The Hardest, Easiest Thing I’ve Made: Fruit Leathers

 

Fruit LeatherI like to think I now eat a balanced diet (except for the occasional binge of crisps, cakes or chocolate but then who doesn’t). This hasn’t always been the case but since I took up running a few years ago I have tried to be a little more healthier. I’m not one for the Atkins diet because you cant beat crunchy peanut butter with a glass of milk, I couldn’t go vegan as Huvos rancheros (Spanish eggs) is a perfect dish for a hangover and trying to do the cabbage soup diet doesn’t sound like fun to me. So running it is to keep away the unwanted pounds.

On a good week (Not that I get many due to injuries) I can run up to 30 miles. Before I run or just after I like to find things that I can scoff with out too many calories. As running for an hour only burns around 200ish calories eating a bar of chocolate that contains 200+ calories kinds of defeats the object of going for a run. This is when I discovered fruit rolls or fruit leathers as I later found out they are called.

In the UK their is only 1 company that I know of that makes fruit leathers and if you are lucky the supermarkets will have them on sale at 50p (75c) a packet. After a quick bit of maths in my head I worked out water, apples, lemon and sugar would be cheaper.

After searching Google+ I found the simplest method that didn’t involve me purchasing a dehydrator and set to work. Making fruit leather in its simplest form is easy. Take your apples, peel, core them (I didn’t peel mine), chop them and then place in pan with some sugar, water & lemon juice and cook until thick. Once think strain through a sieve (this is why I didn’t peel the apples as the sieve will filter this out).

Spread your mix evenly on to a cling filmed baking tray and bake at 100ºc for about 8 hours until completely dry ( I did mine for about 3 hours at 140°c and it showed). Once cold cut and enjoy.

Would I make these again? Yes. I think you can play around with 100’s of different flavour combinations. Just don’t expect them to be ready in a few hours like I did.

Ingredients
625g Apple
300g Sugar
50ml Water
1 Lemon – Juiced

Method
Use the method above otherwise. Chop and deseed your apple. Add the apples to a pan with the water and sugar, cook until apples are soft. using a potato masher (or blender) mash until thick. Add the lemon juice to taste. Sieve on to a cling film lined baking tray. Spread out evenly and put them on the lowest setting that your oven will go on to (around about 100ºc). Bake for about 8 hours until dry and set. When cold cut them.

 

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