Friday, November 6, 2009

See What's in My Dehydrator Today

Today I decided to make a few things. I recently bought a huge box each, of pears and apples. The apples will last longer, but the pears are starting to get soft. They are perfect to eat right now, but I can't eat the whole box. So, I'm making some fruit leather and dried fruit. I have a 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator. It's great because it has a timer, so I can set it for up to 26 hours if I need to, and a temparature control (very important) Foods need to be dried under 118 to retain the natural enzymes. I did 4 trays of fruit leather. 2 were peach/pear which I pureed in my Blendtec Blender. I had some frozen peaches and I thought the combination would be tasty. Then I made some strawberry/pear (used frozen strawberries from costco), and then just apples with some cinnamon sprinkled in the blender. The other 5 trays are just rings of apples and pears.

I can't believe how sweet they are. No sweetener added! Once the fruit dries, the natural sugars are concentrated into a much smaller peice than what you start with. Now I don't have to worry about the pears going bad. These will last for years now - well they will probably go much quicker in this house. The girls LOVED them! I kept catching them sneaking another fruit roll up. They are only 2 and 3 years old. At least all it is is pure fruit - a mother can only smile at that! :)

Fruit Leather:

Select ripe or slightly overripe (but not spoiling) produce that blends and tastes well together. (Strawberries and rhubarb, or bananas and pineapple make great combinations.) Wash, remove any blemishes, stems or pits and peel produce, if desired. (Keep in mind produce skins are highly nutritious). Puree the produce in a blender until it is smooth.

Pour 1½ to 2 cups of puree on to a ParaFlexx™ sheet or parchment paper covered trays. Since the edges tend to dry more rapidly, the poured puree should be 1/8" thick at the center and 1/4" thick at the edges. Place the prepared puree in the dehydrator with the temperature set at 135ºF. Average drying time for leathers is 4 to 6 hours. When the leather has dried, it will be a bit shiny and non-sticky to the touch. Allow the leather to cool and peel it from the tray. Roll it into a tight cylindrical shape. A piece of plastic wrap, measured to fit the length and width, is then tightly wrapped around the leather.

See my website for more info on my favorite kitchen tools that make this a cinch!

1 comment:

  1. I have an excaliber dryer. I need to get it out and use it more. The fruit leathers go SO fast. Everyone loves them.