Years ago, Trader Joe's used to have containers of itty bitty meringues. I'm talking tiny ones, about chocolate chip sized. They were only 1 calorie each, and I used to love to combine them with freeze dried fruit for a pretty healthy, but decadently delicious treat. Alas, Trader Joe's stopped selling the mini meringues, but I recently picked up a lot of freeze dried fruit and decided it was high time I made my own miniature meringues so I could have this tasty snack once again.
I love freeze dried fruit so much! The crunch, the vibrant flavor, the low calories (compared to just dried fruits)! My girls LOVE freeze dried fruit, too, and for a while I was getting the bags from Trader Joe's, but they can inhale those in seconds. Then my mom introduced me to a bulk store called Honeyville. It's fabulous for emergency preparedness, camping, and more. They have grains and solar ovens and SO MANY FREEZE DRIED FOODS! You want freeze dried butter? They have it. I've stuck to the fruits, mostly, but those unusual ingredients tantalize me with their possibilities. I regularly get #10 (aka BIG, bulk) cans of freeze dried fruits there at fabulous prices. If you're lucky enough to have a Honeyville in your area, check it out. If not, you can get #10 cans of freeze dried fruits on Amazon, too.
To make the meringues, I used the same recipe I use for making pavlovas, but I cut the batch in half.
Mini Meringue Chips Recipe:
- egg whites from two large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
In a perfectly clean mixer, use a whisk attachment to whip the egg-whites until they turn into fluffy foam. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat. Add the vinegar, corn starch, and vanilla, and beat until the mixture makes firm, shiny peaks.
I filled a disposable pastry bag (I love this brand) with the meringue and an open star tip. The star tip is just for fun, but not necessary, by any means. Pipe onto parchment lined cookie sheets. This size batch of meringue filled up four baking sheets with the tiny meringue kisses.
Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Turn off the oven, but don't open the door! Let the oven cool down completely before removing the meringues.
I made my snack mixes using freeze dried strawberries and freeze dried peaches.
I used a half cup of fruit and 50 of the tiny meringues for each serving of snack mix.
It's a good sized bag of strawberries and cream snack mix, right? And all for about 130 calories, and zero fat. And with that fabulous flavor, it would be a treat worth eating at twice the calories!
What freeze dried fruit should I get next? I'm leaning toward apricots, though my daughter is lobbying hard for raspberries.