice apples (no need to peel) - either slice on a mandoline, or with a sharp knife. I like them through the core so that you see the star shape where the seeds were. This part of the activity is best left to an adult, not a child.
4) Once the juice comes to a boil, add the apple slices and stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
5) Take out of the pot with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels or clean kitchen towels to absorb extra juice.
6) Spread the slices in a single layer on wire cooling racks and place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until light golden brown. If you don’t have cooling racks, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and flip after 15-20 minutes.
7) Let cool completely and enjoy! Store in an airtight container if you have any leftovers.