Strawberry Mint Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~
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Strawberry Mint Fruit Leather is fresh and vibrant with flavor. Marrying together some of the best flavors of spring – strawberries and fresh mint – this leather provides the perfect combination of bright flavors to summon you to the kitchen! Whereas fresh strawberries are not in season year round, making and freezing fruit leathers are a great way to preserve them so you can enjoy them as the taste buds demand.
Ingredients: yields 2 cups puree
- 4 cups fresh organic strawberries
- 1 Tbsp raw agave nectar
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
- Chop the fresh mint leaves – and set aside.
- Pile the mint leaves on your cutting board.
- Chop the mint roughly first, drawing the it into a pile as you rechop.
- Finely chop the mint by using the “hinge” method. Hold the knife firmly but not too tight with one hand, and place the fingers of your other hand on top of the knife down by the tip, both to keep the tip lightly pressed to the cutting board and to keep that hand out-of-the-way.
- Raise the knife handle up and down rapidly, using a rocking motion, with the tip of the knife acting as a hinge.
- Use the knife to draw the mint back into a neat pile after every few strokes to make sure they are chopped evenly.
- Select RIPE or overly ripe strawberries that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor.
- Puree the strawberries and agave, adding the mint at the very end, 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.
- 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. I poured 1/2 a cup of each puree on one tray and spread it into strips. 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 sliced fresh strawberries very thin and placed them on the wet leather, this is an option.
- 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.
- Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 105 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 16 (+/-) hours. Finished consistency should be pliable and easy to roll.
- Check for dark spots on top of the fruit leather. If dark spots can be seen it is a sign that the fruit leather 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
- 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.