The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Leftover fruit leather experiments

Fruit leatherOur dehydrator came in the mail Tuesday, and I barely had it out of the box before filling it up with food.  I wanted to pull overripe bananas and last fall's applesauce out of the freezer to make room for the produce that's starting to pour in, and also wanted to give the dehydrator a good test run.  So I mixed up four types of experimental fruit leather:

  • Apple: 2 cups of applesauce, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of honey
  • Apple/strawberry: 0.5 cups of strawberry puree, 1 cup of applesauce, 0.75 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1.5 tablespoons of honey
  • "Banana bread": 1.75 cups of mashed banana, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • Banana/strawberry: 0.5 cups of strawberry puree, 1 cup of mashed banana, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of honey

(All measurements are enough to make one trayful.)

Peel fruit leatherFour and a half hours later, I was peeling the first leather off the nonstick tray inserts.  My primary objective was to make the old fruit disappear into our bellies quickly, and I'm very happy with the experiment in that respect --- Mark happily nibbled on the leather without any prompting.

In terms of flavor, I don't think any of these recipes are nearly as good as pure strawberry or peach leather, but the apple/strawberry came close.  If I only had a few strawberries and plenty of apples, I might be tempted to eke out of my strawberries this way to make them go three times as far.  In general, I've read that apple is a good addition to other types of leather since it helps the consistency and stretches the fruit without adding too much flavor.

The banana and banana/strawberry leathers were the least appealing to both me and Mark.  Banana has such a strong flavor that it overpowered the strawberry, and it lacks the sweet/tart combo we enjoy.  We concluded that even without adding honey, the dried banana was just too sweet.  That said, Mark hasn't turned up his nose at any of the leathers --- I think I may have found a new, healthy snack to have on hand.
 

Our chicken waterer never spills or fills with poop.


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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.



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