Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blueberry, Peach and Ginger Fruit Leather

**Originally posted on Greensgrow's blog**

While preparing for an upcoming hiking trip, we decided to hit the trail with as much of our CSA as possible.  Backpacking cuisine is all about saving weight, space and preparation effort, which makes packing fresh produce tricky. Doe Run’s Seven Sisters cheese is a no-brainer (we always like to bring hard cheese), but we needed to conceive of a way to get our Fifer Orchard peaches and blueberries trail-ready.

Fruit leather was the answer.  Think of this snack as an all-natural, homemade Fruit Roll-up.  Or maybe fruit jerky.  Pureeing then dehydrating the fresh fruit condenses its sugars and essential flavors resulting in a tart, chewy, easily portable and non-perishable fruit snack.  In other words, a perfect companion for extended trekking.

This can also be a great tool for tricking your kids into healthier eating.  It’s as sweet as candy yet contains no added sugar or preservatives.  It requires very little effort and you can make fruit leather with almost any fruit.  

For this batch we added lemon and ginger for a little extra zing.  But when choosing flavor enhancements keep in mind that you’ll be baking the fruit leather for a very long time and delicate herbs like mint and basil won’t hold up to the heat.  Look instead to heartier herbs and spices like cardamon, cinnamon, cayenne or rosemary.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 hours

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 peaches
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
  • Peel and pit peaches
  • Peel ginger and puree with blueberries and peaches
  • Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in lemon juice and zest
  • Cover a 10”x16” sheet tray with wax or parchment paper and spread the fruit puree evenly onto it
  • Bake in oven for roughly 5 hours or until the fruit leather has hardened.  For a low-energy alternative to baking, use a food dehydrator but allow for more time.   
  • Let cool, cover with wax or parchment paper, and cut into strips. Roll and tie with twine.

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