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Want a no-guilt treat? Try persimmon chips

Finally, here’s a guilt-free treat for last-minute holiday “bakers”: Persimmon chips.

This idea satisfies two cravings: Something sweet and a little crunchy. It’s a tasty alternative to cookies and candy — and kids like these chips, too.

Sliced thin enough, persimmon chips taste similar to oven-baked sweet potato chips. One large persimmon — about 70 calories — can yield a dozen chips. No oil is necessary, so no fat. Plus persimmons are high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and fiber. (And it’s a serving of fruit!)

All you need: One or two Fuyu persimmons (the flat kind), parchment paper, a cookie sheet, sharp knife and a hot oven. Cinnamon is optional, but adds to the holiday appeal — and makes the house smell great while baking.

Use a crisp but ripe Fuyu for crisper chips; softer fruit yields slightly leathery chips (which still are very tasty). Totally ripe persimmons (like a sack of jelly) are impossible to slice, so save those for pudding (or cookies).

The key to making these chips is to slice the persimmon as thin as possible; less than an eighth inch thick is ideal. No peeling is necessary.

Persimmon chips

Makes about 2 dozen chips.

INGREDIENTS

2 Fuyu persimmons, well washed

Parchment paper

Cinnamon (optional) to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove stem end of persimmon and any seeds. Turn fruit on side. With a sharp knife, slice off flat end. Make very thin crosswise slices, under an eighth inch in thickness.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place slices on paper, spaced slightly apart so none overlap. Sprinkle the slices with dashes of cinnamon, if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sides of the chips begin to curl. Turn the slices over and return to oven. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and let cool.

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