Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dried fruit...so easy and yummy!

21 years ago, 
I entered the wonderful world of marital bliss! 
I was SO excited for the adventure of being a wife and homemaker and I still remember the day that I purchased the Home Canning book shown above.  
It was full of all kinds of helpful tips for canning, freezing and drying fruits and veggies and had many yummy recipes. 

I feel ancient
as I think about how times have changed since the early years of our marriage.    
The year 1990 meant,
if you didn't have a cookbook in your house that had a recipe you wanted to make up, you either had
to go to the library and look for recipes,
purchase cooking books from the store, OR, 
go to the store and read magazines and hope a recipe you would like to make, would be featured in it.  
Nowadays, we are SO blessed with having the internet that if you are looking for a recipe, you can usually find it "lickety split", with just a few clicks of your mouse.

(Sorry, I digress...now back to my story)
I was SO excited when we purchased a $5.00 food dehydrator (small and cheap) and ventured out in making up dried fruit for our trail mixes that we like to take hiking/backpacking, OR to just enjoy as an afternoon snack.
This is what I did back then and what I am still doing...
I open a can of Pineapple Tidbits, drain off the juice,
take the pineapple tidbits and place them on one or two of the dehydrator trays,
slice bananas real thin (between 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch thick)
and then dip the bananas into the pineapple juice to help in preserving them and to keep them from going brown,
put the bananas on the trays as well and depending upon your dehydrator you will have perfectly dried fruit in 24-48 hours.  (I've also done apples and apricots)

I pull the fruit off when it is pliable and no visible sign of moisture is showing,
pull off the fruit while the dehydrator is still on as it hardens quite quickly when cooled and it is almost impossible to pull it off after it has cooled.

Take Mason Jars and line the inside with waxed paper, put the dried fruit it after it has cooled,
fold the wax paper over the fruit,
put a lid on and
you are ready to have dried fruit to munch on, or, add to nuts to make your own trail mix.

BTW... 21 years later, I still have an inexpensive dehydrator...it was about $20.00, doesn't have a fan, or fruit leather making trays, but it works great, for what I need to use it for.

Easy, YUMMY  and most of all something that ANYONE can do!
Such a yummy snack for
kids and adults of any age to eat!

Ethan wanted popcorn one afternoon for a snack to enjoy as he read his Harry Potter book and I had just pulled off dried fruit from the dehydrator and sprinkled a few pieces on top of his popcorn and I heard him say all afternoon...
"Mom, I LOVE that dried fruit...it is so sweet
and I think it is better than candy"!

Enjoy, the fruits of the season,
Enjoy, taking the abundance you have today 
and preserving it for tomorrows enjoyment

You'll find out yourself that it is absolutely delicious
AND it is fun to do as well!

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