The Challenge Starts Tomorrow! (and an apple & pear chip recipe)

Tomorrow’s the first big day of the challenge, so I want to take a moment to do a bit of housekeeping and updates…and share a recipe, for good measure.

Take the Pledge

I’m hoping that you’ve already signed the pledge.  But I know there are a few folks out there still on the fence… Well, now’s the time! Remember, I encourage you to define “unprocessed” however you see fit, to select any “deliberate exceptions” you may need, and to participate in a way that feels right to you.  You’ve got a lot to gain, and I can’t think of a single thing you might lose. Take the pledge!

Share the Pledge

Okay, great! Thanks for taking the pledge! Now, if you haven’t shared it with your friends — or even if you have! — now’s also the time to do that! The more people who take the pledge, the stronger we all become. And if your friends and family participate, it’s a lot more fun for you, too.

If you use these buttons, you won’t even have to leave this page:

The Guest Posts Start Tomorrow

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to be sharing three posts every day, one in each of three tracks: Recipes, D.I.Y./Ingredients/How-To, and “Food For Thought.”

There may be a bit of overlap here and there, but I promise you there’s something for everyone. If I can manage to pull this off gracefully, the posts will go up around 6am Eastern each morning, so even the early morning East Coast folks can check things out before breakfast. I’ll also set the email notifications to go out in the morning, so if you’ve subscribed to get new posts by email, you’ll get a summary and links to all three of the posts in one email each day.

Also, please support and encourage our guest authors! It’s a pretty incredible group of people, and none of them are being paid to write these posts. So if you like what they have to say, bookmark their websites, “Like” their Facebook pages, and Follow them on Twitter. I’ll provide links to all of that stuff in the intro for each post. Cool? Cool.


October Unprocessed Stickers are still available!  They’re high-quality, indoor/outdoor vinyl stickers, about 5″ wide by 4″ tall. Just $3 each (plus $1 shipping to USA/Canada, no matter how many you get).

And once you get your sticker, please slap it on something fun (your car, your reusable water bottle, your laptop, your husband’s bald spot…) and then just for fun, take a picture and post it on the Eating Rules Facebook Page for all to see.

Download The Official Guide

Yesterday we published The Official Guide to October Unprocessed 2012, compiled by yours truly and Stacy Spensley, certified holistic health coach from Center Stage Wellness. It’s a free PDF, with info about the challenge, tips & tricks to get started, answers to frequently asked questions, and tons of other resources. You can get it here.


Before this whirlwind month kicks off tomorrow, I’d like to take a moment to offer up some gratitude. This project wouldn’t be anything without the incredible support of all of you. It’s your enthusiasm and sharing about the challenge — on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on your blogs (and yes, in the Los Angeles Times) — that has gotten more than 4,000 people participating.

Moreover, the ninety folks who are writing guest posts are my personal heroes. They’re donating their time and expertise to contribute in a way that uplifts us all. So thank you all for taking this journey and embracing this challenge. I truly believe that we’re changing the world, one bite at a time.

Bonus Recipe!

Yesterday was our monthly Food Bloggers Los Angeles meeting — it’s a chance for fellow food bloggers to get together, share some food, and do some bloggy shop-talk. It’s always a potluck, and there’s usually a common theme – this one was “Apples & Pears,” as we’re in the height of the season.  Since I’m scrambling to keep all the October Unprocessed plates spinning (so to speak), I needed something extremely quick and easy.

I recently borrowed my mom’s old food dehydrator (made in 1979!) and realized this was a perfect chance to use it. So I sliced up some fruit, set it in the dehydrator, and got back to work. (Truth be told, I was actually on the phone while I was doing most of the slicing.) Couldn’t have been much easier, and you’ve got to love the ingredients.

Dried Apple & Pear Chips
Recipe Type: Snack
I made this recipe with four apples and two pears, as that was about as much as I could get in the dehydrator. That made about 4 ounces of dried fruit (it's amazing how much they shrink!), which didn't look like much, but was actually a nice amount (that's what's pictured at the top of the post). The fruit should be ripe, but not mushy.
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • 4 cups water
  • Approx. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Cinnamon or other spices, optional
  1. Wash the fruit and set aside. Add the water and lemon juice to a large bowl.
  2. For each apple, remove the core with an apple corer or small paring knife. Turn the apple on its side, and slice into ¼" rings. As soon as they're sliced, place in the bowl of acidified water. This helps keep them from turning brown.
  3. For each pear, you can repeat the coring process -- though I sliced them in half (from top to bottom), and then cut out the core, and cut them into half-rounds instead. Add them to the water, too.
  4. Optionally, dust them with ground cinnamon or other spices (nutmeg? clove?).
  5. If you're lucky enough to have your parents' dehydrator, lay the fruit in a single layer on the trays in the dehydrator. Cover, turn it on, and walk away. Come back in four hours and check on things -- it'll probably take a total of 6 to 10 hours. You may need to remove some sooner than others.
  6. You can also dry these in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the slices flat on top. Bake at the lowest setting your oven will go (about 175-200), for approximately 2 to 6 hours (depending on the temperature and how thick you've sliced them). Just keep an eye on them every couple of hours; you may need to remove some sooner than others.
I learned the hard way that an apple corer would be really helpful -- it took me about five times longer because I had to use a paring knife (and it wasn't pretty). I also don't have a mandoline slicer, so I just did the best I could do keep the thickness of the slices as even as possible. It doesn't really matter if they're a bit uneven, though you'll have to keep a closer eye on them because some will finish sooner than others.

, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

17 Comments on "The Challenge Starts Tomorrow! (and an apple & pear chip recipe)"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Dorothy Reinhold
September 30, 2012 8:46 am

Your apple and pear chips turned out perfectly!

October 2, 2012 8:57 am

Dried powdered ginger on the pear slices… mmmmmm good!

September 30, 2012 9:29 am

We be ready for tomorrow here in San Diego…

Shelley MacLellan
Shelley MacLellan
September 30, 2012 11:34 am

They look delicious! I am going to see if I can round up one of these old dehydrators on Craigslist!

Mary Papoulias-Platis
September 30, 2012 11:47 am

My first simple treat for October- thanks for the snack idea!

Deena @ stay at home FOODIE
September 30, 2012 6:02 pm

So bummed I missed the meeting – especially if those chips were on the menu!

September 30, 2012 6:16 pm

My apple chips are in the dehydrator now. What perfect timing because we were at the apple orchard on Saturday!! 🙂

September 30, 2012 7:27 pm

I am ready for tomorrow. I have stocked the fridge with hard boiled eggs, cooked chicken breast, cut up veggies, and fresh fruit. I also have some cooked brown rice in the freezer. Looking forward to a great challenge.

Jean Layton
September 30, 2012 8:10 pm

Looking forward to starting up tomorrow. Wish we lived closer, I would have lent you my spiral apple corer/slicer.
These look amazing!

Tiphany Zellers
Tiphany Zellers
October 1, 2012 7:18 am

Awesome place for more information and recipes! Love the granola one!

October 1, 2012 10:46 am

Here’s where I play the part of annoying commenter and ask: what if you don’t have a dehydrator?

I’m guessing if you don’t this recipe is a no go but I love apple chips so I thought I would ask just in case.

October 1, 2012 10:54 am

I am getting apples in my CSA box this week, so plan to try the oven method on Thursday. Is the best way to store them in a sealed container at room temp?

October 3, 2012 4:16 am

Pampered Chef makes a tray that use can use to make “chips” in the microwave…apple, potatoe, etc. Basically these but faster…and nice for those of us who don’t have a dehydrator.

Skylor @sproutlifestyle
October 4, 2012 11:47 am

You are kind of my hero. October is going to be such an awesome month on this website. Looking forward to being here!!