Now let’s get one thing straight. Too much sugar is going to hinder your progress on an AIP diet and that’s a fact. I think we’re all agreed refined sugar is akin to poison, but you should also keep in mind that unrefined sugars, including fruit sugars, are not exactly good either. They are still sugars, the clue’s in the name!
Having said that come on, we are all human, some of us even have children who are chugging along on this AIP ride (as are mine) and life is not about total denial because that’s just no fun. And it’s also a fact that you absolutely cannot heal unless you’re enjoying life and having fun. It so happens that fruit leathers, although concentrated sugars abound, are pretty useful things to have to hand. Not to be eaten in regular binges but in the grand scheme of things, they are far better for you and your children than most proprietary snacks and did you know that they are so quick and simple to make? Not to forget a whole lot healthier because your own fruits are going to be fresher, hopefully organic, not packaged in toxic lined wrappers and most importantly, you know exactly what ingredients are sitting in that sticky little hand of your young child. Or your own, even! Don’t ever be fooled by the words ‘natural’ on ingredient lists. What manufacturers don’t always mention is that their ‘natural’ products have often gone through a homogenisation or pasteurisation process which depletes vitamins, enzymes and good bacteria, which are all necessary for good gut health.
Okay okay, I know I’ve just posted a recipe using peaches and ginger but Wholefoods were selling local organic apricots at bargain prices the other day so I might have gone a little bit crazy filling up a few of those cute green cardboard punnets. Of course the moment I got them home I did think “oh heck, what am I going to do with all this. This food that is taking up half my fridge?”. There’s always ice cream but I fancied trying something different and besides, my freezer’s full too 😉 . Seriously though, any excuse to get some ginger into my tum and I’m there, ginger is seriously anti-inflammatory!
Here’s where we go back to where I mentioned don’t binge, because dried apricots have an odd effect on me. I love them but they don’t reciprocate and even make it known they don’t want to be around me by weakening my voice and making me feel, and sound, quite strangulated. It’s the weirdest sensation. They also have other effects on me but I’ll tell you about that when we know each other a little better, suffice to say my children think it’s hysterical … I, on the other hand, do not!
Fruit roll-ups are fun to make, your children are going to love helping you out and I reckon it’s one of those things where no flavour combo is going to be bad. Something to bear in mind when you’re inventing your own concoctions is that the flavours intensify with the drying process so be wary about adding sweeteners, which in my opinion aren’t necessary anyway.
I don’t want to assume that everyone owns a dehydrator so worry not, these will work in an oven too, just so long as you can get the thermostat right down to a bare minimum. If yours is a bit on the fierce side you may have an issue. Otherwise, spread the mixture on a parchment lined baking tray and put on the lowest shelf at the lowest temperature for around the same length of time as the dehydrator. Having said that, you’re the one in charge of timing here because I’ve not tested the oven method.
apricot and ginger fruit roll-ups
Here’s a handy hint for you. Keep your ginger in an airtight bag or container in the freezer. That way you will always have some to hand, it keeps a whole lot longer plus when you come to grate it, you’ll find it an absolutely cinch!
(makes approx 14)
1 kg fresh apricots, washed, stones removed and roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp filtered water
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
Put the apricots, lemon juice and water into a large, wide surface area heavy based pan over a medium heat and cook till the apricots are soft and the liquid has all but evaporated, leaving a loose jam like consistency. Add the ginger, stir and remove from the heat. Push the mixture through a large sieve over a bowl, reserving the pulp for another use.
Line a dehydrator tray with parchment paper and using a palette knife, spread the mixture over the top, making sure it is about 1/8 inch thickness and slightly thicker around the edges than in the centre to avoid it drying out too early. Dehydrate at 135˚F for approx 3-4 hours until the fruit is no longer sticky, though pliable and will readily peel away from the paper. The timing will be affected by levels of humidity in the air, and Vancouver is high.
Cut the fruit leather in half, then cut each half into approx 2 inch wide strips. Lay the strips on freshly cut parchment paper a little wider than each strip, roll up fairly tightly and secure with twine or tape. Store in an airtight container for up to two or three weeks.