Tag Archives: apples

Super Simple Fruit Leather

fruit leather

Summer is winding down and fall is right around the corner.  I cannot wait for the pumpkin spice lattes to start flowing in about a week!  I don’t know about you, but this is also the time of year that the overabundance of gardens start to show up at work.  You know – zucchinis showing up in your car if you leave your window open while running in to the grocery store, tomatoes and cucumbers left in the breakroom, peaches and pears at their peak flavor.  Well, if you have an abundance, what can you do with it that doesn’t involve too much work?  Fruit leather, my friends!

I was a little sneaky and made Fruit (and veggie) Leather for my kids.  They didn’t even know.  Not that they would complain – they can only say about 8 words each.  😉

The recipe here is more of a guideline than a strict recipe.  You could add any combo of veggies and/or fruit you want!  But there are a few key points to remember:

  • I ALWAYS bring my mixture to a boil before drying.  Better to kill any stray bacteria you can.  Die, buggies, DIE!!
  • Dry until the leather is no longer sticky to the touch.  That means enough water has evaporated, and no water means less of a chance of spoilage.
  • Technically, you could store the stuff at room temp, tightly wrapped, for a couple of weeks.  I like to store mine in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped.

What can you do with fruit leather other than eat it straight up?  Cut it up and put it in your oatmeal, your favorite trail mix, homemade granola, add it to cookies and cakes, etc.  Or you could soak it in a little hot water until it dissolves for baby food.  Or so all the dehydrating books say…

Super Simple Fruit Leather

  • 5 cups fruit/veggie puree – peel fruit like peaches, pears, and apples
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of your fruit/veggie puree)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Place puree, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a saucepan on the stove.  Bring to a low boil, and let boil gently for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets or extra wide plastic wrap over your food dehydrator tray.  Be sure not to block the airflow around the tray with plastic wrap.
  3. Spray the parchment paper or plastic wrap with cooking spray.
  4. Ladle the puree onto the prepared trays.  It should be about 1/4 inch thick on each tray and should fill about 2 trays.
  5. Place in a 130°F oven or food dehydrator set at 145°F.  WALK AWAY.
  6. Allow to cook/dry for 8-12 hours, or until no longer sticky.
  7. Gently lift the parchment paper or plastic wrap off the cookie sheet/tray.
  8. Cut into strips or shapes with kitchen shears – wrap each piece well with plastic wrap.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temp or in the fridge.

I made 3 different combinations this weekend:

  • 2 cups pureed cooked carrots and 3 cups pureed peaches
  • 1 cup plums, 2 cups nectarines, and 2 cups peaches
  • 1 cup blueberries, 4 cups grapes
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Monkey Fruit Salad

monkeyfruitsalad

I have an obsession with monkeys.  We’re decorating the nursery in Monkeys for the twins!  We have monkey sheets, monkey outfits, monkey blankets, monkey quilts, a monkey diaper bag… yep.  Monkeys everywhere!

And what do monkeys eat?  Fruit.  And what has this preggo lady been craving?  FRUIT!  I love this salad.  It’s simple, keeps for a few days in the fridge, and is super healthy for me and my babies.  Sometimes I even add a dollop of whipped cream to make it a bit more indulgent.

Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2014!

Monkey Fruit Salad

  • 1 (15 oz. can) pineapple chunks- drain and reserve 1/4 cup juice
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into chunks (I used Gala)
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup red or green grapes, halved
  • whipped cream for topping (optional)
  1. Put all the fruit in a bowl.  Drizzle with reserved pineapple juice, and stir well to coat.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.
  2. To serve, spoon fruit into a bowl and add a dollop of whipped cream!

This fruit also makes a great smoothie combo.  Just combine in a blender with some plain or vanilla yogurt and ice.  YUM!!

Feeling Ambitious– Refried Beans, Applesauce, and Zucchini Bread!

Tyson came for the long weekend (Labor Day Weekend). We had tons of fun! On Saturday, we looked at houses in Star, ID– and decided we still like Middleton. That night, we had the neighbor over for a BBQ (grilled chicken, corn on the cob, etc.).
Sunday, we drove up to McCall. It was a busy little town! We stopped at My Father’s Place for hamburgers and fries (OMG!!) and ate at the lake watching the sailboats. Once we were done eating, we drove to Ponderosa State Park. It was great! They have a lot of hiking and biking trails there. We took the pups on a 90 minute hike. After the hike, we headed back to Payette. The pups were pooped!
Monday, Tyson left at 11am to go home. I went to Purdums (produce stand) and got inspired. When I got home, I made Refried Beans in the big crock pot, applesauce in the little crock pot, and Zucchini Bread. They all turned out great! The Refried Beans recipe is from Sherelle Christensen. I went to high school with her and she has one of my favorite blogs– with really yummy recipes! The Zucchini Bread recipe was from my neighbor Aimee Hughes. I tweaked it a bit. The applesauce recipe was just one I made up and it turned out great! The recipes are below. Hope y’all have a great week!
Fresh Applesauce
6-8 apples (I used 4 pink lady and 2 granny smith apples)
1 Tbl brown sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1. Core, peel and chop the apples. Place in the crock pot.
2. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top. Stir well.
3. Cook on low for 8-9 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Use a potato masher to mash the apples to the desired consistency. Taste, and add more cinnamon and/or brown sugar if needed.
Refried Beans
5 cups dried pinto beans, picked through and rinsed well
5 slices bacon, halved
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalepeno, cut in half lengthwise
1 Tbl seasoning salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried garlic
2 Tbl. cumin
1 Tbl. chili powder
1. Place beans in a large pot and add water to cover them by one inch. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
2. Put the bacon, onion, and jalepeno in the crock pot. Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients. Add enought water to just cover. Stir well.
3. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Check the water level every couple of hours and add water as necessary. After 6 hours or so, remove bacon and jalepeno.
4. Let beans cool, then refry them!
5. To refry, put about a Tbl. of corn oil or vegetable oil in a pot. Add about 2 cups of drained beans and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. The cooking liquid from the beans can be added to thin out the mixture. Taste for seasoning, and cook on low, stirring often, until bubbly.
Zucchini Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2-1/4 cups white sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup sliced almonds
1. Grease and flour 2 8×4 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in Zucchini and nuts until well combined. Divide batter between the two prepared pans.
4. Bake for 60 minutes. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.
The bread will freeze well and keeps in the refrigerator for weeks. Enjoy!!