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Honey Apricot Sesame Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

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My inspiration for this fruit leather came about as I was meandering through the grocery store aisle that carried the bulk food items.  I had always been a fan of those Honey Sesame Candies and there they were, just begging for me to take them home.  I sighed and declined their plea… poor little guys.  Those candies are nothing but a sugary swimming pool for sesame seeds.  Even though I don’t eat them anymore,  they did spark a longing for those flavors.

Now, I won’t go as far as saying that this fruit leather mimics those high sugared candies, I just wanted you to know where my inspiration came from.  Much to my amazement, they came out even better than I could have imagined.  By adding in the dried apricots, it really made this leather nice and thick, chewy and very very flexible.

I have always been a fan of sesame seeds but it wasn’t till I started with my raw food journey, that I found out that sesame seeds are the main ingredient in making tahini butter, I had no idea.  But then you are looking at the same girl who never knew that mashed potatoes and french fries were both potatoes. lol  Mind you, as a child,  I ate the standard American diet.  And during the occasional times of eating out I would always order mashed potatoes and french fries with brown gravy over both (nothing else).  Oy-vey! So thankful that I don’t eat that way now.   Anyway back to sesame seeds…

Sesame seeds are high in copper, magnesium and calcium, which play a role in human health.

Copper

  • Reduces swelling and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, beneficial in relation to inflammatory systems.
  • Supports blood vessels and bone health.Magnesium
  • Relief to those suffering from asthma attacks.
  • Can help reduce migraines.
  • Lowering high blood pressure, a contributing factor in heart attack, stroke, and diabetic heart disease.

Calcium

  • Protects colon cells from carcinogenic chemicals
  • Prevents migraine
  • Can reduce bone loss

Just a little snippet on their health benefits to wet your whistle (For more detailed info, you can read about it here.)… now lets move on to the recipe where I hope you find it even more mouth-watering!

Ingredients: yields 2 3/4 cup puree (made 14 gift pkgs)

  • 4 cups sliced apricots
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4  cup + 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup diced dried apricots (divide into 2 portions)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:

  1. Select RIPE or slightly overripe apricots that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor.
  2. Puree the apricots, honey, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, cinnamon and vanilla, in the blender or food processor until smooth.  Taste and sweeten more if needed.  Keep in mind that flavors will intensify as they dehydrate.  When adding a sweetener do so a little at a time, and reblend, tasting until it is at the desired taste.  It is best to use a liquid type sweetener.  Don’t use a granulated sugar because it tends to change the texture.  
  3. Add 1/2 cup of diced dried apricots and blend for 40 seconds.
  4. Spread the fruit puree on teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator.  Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  If you don’t have teflex sheets for the trays, you can line your trays with plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Do not use wax paper or aluminum foil.
    • I only used one tray.
    • Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray, I use coconut oil that comes in a spray.
    • When spreading the puree on the liner, allow about an inch of space between the mixture and the outside edge.  The fruit leather mixture will spread out as it dries, so it needs a little room to allow for this expansion.
    • Be sure to spread the puree evenly on your drying tray.  When spreading the puree mixture, try tilting and shaking the tray to help it distribute more evenly.  Also, it is a good idea to rotate your trays throughout the drying period.  This will help assure that the leathers dry evenly.
    • Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of diced dried apricots and the 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds on the wet leather.
  5. Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 105 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 16 (+/-) hours.  Flip the leather over about half way through, remove the teflex sheet and continue drying on the mesh sheet.
    • Check for dark spots on top of the fruit leather.  If dark spots can be seen it is a sign that it is not completely dry.
    • Press down on the fruit leather with a finger.  If no indentation is visible or if it is no longer tacky to the touch, the fruit leather is dry and can be removed from the dehydrator.
    • Peel the leather from the dehydrator trays or parchment paper. If it peels away easily and holds its shape after peeling, it is dry. If it is still sticking or loses its shape after peeling, it needs further drying.
    • Under-dried fruit leather will not keep; it will mold.  Over-dried fruit leather will become hard and crack, although it will still be edible and will keep for a long time
  6. Storage: to store the finished fruit leather…
    • Allow the leather to cool before wrapping up to avoid moisture from forming, thus giving it a breeding ground for molds.
    • Roll them up and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
    • Place in an air-tight container, and store in a dry, dark place. (Light will cause the fruit leather to discolor.)
    • The fruit leather will keep at room temperature for one month, or in a freezer for up to one year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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