Last week we picked up a peck of East Texas peaches. They were HUGE! We made some peach preserves, but I ran out of my pectin before I got too many jarred. I like to use Pamona Universal Pectin because I can use honey in it instead of sugar. Unfortunately I cannot get this locally. So when I'm out, I'm out. I ended up with seven jars of preserves and a ton of peaches. Buddy was thrilled by this prospect! That boy put away so many peaches! Towards the end of the week they were getting squashy and not very appetizing. We took those suckers and made fruit leathers out of them!
This was my first venture into making fruit leather, but for some reason I didn't really research any methods. I just followed my gut on what to do.
First I chopped up the peaches and removed all pits- I didn't peel them. I put them in my big stock pot and cooked them down a bit. It was probably around three minutes of actual cook time. By that point they were nice and juicy (remember, I started with over ripe peaches).
Then I popped them into the blender and pureed them until they were completely smooth.
I layered some plastic wrap on three cookie sheets.
Then I poured the pureed peaches onto the plastic, about 1/4 inch thick. John and I discussed the best method for dehydrating them. We figured we might as well put the 104 degree temps to work and laid them out in the back of the car.
This was genius! Or so we thought. However, we didn't take into account the temperature fluctuations that would take place on our short drive to church. After 24 hours the puree was somewhat dry, but still really tacky. I gave up on my dream and popped them into the oven. The great thing is that with the sun doing most of the work, they were only in the oven for about 3 hours on the "warm" setting, and then they were ready store!
Using my kitchen scissors, I cut them into leather strips. If after exhibit (a) we made our own fruit leathers and (b) we tried to dry them using solar power, you still don't believe that we are hippies, well, here's Buddy displaying the final product in his home made tie-dye t-shirt.
After the kids ate as many as I would let them, I wrapped them up in wax paper and put them in the refrigerator.
We ended up making about 50 leathers! That alone well covers the cost of the peaches. I am very pleased with the final product. They are delicious!
Thank you for all of your thoughts and experience shared in the comments about our going grain and sugar free. It really encouraged me to hear all of your stories!
Grain/ sugar fast update:
Day one down! I wanted to write this here for my records. I figured it may be of interest to anyone else that is thinking about going down this path.
Monday we ate:
B- fried eggs, watermelon and banana
L- romaine and spinach salad with blueberries, crispy almonds, chia seeds, and salmon (on sale! YES!)
D- Roasted lemon chicken with roasted carrots and parsnips and sauteed okra with red sweet peppers
tired. And I have a headache behind my right eye. I am surprised by this! I was expecting some side effects, but not this soon. Who knew my few servings of grains per day would cause such drastic effects? Ok, well, some of you knew. But since we eat so clean in general, I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. I am starting yogurt and have a chicken in the crock pot for more stock. Here's to being another day closer to feeling great!