Labor Day has come and gone and the official end to summer has hit.  With the little ones going back to school and the bigger ones shipping off to college, you may be searching for treats to send them off with.  This week, we have put together an easy, delicious, and healthy snack recipe ready to be packed in a school lunchbox or mailed off to the dorms. We all want our children to be healthy and eat right and there is no better way than to provide them with quick and easy nutritious treats.

Our vegan recipe this week is one my Mother and I used to make the week school began: homemade fruit leather! There was nothing I loved more than fruit roll-ups as a child, however, many of those on the market are packed full of additives, high fructose corn syrup, and harmful dyes.  As well as being less than healthy, many products have wasteful packaging and are not easy on the wallet. My Mother found a solution to this: we made them at home! Before you buy a box off the shelf, consider trying out this recipe: it is fun, easy, and you can customize the fruit you use. Below we have provided a recipe in true fall fair: Apple Cinnamon. However, the recipe is really easy to tweak to any fruit or fruit combination you would like. Just make sure you use 2 Cups of fruit and lemon juice (to keep them from browning).

Organic Vegan Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather

Makes 1 Medium Cookie Sheet

1 1/2  Cups Organic Apples, Peeled and Cubed
1/2  Cup Organic Apple Sauce, Unsweetened
1 Tsp Organic Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tsp Organic Cinnamon

In a blender or food processor add the apples and apple sauce. Blend until the mixture is the consistency of applesauce.  In a mixing bowl add the lemon juice and cinnamon and mix.  Pre-heat the oven to 150-170 degrees.  Pour mixture over non-stick or oiled cookie sheets and let them dry for 10-15 hours in the oven. If you have a dehydrator, this will take 7-8 hours.  You will know when the leather is dry, when it is no longer moist and is tough, much like store bought fruit leather. With a pizza cutter or knife, rectangle strips or roll up. You can either wrap the leather saran wrap or store in jars/other re-usable containers. Now your fruit leather is ready to be packed away in school lunches, mailed off in a care package, or eaten on the spot.

For some other great fruit combinations, check out the following list. Remember, the mixture should be 2 cups of fruit combined (can include apple or other sauces), lemon juice, and any sweetner or spice you may want.

Other Fruit Combinations:

Strawberry Banana
Peach Apricot
Berry Mix (Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry)
Goji Berry
Mango Pineapple
Pumpkin Nutmeg
Grape
Cranberry Orange

The Autumn leaves have almost all fallen from the trees and it is that time again to prepare for the rush of holiday season. This week’s vegan recipe of the week is Thanksgiving themed. With the feasting holiday approaching it is important to have vegan options to the traditional standbys. Whether you are attending a dinner and want to impress your omnivore relatives or if you are cooking an entire vegan feast, the traditional recipe for stuffing is essential to the Thanksgiving menu. This week we have a recipe for Vegan Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing. So enjoy the fall send off in vegan style!

fruit and nut stuffing Photo By scaredy_katVegan Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing 

5 Cups of Stale or Toasted Vegan Bread

1-2 Cups of Wild Rice

2 Cups of Chopped Celery

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Vegetable Broth

3/4 Cup Chopped Cranberries

3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

3 Tbls of Earth Balance Vegan Margarine 

1 1/2 Tsps Thyme

1 Tsp Sage

1 Tsp Rosemary

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Fully cook the wild rice before hand.  Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large pan heat up the margarine and cook the onions, celery, and cranberries for about 15 minutes or until soft and tender.  Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. In a large  bowl mix the bread crumbs, rice,walnuts, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour hot mixture over the dry ingredients and mix. Grease a pan with margarine and  pour mixture into pan. Dot the top with extra margarine and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until the top is crispy. Serve with Tofurkey and other Thanksgiving dishes.

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