REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
I want to apologize for being away from my blog the past few weeks. Shortly after my last post, I had to have a spinal tap. It’s all part of the process of figuring out my cerebellar atrophy. Unfortunately, following my spinal tap, I got horrible headaches that did not go away for a few days. I ended up having to get a blood patch in the emergency room. While the blood patch is supposed to cure the headache, my blood patch did not, and it actually added terrible back pain. Overall, though, it all resolved after about 10 miserable days. I spent the following week enjoying Christmas with my family, and the week after, my in-laws came to visit. The first week of this new year, I spent getting everything back on track for regular life. So, here I am! I’m back at last!
For Christmas, my mom actually got me a dehydrator. I’ve been wanting one for quite some time. I’ve made kale chips, beet chips, rutabaga, and apple chips with it so far. I think I’m in love! It dehydrates so much more evenly than the oven. Today, I actually made some berry fruit leather, with some leafy greens hidden in the mix. It’s super simple, and doesn’t really require that things be measured out. Don’t overthink it. All you really need are some berries, and heck, any fruit works, really. I chose to add greens, but you don’t have to.
My first step was putting 2 handfuls of leafy greens, and 3 handfuls of mixed berries into a pot on low heat. If you’re using fresh produce, you can actually skip this step. It happens to be January, and the berries and greens I used were from my freezer. I heated mine just enough to thaw them, not melt them. I added 4 oz of natural fruit juice to the pot. That’s optional, but if you have to thaw your produce in a pot, it does make it easier to stir and heat evenly. You can actually use water, coconut water, or even coconut milk, here.
If you’re using fresh produce, you can start here, and if you’re using frozen, once you’ve thawed it, you can move to this step. Just throw it all into your blender. I added a little lime juice to my mixture. You could use lemon, orange, or even grapefruit juice, too. It keeps the color nice, and adds nice flavor. You can also add honey here, and maybe even some chia seeds for texture, if you wish.
Blend until completely smooth. You don’t want green leafy pieces in your fruit leather. When you think it’s done, give it another minute to be sure.
Lay some parchment paper down in your dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use a cookie sheet in your oven on the very lowest setting. I used my dehydrator. For the model I have, the trays are sort of donut shaped. They have a small hole in the center. I simply cut a whole in my parchment paper and made it fit. Once you’re set, you can pour the mixture onto the parchment paper nice and slow, and evenly. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t really run all over the place. Close your dehydrator and turn it on.
Check the leather periodically. The dehydrating time can vary greatly depending on how thickly it was poured, how thin the liquid was, and even your house temperature and humidity level. If you’re unsure, it’s better to let it dry a little longer and have it crisp slightly, than to have a soggy, soupy mess.