Apricot Fruit Leather

Please note that no animals were harmed in the making of this leather…

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Val’s apricot bounty continues and she harvested some more this past weekend.  We had talked about experimenting with fruit leathers and with her handy new dehydrator and  the plethora of apricots, this proved to be the perfect time to give them a try.

The funny thing is when trying out new recipes or methods, you never quite know how they are going to turn out.  This experiment proved to be very successful!  The fruit leathers were awesome!

Fruit leathers make such a convenient and portable snack, they are perfect for active lifestyles and if you want to curb that craving for sugary treats.  Use fruit in season and create your own combinations by mixing different types of fruit.  We are using the apricots this time, but hope to try out other types as well.

Val’s dehydrator is perfect for this use, but you can use a low oven, so we have given you both recipes.

Ingredients:

4 cups ripe apricots, washed, blemishes removed and pitted (cut apricot in half and remove pit)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp ground chia seeds (use a coffee grinder to process)

optional: 2 tbsp maple syrup or more depending on how ripe the fruit is

Preparation:

Select ripe apricots that have reached their peak in flavour, colour and texture. The fruit leather will taste sweeter if the apricots are fully ripened.

Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Taste the puree and adjust sweetness as needed. Do not use granulated sugar as it will dry out the fruit leather and crack. Wait 15 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken before spreading it onto your dehydrator trays.

Spread the puree onto your teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator and pour to a depth of 1/4 inch thick.

Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for one hour, then reduce heat to 105 degrees (F) and continue for about 16 hours. Check for dark spots on the leather, this is a sign that the leather is not completely dry. Press the fruit leather to ensure that it is not sticky.

Peel the leather from the dehydrator. If the leather peels away easily, it is ready.

Allow the leather to cool before storing as this will prevent moisture loving bacteria from forming.

Cut the leather into squares or triangles depending on your dehydrator configuration.

Roll them up and place them in an airtight container lined with parchment. Store in a cool dry place or ideally in the fridge. This leather will keep for at least 4 weeks or more. It will also keep in the freezer for up to 12 months.

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Oven Method:

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees F.

Pour the above apricot mixture onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread the puree evenly to a 1/4 inch thickness. Coconut oil is a good option here.

Bake overnight for approximately 8-12 hours. The leather is ready when it is no longer tacky on the surface and has no dark spots.

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