It’s time to head back to school! And school has a way of making kids hungry.
So in order to save the refrigerator, it’s a good idea to have some good after-school snacks ready. But healthy snacks can be really expensive these days and you may not want to add that expense to your already long shopping list.
The good news is that you don’t have to buy them!
Delicious, good-for-you treats are really easy to make at home!
As I was making my shopping list, I was able to leave off quite a few items. It happened to be a wonderful summer for fruits and veggies and I really took advantage of this opportunity.
With the Excalibur dehydrator that I have I was able to make all kinds of great treats, like fruit leather, raisins, banana chips and dried peaches.
Here are my recipes.
Last summer I made these using strawberries, but this year I had an excess in apples, so I decided to try making apple fruit leathers.
They turned out great!
Apple leather kind of reminds me of apple pie without all the sugar and starch. Delicious!
Enough apples to make 2 C. pieces
2 t. lemon juice, or 1/8 t. citric or ascorbic acid
1/4 to 1/2 C. honey
Blend apples until they form a smooth puree. Add the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (or 1/8 of a teaspoon citric or ascorbic acid).
This helps to keep it from turning brown. Add the honey, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour onto the dehydrator tray. (Either Teflex sheets or a fruit leather tray).
Dry it at 140 degrees for 6-8 hours. Check on the leather to make sure it’s not still soft then remove, cool, and either cut into pieces and put into a ziplock bag, or roll up and wrap in plastic.
Banana chips have to be the easiest treat I’ve made so far, and are a great use for all those extra bananas you have laying around.
I used to save my ripened bananas and make banana bread for the winter months. But after making a couple of loaves this year,
I noticed how much sugar that this took.
No wonder the kids bounced off the walls! My Excalibur is large enough to hold 17 bananas.
Depending on how large your dehydrator is, you may or may not be able to dry that many at a time
Bananas (enough to fill your dehydrator)
1/4 C. lemon juice
Cut the bananas to ¼ inch thickness, soak in the lemon juice for 15 seconds, lay in your dehydrator and dry at 150 degrees. Check at 24 hours, but depending on how you and your kids like your dried bananas, you may want to dry them longer.
Have you ever bought those little boxes of raisins at the store for treats? They may be cute, but wow, are they expensive! For just the price of fresh grapes plus a couple of cents worth of electricity, you have raisins!
Grapes (as many as will fit into your dryer)
Wash and dry your grapes, then put them in your dehydrator. Check on them every hour; but they’ll probably be done in about 2-3 hours.
Because peaches are usually so expensive, they are a delicacy at my home. However, this year my neighbor’s tree really went to town producing more peaches than she could possibly use.
She gave some to me, and I made these dried peaches. They really are a great treat!
Peel your peaches, and cut in half. Remove the stone, and cut into quarters, or smaller. Coat in lime juice, and dry in your dehydrator at 135 degrees for 6-20 hours, or until pliable.
The time really depends on how large you cut your peaches.
How about making your own trail mix? Throw some of your banana chips, raisins, and dried peaches together with some mixed nuts.
This makes yet another great snack, and will put the store bought varieties to shame.
Why don’t you get creative this year and make some great treats for your kids, instead of just buying them. It’ll make your kids happy, and your wallet will be happy, too.