Sometimes we all need a shortcut, especially for those of us who were just on (ahem) vacation for two weeks and then, in addition to catching up on life in general, have to immediately run the school book fair upon our return. Sometimes convenience food is, well, convenient, and that convenience factor far, far outweighs any other considerations.
Related: I really, really love fruit leather.
I know it's processed, I know it's full of sugar (naturally occurring fruit sugar!), but when I'm pressed for time - as I am this week, goodness - I love dropping them into the kids' snack bags for school. There's a no-squishability factor, plus the added bonus of no washing, slicing, or packing up. Not to mention the fact that I love them myself.
Lately I've been considering combining my love of, shall we say, the culinary arts with my love of dehydrated fruit, and perhaps purchasing myself my very own food dehydrator. Remember that old Friends episode where Chandler gets a (crazy) new roommate who starts dehydrating everything? That, THAT is a watermelon! I'm slightly worried that I'll end up like that, but I'm not letting my eventual descent into insanity via food dehydrating deter me. I could make my own fruit leather!
My mother-in-law has a dehydrator; it's of the vintage of very well-made and long-lasting small appliances. Remember those days, when a toaster would last a lifetime? In any case, she makes her own raisins and other dried fruits. I think, as a project, this is something I could really get behind, if I could just figure out what kind of dehydrator is best. Any recommendations?
The problem is that by making my own fruit leather, I'm kind of eliminating the convenience factor that is one of my favourite attributes of fruit leather. It's simple and easy to make granola bars, but one of the reasons I buy granola bars is for backup when I don't have time to make something from scratch. Well, there's no reason I can't do both: purchase a box of fruit leather AND make some for fun. The best of both worlds? I think so.