|A perfect snack for school lunch boxes!|
Follow Foods For Long Life on FACEBOOK !
My First Try at Fruit Leather
When I bought my Excalibur dehydrator, it came with "Preserve it Naturally II, The Complete Guide to Food Dehydration" . The book has lots of ideas on how to dehydrate fruits and vegetables and many other recipes for things I'd never make, like beef jerky. It also dehydrates most things at higher temperatures than what raw foodists would normally use. But it did inspire me to make something that I have never tried and that's fruit leather. So last night, before I went to bed, I whipped up some blueberries and a banana in my Vitamix, poured 4 little pancake-like puddles of the mixture on a dehydrator sheet, popped it in my Excalibur and woke up to 4 little fruit leathers! It was that easy!
Perfect Time of the Year
This is the time of year when we are buried in fruit from our trees or from the farmers' markets. It's also the time of year when the kids are going back to school and we struggle to think of healthy things to put into their lunch boxes. This is the perfect solution!
Mix apples with peaches and a touch of cinnamon. Try using strained blackberry pulp with a banana. Mix apples and pears with some ginger or vanilla extract. Just experiment with the fruit you have at hand! To prevent darkening of light colored fruit, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or 1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid to each 2 cups of fruit. WRITE A COMMENT AT THE END OF THIS POST IF YOU HAVE ANY GOOD FRUIT LEATHER RECIPES TO SHARE!
To make your snack even more nutritious, spread some peanut or almond butter on the leather and roll it up. You can even drop some chopped walnuts or coconut onto the mixture before it goes into the dehydrator. These are some of the ideas from this book and I'm sure we can come up with lots more!
Many of the fruit leathers at the store add sugar and corn syrup to the mixture. Fruit is sweet by itself so there really is no need. By making these yourself, you can be in control of what your child is eating. You can use organic fruit, leave out the sweeteners and food coloring and be certain that your family is getting the most healthful snack possible!
|Some people spread the leather over the entire sheet and make one large leather. I like having little 4 inch pancakes.|
|Roll the little pancakes up or fold them over.|
|Wrap tightly in plastic and drop in the lunchbox or store.|
Each fruit leather is only 51 calories and has 2 g of fiber!
Blueberry Banana Fruit Leathers
Raw Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 8 (4 1/2 inch round) fruit leathers]
2 cups blueberries ,cleaned (if you use frozen, thaw first)
2 large bananas, peeled and cut up
Place fruit in a Vitamix or other high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Pour out 8 pancakes (about 1/4 cup each) onto 2 large Teflex dehydrator sheets (4 pancakes per sheet).
With the back of a spoon, gently spread pancake so that it is about 4 to 4 1/2 inches round. The mixture should be 1/8 inch in the center and 1/4 inch thick at the edges. Don't make them too thin.
Dehydrate at 105 degrees F until leathery and pliable and the center is no longer sticky. Mine took 9 1/2 hours but this will vary depending on the amount of moisture in your blended fruit mixture.
Peel leather off the Teflex sheets. Roll up or fold in half and then in quarters.
To store, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the leathers will keep one month at room temperature or for 1 year if the tightly wrapped leathers are put in the freezer.
Per fruit serving: 51.3 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 55 mg omega-3 and 84 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber and 0.7 mg sodium.