savor the flavor

I LOVE fruit. I am eating an apple as I'm writing this. When I lived in France, I went to the open air market almost daily trying out new recipes with all the fruit I could find. Everything tastes better there. The apples and oranges are twice the size that they are here in the states and the strawberries melt in your mouth! No wonder strawberries and champagne originated in France. Even when I lived in California, my family and I went to the market every saturday and loaded up on fresh fruit to try new recipes. It was so much fun to taste new things! A few weeks ago my mother-in-law sent over a box of peaches from Utah. yum. I love these peaches but they go bad so fast by the time we get them so I knew that I needed to turn them into something just as sweet before we lost them and that's where fruit leather came in! This recipe is super super simple and healthy I found it on Our Best Bites and I just had to share.

Fruit (I did 2 plastic crates of strawberries and about 10 peaches...to add the just peachiness)
Lemon Juice
Liquid Stevia
Olive Oil
First step is to wash and peel all the fruit

Next, combine them into a blender and mix. I like to puree the fruit before I add the liquid just to make sure that everything gets mixed evenly

Once the fruit is pureed, add about 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 dropper fulls of liquid stevia. These amounts depend on your taste. Just remember that when the fruit is dried out, the sugars crystalize and get even sweeter.

Now you are ready to dry these bad boys out. Lay plastic wrap on a baking sheet (I know, I know. I thought the same thing) The oven temperature is so low that the plastic doesn't melt and now chemicals get into your food. The next step is important. I missed it on one of my many batches and ruined it. Cover the plastic with olive oil. The olive oil helps the fruit not stick and it is a healthier alternative to Pam or any other nonstick spray. Pour the liquid fruit onto the pan and spread evenly. I like to make mine as thick as possible. The thinner the leather the more bitter the taste I find.

Turn the over as low as it goes (my oven was at 170) and wait....... After about 8 hours or so your fruit should be leather! This recipe is so incredibly easy! If you need to leave the house and want to turn the oven off, go for it. The warmth of the over will still dry it out - just not as quickly. If you cook it too long, just add a bit of water to the parts that are a little too dry. This makes for some sweet and healthy snacks that are perfect for on the go!

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