My friends are a kind and generous bunch! They are constantly giving me gifts–beyond the gift of friendship! My friends supply me with a constant supply of treats. I went out to lunch with two of my best girls friends the other day, and came home with a gift box of mango’s! Sweet, delicious, and ultra creamy, I did not want them to go to waste, before we got the chance to eat them all. One of my favorite dried fruits to eat, besides pineapple rings, is dried mango. But it’s so hard to find mango’s that have not been soaked in sugar. The best thing about making these yourself, is that you don’t have to worry about that. Page loved these treats even more than I did, I cut them into bite size pieces with a pastry cutter after they were done. You could also use a pizza cutter.
6 mango’s, skin and pits removed
Directions: Place mango in blender:
Blend until smooth.
Pour out onto parchment paper and smooth out evenly.
Place in oven, or dehydrator on 135 degrees Fahrenheit, or the lowest setting on your oven, for 6-8 hours.
One of my favorite ways to use ripe fruit is by making fruit roll-ups. In my opinion it’s the best way to use fully ripe fruit, because the fruit is ripe, it’s very sweet, and that means that you don’t have to add sugar to make these fruit roll-ups great. Additionally fruit roll-ups are so super easy to make and a great way to reinvent a fruit that you have an abundance of. I have dehydrator, but these can be done in an oven. Just set your oven to 150 or the lowest possible setting. If you don’t own a dehydrator yet, I suggest that you get one, they are really inexpensive around $40-$50 on the lower end–these work fine, and $299 on the higher end. But they are so useful! At the least you’ll be able to make some of my favorite fruit roll-up recipes like: Tropical punch fruit roll-ups, pineapple fruit roll-up, Strawberry-apple fruit roll-ups or strawberry fruit roll-ups.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 4-6 hours
5 ripe pears
Directions: Quarter the pairs and remove the core. Add cored pears to a blender,
Blend until smooth.
Pour the pear puree out onto a piece of parchment paper or a silpat, and smooth out into a thin layer.
Place in a dehydrator on 134F for 4-6 hours.
Alternatively you can place the parchment paper or silpat on a cookie sheet and place in the oven on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.
How to make Homemade Orange Creamsicles–How to make Half and Half bars
Watch my How to Video above, there is a cameo appearance by my daughter Page
Another favorite frozen treat of mine when I was a little girl was orange creamsicles. We used to call them half and half bars, because that’s exactly what they were, half juice pop and half cream center. Whatever you call them, I think we can all agree that they are super delicious. Unfortunately creamsicles are not made the way they used to be made, they have a ton of ingredients in the boxed versions in the store, none of which contain real juice or cream. This recipe takes care of that. I used freshly squeezed orange juice for these, but if you can find some fresh juice in the store that does not have added sugar and preservatives, then go for it. If you decide to squeeze the juice yourself, just make sure that the oranges that you’re using are very sweet, that way you don’t have to add sugar to sweeten the juice. If heavy cream isn’t your thing (my vegan friends) don’t fret, I’ve done these with coconut cream, and they are just as yummy if not more. Lastly, I purchased the Zoku Quick Pop Maker to make these, it’s the only way to get a true half and half bar, with that creamy center filling, but if you don’t want to spend the $25 (for a single), $38( for the duo), or $50 (for the triple) pop maker, you can still make these, but you’ll have to blend the mixture, or just pour half juice and half cream into regular molds, ( I used Zoku Classic pop molds), you’ll get a verticle half and half bar–still delicious.
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 cup of freshly squeezed organic orange juice
1 cup of heavy cream or coconut cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
Directions: Add the cream, vanilla extract and maple syrup to a cup, mix well and set aside. If using classic pop molds, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined. Divide mixture evenly among molds and freeze for 6-8 hours or until frozen solid.
If you are using the Quick pop maker, Pour the orange juice into the molds and allow to set for 2-3 minutes. At the 3 minute mark siphon out the remaining unfrozen juice with a straw or a unused infant aspirator–I purchased one just for this. Zoku sells a tool kit for $20 which includes a siphon tool, but the aspirator is $3 and does the job equally as well. After you have removed all of the juice, pour cream into the molds, and allow to set for another 4-5 minutes, then follow the directions for removing the pops.
If you aren’t going to eat the pops right away, you can store them in sandwich size zip lock bags and place them in the freezer until you’re ready to eat them. These never last longer than a few hours in our house, so I can’t say how long you could store them that way. These are the Orange and Coconut Creamsicles that I made using the classic Zoku popsicle molds:
Now that summer has arrived we are constantly on the go. Which means that we spend much more time in the car. My daughter does surprisingly well on car rides, however, she does better if I am armed with plenty of games to fill her time, and of course snacks don’t hurt. She is extremely fond of apple strings–apples that I run through my vegetable spiralizer on the spaghetti attachment, however they oxidize so quickly after making them, I like to save those for home snacks. Enter fruit roll-ups, she loves them and they are extremely travel friendly. If you follow this blog, then you know I have several recipes for fruit rolls ups my tropical punch fruit roll-ups are my absolute favorite, but the pineapple, or strawberry fruit roll ups are equally as delicious!
10 ounces of strawberries stems removed
2 medium sized apples, cores removed
Directions: Place the strawberries and apples in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture out onto a parchment lined sheet and smooth into a thin layer.
Place in a dehydrator on 134 for 4-6 hours, or in a oven on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.
Fruit roll-ups are done when you can peel them off of the parchment without them sticking.