D.I.Y. Mango Fruit Roll-ups-How To Make Dehydrated Mango Treats

DIY Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

DIY Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

 

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.

 

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Ingredients:

6 mango’s, skin and pits removed

 

Directions: Place mango in blender:

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Blend until smooth.

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Pour out onto parchment paper and smooth out evenly.

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Place in oven, or dehydrator on 135 degrees Fahrenheit, or the lowest setting on your oven, for 6-8 hours. 

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Remove from parchment paper, roll, and enjoy!

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If you like this recipe you’ll love these: Pear Fruit Roll-ups, Strawberry-Apple Fruit Roll-ups, Pineapple Fruit Roll-ups, Tropical Punch Fruit Roll-ups, Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups

Pineapple Rings–How to make dehydrated Pineapple Rings

Dehydrated Pineapple Rings

Dehydrated Pineapple Rings

One of my go to snacks is dehydrated fruit.  I’m a particular fan of pineapple rings.  But, if you’ve ever purchased organic dehydrated pineapple rings, then you probably know that pineapple rings are a snack that can be out right expensive! I mean outlandishly expensive! On top of the expense, it’s pretty hard to find pineapple rings that haven’t been soaked in baths of sugar.  I’m not a fan of adding sugar to dehydrated fruit.  It’s sort of an oxymoron to me that sugar is added to dehydrated fruit at all, because if you know anything about dehydration–then you know that the sugar in fruits concentrate when dehydrated, so there really isn’t a need to add sugar–unless you’re dehydrating something really tart like cranberries then I could see the purpose of adding sugar. Last week I purchased a pineapple, I fully intended to eat it fresh. However,when I cut, and tasted it– it was pretty tasteless. Disappointing for sure. The pineapple clearly needed to ferment more.  Rather than chuck it, I sliced it and put it in the dehydrator and made pineapple rings. The resulting pineapple rings were not only flavorful, but they were sweet–everything you want would want in a fresh bite of pineapple–minus the juice of course.  The pineapple rings lasted all of 2 minutes, my sister in-law, my niece and Page, gobbled them right up–I’m pretty sure they would’ve passed on the fresh slices.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time 6-8 hrs 10-12hr for thicker slices

Ingredients:

2 whole fair trade organic pineapple

Directions: Remove the stem from the pineapple, then slice off the top and bottom.  Slice off the skin, making sure to remove all the eyelets.

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Now slice the pineapple thinly.

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Keep in mind that the thicker you slice it, the longer it will take to dry.  If it’s too thin your pineapple rings will turn out crisp, if they are a bit thicker, they’ll be more leathery, so it’ just a matter of what you’re seeking in consistency.  After slicing, cut out the center core by carving a circular cut in the middle of the pineapple.

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Remove the core and discard it.

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Place the pineapple rings on your dehydrator sheet,

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Set the dehydrator to 135F.  If you’re doing this in the oven, set the oven to 150F or the lowest possible setting.  Dehydrate for 6-8 hours, 10-12hrs if you cut thicker slices.

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Once dry let cool, then enjoy!

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Page could not wait for me to take a picture, she loves these so much!

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if you like this recipe, try the recipe for my pineapple fruit roll-ups!

Rice Puffs–How to Make Rice Puff Snacks

Rice Puffs

Rice Puffs

Today I’m giving you a recipe for ultra crispy, and delicious homemade rice puffs. I’m not a huge fan of rice, but my daughter and my husband are.  They are especially fond of Basmati rice. I love the way that Basmati rice smells.  It has it’s own unique aroma, no other rice smells as good cooking as Basmati does.  I buy Basmati in  area close by called Little India.  I go there every so often to stock up on Indian spices as well.  The only problem with that is that I always leave with a 20 pound bag of GMO free Basmati rice!  It’s enough rice to feed my family for a year—we don’t eat rice that often.  I almost always end of giving most of it away, it’s just too much, but they don’t sell it in smaller quantities.  I have had this recipe for rice puffs in my que for a long while now, just haven’t had the rice to make it. I got the idea from a recipe in Modernist Cuisine,  but found a simpler more home cook friendly version of it on Chef Steps.  I’ve added my own spin on it with the addition of the lime salt, but if you haven’t gotten around to making my Lime powder, then  plain sea salt will do, and these will still be amazing! You don’t have to use Basmati to make these, you can use any rice. Still don’t have a dehydrator?  Buy one it will be the best $40 bucks you’ve spent in a long while.  The alternative is to put the rice puree in the oven set to the lowest setting 150F leave the oven door just a bit ajar, and check it before it reaches the 2 hour mark.  Check at 1.5 hour mark, you don’t want this to crisp up and burn.

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Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Drying time: 2 hrs

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup of rice

3 and 1/4 cups of water

1/2 cup 0f safflower oil

3 teaspoons of lime powder

1 teaspoon of sea salt (powdered–just add sea salt to a spice mill and blend until powdered)

Directions: Add the lime powder sea salt to a bowl mix well and set aside.  Add rice and water to a pot, cook until rice is tender and falling apart–there will still be water in the pot.

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Transfer the cooked rice along with any left over water to a blender and blend until smooth.

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Pour the rice puree out onto silpat’s smooth out into thin layers.

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Place in the dehydrator on 122F and allow to dehydrate for 2 hours.  The dehydrated rice puree should be pliable but also have a snap to it.

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Note: If you dehydrate for too long, the rice puffs will not puff, if you dehydrate for too short a period, they will not puff either.  When you place your rice puffs in the hot oil they should sink  to the bottom of the pot and then immediately rise and puff.

 

Once your puree has been dehydrated, heat the oil to 374F, while the oil is heating break the rice sheet into bite size pieces.  When the oil reaches temperature, drop the rice sheet pieces into the oil, they should drop to the bottom and rise and puff up immediately, fry for 2-3 seconds then remove from oil and season with lime salt immediately,

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let the rice puff’s cool, then enjoy!

 

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Strawberry Apple Fruit-roll ups

 

Strawberry Apple Fruit Roll-Ups

Strawberry Apple Fruit Roll-Ups

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!

 

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Ingredients:

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.

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Pour the mixture out onto a parchment lined sheet and smooth into a thin layer.

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Place in a dehydrator on 134 for 4-6 hours, or in a oven on the lowest setting for 4-6 hours.

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Fruit roll-ups are done when you can peel them off of the parchment without them sticking.

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Flourless Chocolate Meringue Cookies

 

Flourless Chocolate Merengue Cookies

Flourless Chocolate Meringue Cookies

 

This heat has definitely made me a Starbucks fan. Everyday I find myself going there to buy a shaken green iced tea, and since I’m there, I pick up  a treat–their flourless, gluten free, chocolate cookie. It’s probably the healthiest treat option in their refrigerated showcase, and my daughter and I love it. However, this afternoon tea and cookie thing is getting expensive, at $5 a day–$7 when we indulge at Disney–it’s getting a bit out of control. I love treating myself, but I hate mindless spending too. I’d much rather spend that $200/month on a new kitchen gadget–like a Searzall, or a chamber vacuum sealer to go along with the new immersion circulator that my husband got me for Mother’s Day.  So what’s a girl to do? Buy a box of organic green mint tea, and make the meringue cookies myself, of course!  The best thing about these cookies is that besides the cream of tar tar, I already had all of the ingredients.  These cookies are chewy, gooey and light all at the same time–just like the Starbucks cookies, but unlike the Starbucks version, these contain no added oil, so they are super low-fat, low-calorie and gluten free! Score!!!

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time : 10-12 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

2 egg whites

5 ounces of bitter sweet dark chocolate (60%)

1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar

3/4 of powdered sugar(I used maple sugar see how to powder it here)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

 

Directions:  Pre-heat the oven to 375.  Melt the 5 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler and set aside.

 

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Add the two egg whites to a stainless steel bowl and beat on low until bubbles form, add the cream of tar tar and beat on high, add in the sugar one tablespoon at a time, and beat until peaks are stiff and fluffy—-  you can turn the bowl upside down with out the mixture running.

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Pour in the melted chocolate and fold it into the egg white fluff–be gentle– fold until the white streaks disappear.

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Fold in the chocolate chips, then spoon onto  a parchment lined cookie sheet.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes, the cookies should be soft and pliable.

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Let them cool for 10 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to continue cooling 5-7 minutes.

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Serve and enjoy with an ice cold glass of mint ice tea;-) Share with me some of your favorite afternoon snacks.

 

Homemade Ranch Dry seasoning

Homemade ranch dry seasoning mix

Homemade ranch dry seasoning mix

One of my favorite condiments is salad dressing. I love making my own salad dressing from scratch. Most salad dressings are filled with way too many preservatives for my taste, not to mention hidden and not so hidden calories. I love simple vinaigrettes, but every now and again, I crave a creamy salad dressing. I resort to making this recipe for ranch, or my Caesar salad dressing. Both are fantastic in their own separate ways. I’ve come up with a recipe for a dry ranch seasoning. This ranch seasoning is extremely versatile, and can be used in a host of recipes, I’ll post 2 more ways to use it in the coming week. But first let me give you the recipe for the ranch seasoning.

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Ingredients:
2.5 tablespoons of dried organic parsley
1.5 teaspoons of dried organic dill weed
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2.5 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns ground ( you can sub black pepper)

Add the ingredients for the dry ranch mix to a mason jar, or a re-sealable bag, and mix well. 1 tablespoon of this mixture is all you need to make my low calorie Ranch yogurt dip/salad dressing.

Homemade Granola Bars with Cranberries & Walnuts

Homemade Granola Fruit and Nut Bars

I don’t know about you, but around this time of the year, I start to scale back on my weekday cooking in order to prepare my refrigerator for all of the things I am making for Thanksgiving. This year my self imposed scale back has nothing to do with needing room for my thanksgiving dishes, instead I’m scaling back in preparation for not being home. We are joining millions of travelers this year, we are going to visit my in-laws in Nevada for Thanksgiving. Since we’ll be in the car for more than 3 hours, I decided to prepare some healthy snacks for us to munch on during the drive. This granola bar fits the bill perfectly. It has nuts, 3 kinds of fruit, and no refined sugar!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
3/4 cup of maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter plus more for oiling the baking dish
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cups chopped nuts I used walnuts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup of dried fruit, I used a mixture of sour cherries, cranberries, and raisins
1/3 cup creamy almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup of Coconut flakes unsweetened  for topping (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the maple syrup and the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over low. Cook, stirring, until the oil melts. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and pinch of salt. Drizzle maple mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine. Spread mixture evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place the oats in large bowl, add dried fruit and mix well. 

Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish. 

In saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup of maple syrup, almond butter, and honey over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil. Drizzle over oat mixture and stir until combined; transfer  mixture to buttered baking dish. With a spatula, firmly press granola into dish. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, then cut into bars or squares.





What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Since I’ll be visiting family next week, I am not sure I will have time to post. My daughter is turning 2 on Thanksgiving day, so when we return I’ll be focused on celebrating this major milestone with her. Happy cooking, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!