fruit leather

on my book shelf is an old tattered recipe book (that looks more like a children's coloring book than a cookbook) entitled 'dry it, you'll like it' ... it's a recipe book my dad would use to make me fruit leather as a kid. sometimes i still borrow his dehydrator for various 'cooking' projects, but fruit leather can also simply be made in an oven at it's lowest temperature (165 or 170 for most ovens). with higher heat you do loose more of the raw enzymes, but oven-dried fruit leather is just as delicious!

such a simple recipe. a great way to use up over-ripe or under-ripe fruits!

3 cups of fruit - berries, mangos, bananas, apples/pears, peaches/plums... probably not grapes or citrus or mellon - those would be a little too wet.
4 dates (optional to add a bit extra sweetness)
1/4 cup water

blend all ingredients together in a high-power blender until very smooth. cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper - making sure that it is fitted perfectly so it can lie flat. spread the fruit puree on the parchment paper, spreading and giggling until it is about 1/4 inch thick. bake at your oven's lowest temp for 4 to 8 hours or until the edges are a little crisp and it has a nice leathery look across the entire surface. it will still feel sticky to touch, but it will not be soft.

cut into squares and roll it up! save in the fridge for up to two weeks. enjoy!