A sale on strawberries finally made me break down and use it. I had so many and didn't know how to use them all before they went bad. I decided to make some homemade fruit leather out of it. Many of the recipes I found could be made in an oven, but highly suggested using a dehydrator instead. I gave in and decided to try it out.
The fruit leather was super easy to make. It starts with cut up fresh strawberry bits in a double boiler, or if you are me you just use a pot inside a slightly bigger pot. Cooking level: college student.
You know the strawberries are done when they become mushy and a lot of syrupy juice leaks out. The next part calls for a blender, but I don't trust mine ever since my ex roommates left some kind of juice in it for a very long time. I really should just throw it out and buy a new one since I refuse to use it anyways.
Once again, I had to improvise. I used a potato masher. It worked pretty well, it would have been better with some kind of blender, but it still was acceptable.
I was also a bit unsure of using plastic wrap on a dehydrator tray. I figured that would make it not work right or something. Well, it was all part of the experiment, so I gave it a try.
I spread the strawberry goop as evenly as possible on the tray and let it dehydrate for about six hours or so.
|Doesn't look too great.|
However, it still tasted really good. A little tart, but really good.
I did mess up a bit. My dehydrator is a little uneven in it's dehydrating. The half that I tested was nice and ready, the other half still was a little moist. I just ate that part and saved the rest.
Since the fruit leather only took up one tray, I decided to get a little adventurous and try my hand at something else at the same time. I had an apple in my fridge just begging to have the moisture pulled out of it.
I was a little worried, every website I looked at suggested using something called "fresh fruit" to stop fruit from oxidizing in the dehydrator. It might just be me, but I always assumed people got dehydrators to eat heathy and stay away from any kind of preservatives. I knew I still had a bunch of lemons, and that lemons prevent oxidization. Since it was only one apple, I soaked the slices in a bath of cold water and fresh lemon juice instead and gave it a shot.
|Lemon apples taste pretty good by themselves|
Then I got the fever. The "will it dehydrate" fever. This was the most fun I had since my "will it blend smoothie making phase.
I tried my lemon water trick with bananas. I didn't let them dehydrate all the way, instead I took them out when they were still a little gummy like. As long as you eat them in a few days and keep them refrigerated they make a really good snack. I defiantly will try them again fully dehydrated too.
I also did some carrots. Apparently, you are supposed to cook them and shock them a bit. I think they came out just fine. They are great when I want something healthy and crunchy.
I did a batch of oranges too. However, they were mostly eaten while they were dehydrating, so I didn't get a picture. They would be great for homemade teas. I want to try lemon slices now too.
I learned a lesson. Dehydrating things is simple, requires little effort, and produces great results. I highly suggest giving it a try. The price of the unit is well worth all the cheap healthy snacks. I am looking forward to making new fruit leathers and trying new fruits and vegetables.