If you’d like to get your food and science nerd on today, read “Development and trends in fruit bar production and characterizations“. But there is better news. Pick fruit that is in season. Usually this is when you find the lowest listed price in the grocery. Then buy a bunch. And I mean a bunch! Create your own fruit leathers to retain the active enzymes and nutrients. Dehydrated at 105F they are still considered a raw food. Like the article says “Given the wide range of bioactive factors in fresh fruits that are preserved in fruit bars, it is plausible that their uptake consumption have a positive effect in reducing the risk of many diseases.” Yes. Please!
Food Processor – My Breville was 5 years old and well used. It just stopped working in June 2020. No smoke. No last hurrah, nothing. What did Breville do? Sent me a new one. The food processor I bought had a 25 year induction motor warranty. I bought it through Amazon so finding the receipt was easy. Check the warranty always but I’d highly suggest – start with Breville.
Dehydrator – The brand Excalibur has been an industry leader for years. I saved up and then bought one. It replaced the one I bought on late night TV years ago. Worth every penny. Whatever you have is good at 105F.
Silicone Matt – This mat fits perfectly is safely made of food grade silicone and has an edge so stuff doesn’t spill out. Three to an order. I liked them so much I went back and bought 3 more.
- 8 Cups of Grapes (I like to mix between green, red and dark purple)
- 2 Cups Strawberries (remove stem)
- 2 Small Apples, pealed & cored (whatever is on sale. I shy away from Red Delicious – too sweet and Green – too tart).
- Wash & destem grapes.
- Wash & remove stem of Strawberries
- Peel apple and core apple.
- Put all fruit into a food processor for two minutes and blend.
- Pour equal parts onto two Silicone Mats (about 3 cups after blended on each sheet) in a circle.
- Dehydrate at 105F for about 24 hours.
- The recommended dehydrator does require the fruit to be flipped over or trays to be rotated.
- While warm, pull silicone away from the fruit. Tear circle in 1/2. Then tear each 1/2 of circle into 3 or 4 strips. Roll up. Place in glass dish with sides to help fruit keep it’s form until cooled. Once cool, put the lid on.
- The 12 cups of Ingredients will reduce to about 6 cups of liquid.
- Mixed fruit has a runny texture. Don’t worry. The silicone sided pad fixes all that.
- Do not push the fruit mixture to the sides of the tray. Just pour into a circle and let it take it’s shape naturally. If pushed to the sides, the leather can be too thin and have gaps once dehydrated.
- Use a straw to remove strawberry centers.
- I roll mine up with the textured side out. But if you like a smoother texture, roll the smoother side out. It’s all about preference of texture. Tastes is still amazing!