What a difference 879 miles makes. That’s the distance between Wilmington, NC (where I live) and Burlington, VT (where I attended the blog brulee. While my attendance was partially funded by some great sponsors,I was not expected or compensated to write this post). Ten days ago, when I left Wilmington, NC at 7 a.m., it was already a humid seventy-seven degrees and my thoughts were on my next Recipe Redux topic, dehydrated food. Here’s the challenge:
Get Your Dehydrator On
Whether it’s extra garden bounty or a sale at the supermarket – dehydrating food is a budget-friendly way to stock up for later. You can use a food dehydrator, a low slow oven, or natural sunshine to preserve natural healthfulness. Show us how you like to dehydrate, or a healthy recipe for how you enjoy using dehydrated fruits, veggies or other bounty.
I sat in a half empty plane pondering my September Recipe Redux post; hmm…maybe sun dried tomatoes.
Arriving into Burlington, VT in sandals, I felt out of place. Everyone in this city had already transitioned to boots.Fortunately I had a pair packed … and yes, my running shoes. It was great to take advantage of the inviting fall air, an early arrival (meeting didn’t get rolling until 5 p.m.) and good terrain for a leg workout!
The activities of the weekend allowed for a little more fresh air
and more picturesque scenes.
While Wilmington was still feeling like summer, Vermont was ushering in fall with a chill in the air and pumpkins everywhere.
Even with an extra day, the time went too fast. Before I knew it, Monday was here, my travel day home. A three hour delay in Philadelphia until my connecting flight home was time allotted to work, including writing a recipe for today’s blog post. But I wasn’t feeling like sun dried tomatoes. I was feeling like, well, pumpkin. Then I remembered some of the posts from other Recipe Redux members on fruit roll-ups, aka fruit leather:
Apple blueberry fruit leather by Serena Ball, RD of teaspoon of spice
Pear Leather by Carlene Thomas, RD of Healthfully Ever After
Thanks to their inspiration, I wrote recipe for pumpkin ‘fruit roll-ups’ that’s naturally low in fat, low in cholesterol, a very good source of vitamin A, Vitamin K , Manganese and a good source of fiber, vitamin C, plus a source of carotenoids! I couldn’t resist using an ingredient from Vermont’s local food landscape to sweeten my snack.
The use of canned pumpkin makes this easy, but do it on a day you’re home. It took 6 + hours on the lowest setting of my oven to dry and I used a convection oven which speeds up the process. The good news is, your house will smell like cinnamon all day!!! (Any other cinnamon lovers out in the blogosphere?) In my opinion, the most difficult part of this recipe is spreading the puree onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet in the correct thickness. Too thin will result in holes in the leather. Too thick will take a very long time to dry. Mine was less than perfect, but still tasted good.
Make sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for recipes from my nutrition influencing colleagues. We are all united by our love of food and desire to help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle. But how we approach this, is a matter of individuality. These bloggers put personal branding insight from the blog brulee into action which can be summed up by this mantra, Make a Difference by Being Yourself~ Gregory Heszczo.
makes 6- 9 roll ups (depending on cut width)
- 3 cups canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons Vermont Maple Syrup
1. Set oven to lowest possible setting. (Mine was 120 degrees F.) Use a convection oven if available. This will cut down on the necessary time for dehydration.
2. Combine pumpkin, applesauce, cinnamon and maple syrup in a blender until smooth.
3. Spread evenly into a thin layer (a litle more than 1/8 inch thick, but less than 1/4 inch thick) on parchment paper-lined baking pan.
4. Bake until pumpkin mixture is dry. This may take anywhere from 6-12 hours.
5. Once dry, remove from oven and using scissors or a sharp knife, cut pumpkin and sheets of parchment paper into serving pieces, keeping length longer than the width. Tie securely with pretty twine.
6. To eat, untie twine; peel pumpkin ‘fruit roll up’ from parchment paper and enjoy.
7. Store in air tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.