I just watched Food, Inc. yesterday, and it’s making me look at food in a whole different way. I think my jaw was on the ground from start to end of the documentary. I was shocked and disgusted. I’ve never really given much thought about how food is grown, how it’s processed, and where it comes from. I just went to the grocery store and bought what I needed with my savings card to get the best bang for my buck. Now I’m not feeling so guilty about the $100 I spent for some groceries the other day at one of the more eco-friendly, green markets. The movie just reinforced the need to buy from local farmers, organic products, and from eco-friendly markets. It’s also left me feeling the need to eat more veggies, and less meat. Ugh.
Have you seen Food, Inc. yet? If you have, did it change the way you buy food?
Apricot-Mango-Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups
4 apricots, diced
1 1/2 cups strawberries, diced
1 large mango, diced
2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 150 degrees F one hour before dehydrating the fruit roll-ups.
[Just as a side note, my oven did not have a setting for 150 degrees F. Instead, it has a "warm" setting, which I used, and worked out great. Also, as an FYI, you will be using this "dehydrating" setting for about 6 to 8 hours. It may be tempting to use a higher temperature to quicken the process, but you'll just bake the fruit roll-ups rather than dehydrate them. So patience is key with this recipe.]
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add water and diced fruit. Cook until the fruit breaks down so that it is soft and mushy. Allow the fruit mixture to thicken (the syrup should coat the back of the spoon and shouldn’t be runny or thin), almost like the consistency of a chunky applesauce. Adjust sweetness with agave nectar to your liking… I used about 1.5 tablespoons of agave nectar because the fruit was already really sweet.
Carefully pour the fruit “compote” into a food processor or blender, and puree the liquid until it is smooth in consistency.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with non-flavored oil, such as corn or vegetable oil. Pour fruit mixture onto baking sheet and spread evenly across the baking sheet, about 1/4-inch thick.
Place baking sheet into oven and dehydrate for about 6 to 8 hours. The amount of dehydrating time varies depending on the thickness and the amount of sugar in the fruit mixture, so check every two hours until done. You don’t want crispy fruit roll-ups. When the fruit is dry and no longer sticky to touch, remove baking sheet from oven, and allow to cool at room temperature. If you find that the edges are a little crispy, just rehydrate by dabbing the edges with a wet paper towel.
When cool to handle, carefully peel the sheet of dehydrated fruit and lay it on a cutting board, and cut with a knife or pizza slicer into 2″ by 6″ strips, or whatever size you want. Cut wax paper or parchment paper just a little larger than the strips, and roll the strips of fruit into fruit roll-ups. Store in the pantry in an airtight container for up to two weeks.