This is an indulgent and yet healthful goody. You’ll love having a stash of Pumpkin Pie Fruit Leather for portable snacks. I played around with ideas for this recipe for about 3 pumpkin seasons and while it can be made without pectin I find the texture of the finished product more toothsome and less prone to cracking when I do use it. Feel free to alter the spices to suit your taste.
This is a fun way to prepare apples for portable snacking. (See Dried Apple/Pear Dice for another.) Kids have fun putting Dried Apple Rings on their fingers as jewelry and nibbling them off.
Wash apples and pat them dry. We like to use the whole fruit, so we leave the peels on, but if you choose to peel them be sure to remove the core first, or the apples may break. Using a chef’s knife, cut apples crosswise into 1/2 inch thick “rings.”
Arrange apple rings in a single layer on dehydrator trays and dry at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-16 hours (110-115 degrees for raw; will require additional drying time) until lightweight and leathery with no pockets of moisture. Squeeze a few together to check for doneness; they should not stick together.
Let Dried Apple Rings cool, then transfer to a jar with a lid. Set them on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight for a 2-3 days to condition, shaking the jar daily to redistribute moisture within the pieces of fruit. If you notice moisture collecting inside the jar the Dried Apple Rings are under-dried. Return them to the dehydrator for another hour or two, until done. Repeat conditioning treatment, then store in a cool, dark cupboard up to 1 year – if they last that long.
|Two great apple snacks: Apple Dice & Apple Rings!|
A simple trail mix; just three well-chosen ingredients. Pears for their honey sweetness. Sweet potatoes for their satisfying chew,along with satiating protein and fiber content. Walnuts for their buttery rich flavor. In short, these three taste good together! You could just as easily make a mix of dried apples, carrots, and almonds. Suit yourself; this mix is made to please you. If you keep a small container of Pair-a-Dice Trail Mix in your purse, backpack, or car you will be able to head off away-from-home hunger strikes without resorting to fast food or coffee drinks to fill you up and give you needed energy.
2 slim orange sweet potatoes
6 medium pears, processed according to Dried Apple Dice / Dried Pear Dice
2 cups walnuts
Make Roasted Dried Sweet Potato Dice:
Roast the sweet potatoes on a parchment paper covered baking pan for 30 minutes in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, to firm up.
|Even-size sweet potato pieces are arranged with room for air-flow while they dry in the dehydrator. After drying they will be leathery with no pockets of moisture.|
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut in 1/2 inch dice. Arrange pieces in a single layer on dehydrator trays and dry about 8 hours at 125 degrees, until dry and chewy. Let cool, then store in a closed jar.
Walnuts can be used as is, or – better – turned into Crispy Walnuts:
Soak the walnuts 8 hours or overnight in a quart of water with 1 tsp salt added.
|An overnight soak followed by a stint in the dehydrator improves the digestibility of nuts.|
In the morning, drain the walnuts and spread them on dehydrator trays and dry at highest setting, about 145 degrees for 24 hours, until completely dry. Alternatively, you may dry the walnuts in the oven on its lowest setting, about 150 – 170 degrees for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally until completely crisp. Cool completely and store in a closed jar.
|These Crispy Walnuts have great toasty flavor and inviting texture. I guarantee you’ll like them!|
When you need an on-the-go snack that is rich in nutrients, simply fill a small jar (4 oz. jelly jars or baby food jars are great) with some of each: Dried Pear Dice, Dried Roasted Sweet Potato Dice, and Crispy Walnuts. It is best to mix a small amount as needed in order to preserve the textures and individual flavors of each ingredient.
|Dried Pear Dice|
|Crispy Walnuts, Dried Sweet Potato Dice, and Dried Pear Dice are combined for a tasty and healthful on-the-go treat.|
This idea came into being as I was playing with my new mandoline – the kitchen tool, not the musical instrument – but all you really need is a chef’s knife. Somehow dried apples are just more fun to eat this way! I use a dehydrator to prepare Dried Apple Dice. Theoretically I suppose you could dry them in a low oven; I have not tried it. If you don’t own a dehydrator, trust me – you want one! If you’d like to make Dried Pear Dice, select pears that are firm-ripe for ease of cutting and best quality. Dried Apple or Pear Dice inspire all kinds of great trail mix ideas. See Pair-a-Dice Trail Mix for one delicious option. Another way to dry apples it to make Dried Apple Rings.
Wash the apples and pat them dry. Remove the peels if desired. Using a chef’s knife, cut the “cheeks” from the apples, leaving a square-shaped core. Cut the “cheeks” into 1/3 – 1/2 inch cubes.
|Leaving peels on means more nutrition and less waste.|
Scatter cubes in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Dry at 135 degrees for 8-9 hours (110-115 for raw; will require additional drying time) until lightweight and leathery with no pockets of moisture or stickiness. Squeeze a few to test for doneness.
|Two great apple snacks: Apple Dice and Apple Rings!|
Allow apples to cool completely, then transfer to a glass jar with a lid. Set them on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight for a 2-3 days to condition, shaking the jar daily to redistribute moisture within the pieces of fruit. If you notice moisture collecting inside the jar the apple dice are under-dried. Return them to the dehydrator for another hour or two, until done. Repeat conditioning treatment, then store in a cool, dark cupboard up to 1 year – if they last that long!
If the thought of canning tires you out, or you are inundated with more produce than you know what to do with, consider making Veggie Powder. You can make a batch a day with little effort.
onion slices or bits
carrot slices or bits
Use whatever surplus veggies you have available in the garden or your farmshare box – even lettuce! Wash vegetables well. Cut everything into uniform size pieces and arrange in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Set dehydrator for 120 degrees Fahrenheit and dry all ingredients until thoroughly dry and crispy, somewhere between 12-24 hours.
Raw food tip: reduce dehydrator temp to 110 – 115 degrees and be prepared to let them dry longer, up to 48 hours.
Let vegetables cool to room temperature. Add small amounts to blender container (or Vita Mix, if you are lucky!) and process until they are reduced to fine powder.
Store Veggie Powder in a jar or airtight container in a cool, dark place up to 1 year for best flavor.
Ideas for using Veggie Powder:
- add to soups, stews, casseroles, spaghetti sauce, chili, salad dressings
- make Spiral Pizza Bread by replacing the cinnamon in your cinnamon bread recipe with Veggie Powder and adding herbs such as basil, oregano, garlic
- make Instant Veggie Soup ~ place 1 cup boiling water and 2 Tbs. Veggie Powder in a coffee mug; cover and let stand 3-5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you make a powder strictly from tomatoes, you can use it to make a quick tomato sauce, juice, or paste. You can even use it to thicken a a thin tomato sauce you are preparing to can. Do not use a mixed Veggie Powder to thicken a canning recipe because it will lower the pH and possibly make it unsafe to can.
Make gourmet crackers, see Flax & Veggie Crackers with Roasted Garlic
My multi-talented friend Vickie is a Massage Therapist, Master Food Preserver, Master Gardener, Master Composter, Master Recycler, Master Beekeeper, Master Woodlands Manager, and Master Land Steward, not necessarily in that order. Most years she enters a generous assortment of her beautiful preserved foods in our local County Fair and comes away with more ribbons than she can remember. Vickie taught me this very cool trick that transforms excess zucchini into a delicious, money-saving noodle – and it’s gluten-free! Thank you, Vickie!
|When not entering the fair herself, Vickie has been
known to judge at Fair. Here she is overcome by flavor!
3 medium zucchini
salt, if desired
Choose zucchini that are good-sized, but have not yet developed tough seeds inside. Later in the season the plant wants to assure the next generation of squash plants, so it’s best to either make these mid-summer, or just work around the seeds and remove the peel, also, if it is tough. (But then you lose the gorgeous green color.)
Wash Zucchini. Using a mandoline or chef’s knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 – 3/8 inch thick strips. I accomplish this by making a thin slice on the blossom end of the squash to create a flat bottom and standing the zucchini on end so it is easy to get a firm grip and slice downward with my chef’s knife.
Arrange zucchini strips on dehydrator trays without overlapping. Season with salt if desired. Set dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit (110-115 for “Raw” Zucchini Noodles; will require additional drying time) and dry about 8 hours or until perfectly crisp. Let noodles cool 15 minutes, then immediately pack into a tall jar, such as a Ball half gallon canning jar, for storage. Zucchini Noodles store at room temperature for up to a year.
You are now ready to make Lasagna with Zucchini “Noodles”, a simplified version of this classic dish that takes less than an hour and a half from start to serving time! The Zucchini Noodles are ready to go, no boiling required! Yay!
NOTE: My husband Sam suggested slicing the zucchini in circles instead of planks. He believes (and he’s probably right) that this would make the lasagna easier to cut in squares.
|Light and crispy Cinnamon Apple Chips are addictive!|
If you have ever tossed a bag of Seneca Apple Chips into your grocery cart (and even if you haven’t) you are in for a treat. Unlike the commercial variety, which are fried, these crispy apple chips are free of fats and oils and so easy to make. Any kind of apple works. This recipe works best with a mandoline slicer and a dehydrator. Both tools are easily picked up at yard sales. Just be sure the mandoline includes a hand guard and the dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat and fan. Alternate directions for using a sharp knife and your oven are provided.
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 apples, washed
1 – 2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
Make syrup: heat water in a 4-cup saucepan to boiling. Turn heat to low, add sugar, and stir to dissolve. Keep pan on lowest heat.
Using a mandoline slice the apples into 1/8-inch slices.
|My new toy: a Swissmar Borner V-power mandoline in red. It slices like a dream! One apple becomes dozens of chips in less than a minute.|
Dip a few slices at a time in the syrup and place on dehydrator trays. Sprinkle cinnamon over slices and dehydrate at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for about 6 hours, until light and crispy.
|Ground cinnamon makes these chips so tasty! Remove chips from dehydrator trays while warm, but do not close the container until they have had a few minutes to cool. This allows heat and moisture to escape and keeps your chips crisp.|
Allow to cool; enjoy! In the unlikely event of leftovers, completely cooled chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about a month. If they soften, you can re-crisp them in the dehydrator.
Yield: 1 quart (8 servings)
Make syrup as above and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to lowest setting possible, usually 150 – 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a small, sharp knife to slice apples as evenly as possible into 1/8-inch slices. Dip a few slices at a time in the syrup and arrange on prepared baking sheets without overlapping. Sprinkle cinnamon over slices. Bake in preheated oven for about 90 minutes, flipping slices over about halfway through. Allow to cool; enjoy!
|The perfect Sweet Potato Chip is light and crisp.|
I experimented with a number of ideas on making sweet potato chips in the dehydrator and just wasn’t satisfied. I pared it down to bare essentials and voila! ended up with a thin, crisp chip with a faint earthy flavor that I loved. The litmus test was asking my teenagers to try them; teens are picky when it comes to chips. To my complete surprise, they gobbled them up and asked for more. I made some with salt and some without; we actually prefer them salt-free, but you do as your taste dictates. This recipe requires a dehydrator. I love my 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator.
3 sweet potatoes
sea salt, optional
Fill a large bowl with cold water.
Working with one sweet potato at a time, peel and slice 1/8-inch thick using a mandoline with a hand guard or a sharp knife. Drop the slices into cold water and let soak one hour. Pour through a colander and rinse well.
I like a mixture of orange and white-fleshed sweet potatoes. Orange are rich in beta carotene; white are delightfully sweet. The thinner the sweet potato, the less fibrous and easier to slice.
Arrange slices on dehydrator trays without overlapping. Season with salt, if desired. Set dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and dry 8 hours, until crisp.
Let chips cool, then store in an airtight container up to 6 months for best quality. If chips should soften, they can be re-crisped in the dehydrator for an hour or a 300 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.
|Well hello, Miriam! I didn’t see you there! Enjoy Kale Flakes with a glass of ice-cold water and a rinsed wedge of preserved lemon for a refreshing, probiotic beverage.|
These earned me a Champion ribbon at the Jackson County Fair! They are unbelievably easy and delicious. What a fun way to eat kale! Thanks Paulie, for the idea! Check out additional dehydrator snack recipes: Cinnamon Apple Chips, Dried Apple/Dried Pear Dice, Dried Apple Rings, Pair-a-Dice Train Mix, Pumpkin Pie Fruit Leather, Sweet Potato Chips, Zucchini Chips. Also Rosemary Crackers made in your oven.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. olive oil
lots of kale
sea salt, for sprinkling
Place vinegar and olive oil in a very large bowl (7 quart). Wash kale and cut into strips if large. Remove the center vein if it is thick or tough. Toss kale in bowl and stir. Let marinate 30-60 minutes. Spread kale in single layer on dehydrator trays. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Dry at 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-4 hours, until crispy. Eat like potato chips. YUM!
Raw food tip: reduce dehydrator temp to 110 – 115 degrees and be prepared to let them dry longer, up to 8 hours.
Savory seasoning makes these chips special
The first time I tasted these ultra-light and crispy chips made by my friend Joanne, I was hooked. They tasted so good! Nutritional yeast flakes are her “secret” ingredient. They add a savory flavor dimension that keeps you coming back for more. Joanne generously shares her recipe with anyone who asks for it; now I’m sharing it with you. Thanks Joanne!
|The yellow zucchini are sprinkled with BBQ seasoning, green zucchini with nutritional yeast flakes.|
3 largish zucchini, any color
3 Tbs. olive oil, or an olive oil sprayer
*nutritional yeast flakes
Wash the zucchini and work with one squash at a time. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice one of the zucchini into thin (1/8 – 1/4-inch) slices. Place slices in a large bowl and drizzle 1 Tbs. olive oil over them. (Or mist with olive oil sprayer.)
Arrange zucchini on dehydrator trays without overlapping, sprinkle with sea salt and nutritional yeast flakes. Repeat for remaining squash.
Dry zucchini slices at about 125 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 – 12 hours or overnight. When crispy, remove from trays and store in an airtight container for I don’t know how long because they don’t last very long!
To make “Raw” Zucchini Chips, set dehydrator to 110 – 115 and continue dehydrating until done. They will be a bit less crisp, and may take 24 hours or more, depending on thickness of the slices.
1. Buy organic nutritional yeast flakes, a rich source of needed B vitamins, in the natural foods section of your grocery store.
2. If your Zucchini Chips lose their crispness, you can re-crisp them in the dehydrator for an hour, or in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Watch that they don’t burn.
3. Any other kind of summer squash works in this recipe, too: yellow crookneck, pattypan, etc.
4. Feel free to change up the seasoning – Garlic Salt, BBQ Seasoning, or your own custom mixture.