I spent some time this week trying to think up healthy snacks for work. It didn’t last too long, because yummy snacks are much more fun than healthy snacks!
I’d tried some dried oranges covered in dark chocolate before, and decided to recreate the recipe. They’re healthy – more or less. Oranges, chocolate and almonds are good, right?
I began by pre-heating the oven to 95 degrees celsius (about 200 degrees fahrenheit), and sliced 6 oranges into the thinnest, most even slices I could manage.
I put the slices on an oven tray with baking paper, and put them in the oven for 3-4 hours. I propped the oven door open about an inch or so with a wooden spoon to let the moisture escape. I turned the slices every half hour or so, to make sure they dried on both sides.
The oranges should not go brown at all – they will be done when they have shrivelled and dried, and are no longer soft to the touch. Bear in mind though that they will harden up a bit as they dry also.
This process can also be done in a dehydrator, if you have one. I’ve never actually seen one, so I’m afraid I can’t give you any instructions!
Once I removed the oranges from the oven and let them cool, I cut them in half and melted some 70% cocoa dark chocolate to dip them in. Melting chocolate can be difficult – if you heat it too much, it will become unusable. I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, with a dash of olive oil, and then stirred it before adding some more chocolate and putting it on for another 30 seconds.
I dipped the slices and sat them to dry on a plate. I sprinkled some crushed almonds on the melted chocolate for a bit of an extra crunch.
I was really pleased with how they turned out – the crunchiest orange slices were the best, and the dark chocolate counteracted the bitterness of the orange peel, which, incidentally, is where most of the nutrition of an orange is located. So now I have a somewhat healthy and extremely delectable snack, and I’ll tell you, it’s a good thing I like them, because six oranges makes quite a few orange pieces!