Our Organic Okanagan
Have a heaping amount of one fruit that's in season? That's what happens when the sun shines straight for 5 months!
I had too many apricots.... and this post was born. We're so lucky here in the Okanagan to have fresh fruits in abundance throughout the warm and delicious summer time.
In our microwaved-drive-thru culture, a powerful motion in the real food movement is to buy local whole foods and prepare them yourself. It's so powerful! But sometimes you don’t make a choice to buy your favourites, like peaches or cherries or nectarines. Sometimes, you are gifted food from friends who have too much from their tree, or from their friend. This is a fantastic way to eat local, but sometimes presents a problem. What the heck do I do with all this excess fresh food?
Everyone decided to give me apricots this weekend, and I knew we couldn't eat them all in time, so I decided that I'd dry them to preserve. But dry them whole or blend them down for fruit leather? I'd wanted to try fruit leather for quite some time, and now was the perfect opportunity. I found lots of recipes online that told me that I needed to add sugar, lemon and other flavours.
Holistic Nutritionists love all-natural foods, so I thought the sweetness of the fruit was enough for me. I simply blended it down and spread it in the dehydrator.
Here's my directions for the most simple, basic and whole fruit leather you can create....
Measure and cut 3 cups of fruit total (your choice). Fresh is best.
Add the fruit (and some water if needed) to a blender or food processor. Cover with a lid. Blend until smooth.
If you don't have liners on your dehydrator, you can line it with plastic wrap
Spread thin layers of the blended fruit on the wrap or liner
Use a spatula to get a nice even surface, as you want it to dry evenly!
Dehydrate at 135° - 140°.
Takes 6-11 hours depending on method, thickness and fruit of your fruit leather.
Carefully peel fruit leather off sheet and rip or cut into strips.
Roll in parchment paper strips or store in a used yogurt container.
We have a great dry climate here in the Okanagan, perfect for drying fruit, as it is not ideal to dry on a rainy or humid day. Enjoy your crispy, tasty fruit leather! (It's homemade, its real and its fantastic.)
I loved the apricot fruit leather. Vitamin A is an antioxidant high in apricots and as they are fresh in June and July in BC they don't keep long . It’s one reason why preserving is a great idea! [Join the Fermenting the Okanagan Facebook group]
Caution: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine large quantities of fresh apricots can stress the spleen and stomach. Please don't overeat these natural treats.