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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive
Why pay a mint for fruity snacks when you can make your own?
Fruit may be nature's candy, but who wants to schlep the extra weight on a backpack? The solution, of course, is fruit leathers. Coming in many different forms, leathers are simply dehydrated, blended fruit, which means that if you can blend and dry it, you can have it as a snack on the trail. It's super easy, even for the culinary challenged. Tip: If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put the fruit puree on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper, then place the tray in a propped-open oven at low heat, to achieve the same result. Here are a few tasty examples. Find all the basics about using a dehydrator here.
Eat it as a snack, or rehydrate it in camp for a side dish of applesauce.
2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Place apples in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of water; boil until soft. Gradually add apples to a blender with lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. Evenly spread the pureed fruit onto a plastic dehydrator tray. Dry for eight to 16 hours at 130 degrees until it is dried evenly. Remove, roll, and cut into desirable sizes.
Rhubarb Pie Roll-Up
This is perfect as a leather or as a dessert.
1 lb. rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
Several teaspoons of extra sugar to sweeten the rhubarb to taste
1 cup strawberries
1 cup sliced nectarines
1/4 cup water
1 pre-cooked piecrust
Bring the 1/4 cup of water to a boil while mixing in the 1/4 cup of sugar. Add the rhubarb into the saucepan in 1-inch pieces, then bring the water back to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, and add more sugar in 1- to 2-teaspoon increments until the sauce is the desired sweetness. Pour sauce, strawberries, and sliced nectarine into a blender. Now pour the mixture onto a plastic dehydrator tray. After eight hours of dehydrating, the fruit should be starting to solidify. Lightly sprinkle ground up piecrust over the top and resume dehydration until you can roll it.
Shortcut: Use canned pie filling, or take the fruit-pie filling from your favorite pie.
Yep, you can dry dairy too.
Take your favorite yogurt and place it on a plastic dehydrator tray, like with the applesauce. Check back after 12 hours. Afraid of the yogurt going bad? Don’t be: The high acidity inside the yogurt prevents it from going bad during dehydration.