disclosure: i was asked to participate in the california raisins. sweet. naturally. campaign name as a member of the healthy aperture blogger network. i received free samples of california raisins used in this post. i was compensated for my time.
my husband has always stood firm in his belief that sugar is the devil.
despite my own lifelong love/hate relationship with it and the fact that the recipes on this very site admittedly lean heavily toward the sweets profile, i do agree. especially when it comes to my kids.
while i believe in enjoying life enough to have an occasional gluten-free brownie or birthday cake slice, i don’t think for a minute that it should be the kind of thing that is an every day occurrence.
this is precisely why i was shaking my head in agreement, not only to the opportunity offered to me by the healthy aperture blogger network, but also by the message from the folks at california raisins.
because my kids (and all kids, really) have inherited an impressive sweet tooth, they would prefer something sweet every day after school or after dinner. a sugar-coated snack request is one i’m not always willing to indulge.
enter california raisins… they are perfectly sweet, but with no added added sugar. they come by their sweetness naturally, as they are dried by the sun. plus, they offer 9% of daily fiber and 6% of daily iron in only a 1/4 cup serving. that fiber helps keep my kids feel full longer than those sugar-filled snacks. (and there’s research that agrees.)
as a label reader, i’m happy to report the only thing listed is: raisins. no fat, no added sugar, and gluten-free.
i’ve seen some pretty amazing homemade fruit leather lately in the food blog world. the great thing is it’s super easy to make at home to avoid all of the food dyes, chemicals, and excess sugars of the store-bought versions. and no fear, no special equipment is needed (though a dehydrator apparently speeds the process)… an oven is all you need.
i’ve combined golden raisins and golden apples in this one… the raisins sweeten the mixture beautifully, requiring no extra sweetener at all. and the result is a lovely caramel-colored roll-up that i’m thrilled to give my kids after school… 100% fruit!
Golden Raisin & Golden Apple Fruit Leather
- 3 Golden Delicious apples peeled, cored and chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup California golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until apples and raisins are soft. Transfer mixture to a blender; pulse until smooth.
- Press mixture through a fine sieve onto parchment and discard solids left behind. (This step is optional.)
- Spread mixture into an even thin layer on parchment. Heat oven to 150° on convection cook and cook for 6-8 hours or until fruit leather is just slightly sticky, but not tacky. (A regular bake setting will work too, it may just take a bit longer.)
- Allow to cool completely. Cut fruit leather and parchment into desired shapes.
for more information about california raisins, visit www.loveyourraisins.com.