Thursday, May 24, 2012

Homemade Fruit Leather

I was having a tough time finding grass-fed, organic jerky made with no soy or sugar, so, what's a gal to do? Buy a dehydrator and make your own! Now, I did play around with some recipes for homemade venison jerky but I'm still working on perfecting the recipe, it's not quite ready for prime time so I thought I'd share a simple and tasty sweet treat. I made peach fruit leather and it turned out darn tasty!

I started with a bag of frozen organic peaches since it was early March and the farmer's market wasn't open yet. I also used a half cup of unsweetened apple sauce for texture and sweetness.

 First step was to thaw out the peaches (I didn't quite get them all the way thawed since I was impatient). The second step was to put the peaches and apple sauce in my mini chopper and went to town. I ended up with a nice smooth and quite tasty mixture that I would totally feed to a baby if I were to have a baby.

 The next step is to prepare the dehydrator. I found out the hard way that you need to grease the fruit leather insert. I chose to use some coconut oil since I'm paleo and vegetable spray is not so paleo.

 I simply smeared it on with a paper towel. An added bonus was the added flavor of coconut!

 Once the dehydrator was ready I spread the puree into a nice uniform thickness.  Once it was looking all pretty and smooth I put it in the dehydrator, plugged it in and set it on one of the medium temps. It took about 4 hours to fully dehydrate. Since I had multiple trays in at once I stopped it periodically and moved the trays around (I was using plastic wrap on some trays so the air flow wasn't ideal). The result was irregular shaped but very tasty peach fruit leather! It would have been great if it had been all perfectly rectangular or round but that's not what you get with a round dehydrator.

I've heard that you can do this in a regular oven in which case you could get your nice neat shapes. I also experimented with berry's but found the seeds to be a problem. If I do blackberry or raspberry again I'll strain them to get all of the seeds out. I also used made a batch using a "tropical blend" with banana, strawberry, mango and some applesauce and that was darn tasty. For my next batch I'm thinking strawberry and pineapple! I'll let you know how it goes :)

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