I would like to start this post off by saying that the Seattle summer has officially started! The sun is out, not a cloud in the sky and we are lookin at 89F for the high today...wooo doggy that's hot! Time to get the fans out (no one in Seattle has air conditioning). The 4th was a rather gloomy day as Seattle squirted out one last bad rain storm but we hunkered down at home, played board games and listened while our neighbors serenaded us with a thousand bottle rockets.
Since summer is here that means one thing, less time in the kitchen and more time outside. Our garden needs tending and my lilly white skin needs some sun. So these days I am looking for no fuss recipes that are easy to prepare so Im not wasting any time slaving away in the kitchen.
As I've mentioned before we are huge fruit leather fans and with our new dehydrator we find making these natural snacks to be a cinch (of course you can use an oven if you don't have a dehydrator). This particular combination of flavors is my favorite. Raspberries are in peak season right now and they taste like candy! The vanilla bean adds such a unique twist, kind of earthy. Together they make a delicious treat, perfect to grab on the way out to the garden or down to the beach.
It would only be fair to make some extra for friends and family :) I lined this old vintage box with wax paper, slipped some leathers inside, and garnished with baker's twine....a fun and inexpensive gift!
Now, I hate to change the subject after talking about something so tasty but on to business! THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the givaway! I LOVED reading all of your favorite summer memories and I really appreciate you taking the time to share them with me. I wish I could design a banner for ALL of you but I just don't have the time:) I will definitely have another giveaway in the near future so stay tuned.
Alrighty, I put every single one of your names in a hat and drew....drum roll please.....
Missy!!! You are the winner! Send me an email at roostblog at me dot com and we will get started on your custom blog banner! Congratulations :) This giveaway was super fun so I will definitely have another one!
Raspberry Vanilla Fruit Leather
- 1 pint of raspberries (you can use as many raspberries as you want, I only had a pint on hand)
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of honey (more or less to taste)
Place raspberries in a blender and blend until liquified. I didn't want seeds in my leather so I strained the raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve using a spatula to force the juice through while leaving the seeds behind. Pour the seedless puree back in the blender . Add the vanilla seeds, extract and honey and blend until well mixed. Taste the puree to see if it needs any more honey.
For drying in a dehydrator: Pour the mixture onto your Teflex sheets with your mesh screen underneath. Spread evenly until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours at 105F**, or until it is completely dry. I make mine in the evening and dehydrate overnight.
For drying in an oven: Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Pour mixture onto parchment paper and spread evenly until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Dehydrate for 4-6 hours (or until completely dry) at the lowest temperature possible (145F or so)
**Note: Most dehydrator manuals tell you to dehydrate fruit leather at 135F or 140F. You are welcome to use these temperatures but remember that any temperature above 118F can kill the active enzymes in the food which aid in digestion. I prefer to dehydrate at this low temperature to keep these important enzymes intact despite the longer drying time.
When your leather is completely dry cut using a pizza cutter or scissors, roll up and enjoy!
To store, put in a airtight glass container and keep it in the pantry. But let me warn you...you might eat them all in one day!