Squirrels work tirelessly stockpiling food for winter; why don’t we? Let’s say hypothetically you’ve been to the market; like the urban squirrel you are, bought all the seasonal organic fruits, berries and veggies you could carry. Now you’re sitting there with enough food to feed an army; but, you have a normal sized family and they cannot eat so much. So unless you do something about it, you’re going to have to throw it all away. Then the third world guilt sets in and you really start to feel bad. A vicious cycle we’re all familiar with. So, why not learn to utilise this bounty and plan ahead instead of throwing it away?
Besides cooking it… which you didn’t do in the first place. Well, dehydration is a great way to preserve food; people have been doing it since the beginning of time. It keeps the pantry full of your favourite seasonal foods all year long. You don’t even need a fancy machine. Here’s a method using your oven.
- Clean and cut fruits and/or vegetables in thin uniform slices.
- Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
- Arrange fruits and/or vegetables on the rack in a single layer.
- Set your oven to its lowest temperature and place the baking sheet on the middle rack.
- Leave oven slightly open and ‘bake’ for a minimum of one hour
- Some foods will need more time, so check after.
This recipe for ‘Fruit Rolls’ makes a nice healthy snack for the whole family.
Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes, you name it!)
Sugar (if desired)
Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
- Clean and prep the fruit.
- Place fruit in a large saucepan with 1/2 cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit.
- Simmer fruit until soft adding sugar to taste.
- Stir in lemon juice a teaspoon at a time to enhance flavour.
- Simmer until sugar is dissolved and fruit is all soft.
- Puree mixture and set aside to cool for a bit.
- Line a baking sheet (or 2) with strong plastic wrap and pour on a thin layer.
- Put it in your oven at 180 degrees F or lower for about 8.
- When its ready (not sticky) remove it from the tray and roll it up in its plastic until you’re ready to use it.
Keep your dehydrated treasures safe in our re-sealable vacuum bags, so you can just remove the quantity you need from it and re-seal the rest of the contents for further storage. We at Vacuvita hate waste and will do anything to prevent it. Which is why we thought this method of preserving fruits would come in handy. The possibilities are virtually endless; all it takes is a little patience and creativity. Like cooking it would have.