It’s pumpkin season and we’ve been blessed with an abundance of sweet little sugar pie pumpkins. I decided to whip up a naturally sweet treat – portable pumpkin pie. It’s got all the flavor of regular pumpkin pie in a grab and go snack. It’s gluten free and free of refined sugars, too. (Confession – while I was writing this I went and grabbed some to munch on – it’s addictive.)
This recipe is adapted from Mary Bell’s Dehydrator cookbook, which is my “go to” book for all things dehydrated. I prefer to use organic spices whenever possible, as they are not irradiated or sporting excess chemicals. Mountain Rose Herbs (see sidebar) offers a great selection of organic herbs and spices, as does Frontier Natural Foods. Using homegrown pumpkin and you-pick apples for applesauce, bulk dried coconut and honey helps make this treat budget friendly.
Portable Pumpkin Pie AKA Pumpkin Leather recipe
2 cups (one 16-ounce can) pumpkin – I used home prepared pumpkin that had been cooked and run through the Vitamix
1 cup canned coconut milk (I prefer organic Thai Kitchen)
2 cups homemade applesauce (you could also use unsweetened store applesauce, but it soooo easy to make)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons finely chopped raisins
Mix all ingredients together, adjust spices if needed, but keep in mind that drying will intensify the flavors. You may want to try a test batch or half batch before adjusting. I made a half batch the first time through.
Spread mixture on well oiled fruit leather sheets in dehydrator (I oil mine with coconut oil), or drop by the tablespoon to make “cookies”. If doing “cookies” leave about 1/2″ to 1″ between rounds. I spread mine in sheets because it was faster and easier, but if you liked the cookie idea you could use a pastry bag to make the cookies in a hurry. Just load your mix in and squirt away. I like to use my pastry bag for making cream puffs, too.
One half batch nearly filled two fruit roll sheets in my American Harvest dehydrator.
Dry 8 to 24 hours at around 135 F. I loaded mine at night and unloaded it mid-morning. I could have cut the raisins a little finer, because they were still tacky in the early morning.
As you can see, the mixture will darken as it dries.
Cut in squares or strips.
Mary Bell recommends the following for storing fruit leathers:
Stack sheets of fruit or vegetable leathers on top of each other. If desired, and this is optional, you can sprinkle the finished sheets with cornstarch or arrowroot to prevent them from sticking together. Roll up, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and put them in an airtight container.
I’ve never dusted mine with anything, and I typically cut them into strips before storing to encourage munching of only small amounts at one time. After all, even though they’re all natural, it’s still a fair amount of concentrated sugars. I store mine in plastic bags or glass jars, in the cupboard or fridge depending on the expected length of storage time (and how much room I have in my fridge). Refrigeration will extend shelf life, but properly dried fruit sealed in airtight containers should keep for months as is.
Note: Winter squash is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, folate, tryptophan, copper, riboflavin, omega 3 fatty acids and magnesium. Now you have even more reasons to give this treat a try!
I’m so glad I tried out this recipe – it’s a keeper.
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven,
the Grain Free Real Food Linky Carnival at Real Food Forager,
Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop,
Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet and
the Recipe Lion October Blog Hop.