fruit leather and beef jerky

I have been using my dehydrator and *loving* it lately. Before you tune me out because you don't have one, though, the two things I made this week can also be made in the oven.
Truthfully, there's not many things that I enjoy more than gnawing on a piece of beef jerky. Why yes, I am a refined lady, thank you. We really don't eat that much meat in our house, especially red meat, and I could take or leave a steak or roast. But give me some beef jerky, and I am one happy lady. I feel better when I have some red meat every now and then, and I love having an easy snack ready to grab.

We had some organic stir fry slices in a bundle of beef that we bought at our market a little while ago, and I thought that this would be the perfect way to use it. And it was. This is the original recipe I used for the marinade, but I left out the onion powder and liquid smoke, since I didn't have any on hand. And I probably guessed at the other amounts a bit. I marinated it for a day and a half, took it out and patted it dry, dehydrated it overnight, and it was perfectly dry in the morning. YUM. You could also do it in your oven on its lowest temperature; just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get too dry.

The other thing I dehydrated this week was some fruit leather - another easy snack to grab on your way out of the door, and it's simple, resourceful, and delicious. Also perfect to put in lunchboxes! I didn't use a proper recipe, but here's the method: I warmed some peaches, plums and blueberries (i.e. whatever needed to be used up) on the stove until they started to release some of their juices, added in a wee bit of sugar (I'm going to try honey next time, but I didn't want to experiment too much on my first try), a bit of water, and a splash of lemon juice. Once it was warmed a bit, I whizzed it up with the hand blender. I spread it on lightly greased dehydrator trays made for this purpose, and it was done in a couple of hours. 

You can also do this in the oven on parchment paper; I had a bit extra that I did in the oven which took a couple of hours longer than the dehydrator. Use any fruit you have on hand; apples make it much sweeter (my combo was pretty tart) and dark berries or plums make it extra pretty. Peel the sheets of fruit from the dehydrator trays, lay it on wax paper, roll it up, and cut into rolled strips. I found kitchen scissors worked much better than a knife. Yum!
And in case you haven't heard of Tattly temporary tattoos, they're fun. Adam put some in my stocking, which I hid from the boys (and myself, apparently) and recently found.

1 comment:

  1. We looove our dehydrator but have never made jerky or fruit leather for some odd reason. Jerky is one of my all-time favorite foods. We keep hoping to get some free venison from our hunting friends so we can try venison jerky.

    I love temporary tattoos! I'm too much of a chicken about pain and the possibility of infections to get real tattoos.


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