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Preparedness Without the Internet

-29 Wind Chill and Dropping

Good Morning!
Does the picture look cold? It is here, -29 and dropping.
I wasn't able to share later yesterday due to 
no internet connection. 
I have a sneaking hunch it had to do with such cold temps.
I'm definitely learning to be more mobile savvy πŸ™‚
I am thankful to be up and running this morning though!

Yesterday I was able to work on the dried fruit leathers and wanted to share this morning if you'd like to make some yourself!
Dried fruit leathers or even vegetable ones can be very tasty, healthy and a good item for your Preparedness Pantry.

I've made them in the dehydrator and in the oven. So you can choose which method you want to use.

When the new website is ready I'll definitely be making available downloadable or printable PDF's. In the meantime I'll share the recipe and how-to's here.

Here's what you need:
2-3 pounds of fresh fruit
1/2 Cup of water
Sugar or your alternative sweetner
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
dash of cinnamon, nutmeg,  or other spices (optional)
vegetable or olive oil for brushing on your pan if drying in the oven.

Drying in the oven

1.If your fruit has pits or stems be sure to remove them and chop the fruit.
Taste how sweet the fruit is. If plenty sweet you won't need to add any sugar or alternative sweetner.

2. Put your fruit in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. 
Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat aproximately 15 minutes or until your fruit is soft.

3. Use a blender of food processor and puree the fruit to a smooth consistency.

4. Return to saucepan and add sugar or alternative sweetner until fruit is as sweet as you desire.
Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and sugar is dissolved and puree thickens. 
If not adding sugar or sweetner just simmer until the puree thickens. 

5. You can add lemon juice now to prevent food discoloration and brighten the flavor.
This is also a good time to add your spices and mix in well. 

6. Line a cookie sheet with a sturdy microwave safe wrap and brush with the vegetable or olive oil to keep the fruit from sticking.
I've just brushed well with oil my cookie sheet without the wrap as well. I've not had any issue with sticky but it's your call.
Pour in your puree to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness and spread as evenly as possible.

7. Place your cookie sheet in the oven, making sure if your using plastic wrap is not touching sides of oven or racks. Also be sure the plastic wrap hasn't folded over onto the fruit puree.
Heat your oven to the lowest setting-aprox 170 degrees on many ovens. Let the fruit dry as long as it takes for the fruit to dry and is no longer sticky.
For me it normally takes around 8-12 hours and I do it at night when the oven isn't needed for anything else.

8. When your fruit is dry if you have used the microwave safe wrap just roll it up and cut it in strips to your desired size.
If you have only brushed your pan with oil, just go ahead and roll up the same and cut to your desired size and wrap well in plastic wrap.
You can even use cookie cutters and cut out fun shapes. If you do so then go ahead and wrap your individual shapes. 
I use a vacuum sealer like the one below to store my fruit leathers in a bag and I'm certain they will stay fresh in storage until used. But you can store in fruit jars sealed tightly.

But don't forget to order bags if decide you want one 😁


 

If you want to use the Food Dehydrator Method

1. Follow steps 1-5 for the oven method 
2. Line the food dehydrator with plastic microwave safe wrap or purchase the fruit roll up racks.
I'm sharing below a fairly inexpensive dehydrator and racks for drying fruits and veggies below if you don't have one or the special racks for making the fruit leathers. This particular dehydrator comes with one rack for drying fruits and veggies.

You want to add the fruit puree 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.

3. Let your fruit dehydrate for 8-12 hours. The fruit is ready when fruit is dry, no longer sticky and easy to peel.

4. Roll up the fruit leathers in the plastic wrap and cut to desired size. If you used the drying rack for the fruit, just roll up and cut, wrap and store. Or again you can cut out shapes with cookie cutters, wrap and store. 


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