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Kickass "Elixir of Health" fruit leather

dehydrated fruit leather dehydrated vegetable leather

Eek!! The flu is running rampant this season, and while spring is quickly approaching, we still have a few weeks left before winter releases her icy grip. Well.. I live in California so it's basically just a "cold summer's day" over here... but still. 

I'm a strong believer in incorporating foods high in “immunity boosters” before popping some vitamin C packets to help stay flu/sickness free or to help with recovery from a nasty bout. This week, I experimented with making dehydrated fruit leather tonics as the best remedy is a preventative remedy!

dehydrated lemon mushroom tonic immunity booster rollups bushkas kitche
This recipe really packs a punch, and these ingredients will definitely kick any germs to the curb!! I recommend playing with quantities as these can be overwhelmingly “lemony”. That's fine with me! I eat lemon wedges, so the flavor was nice and potent, just how I like it! If you're more sensitive to lemon, I would suggest diluting with another fruit like apple or banana.

So, when making a kick ass immunity boost, what ingredients should you use? My superfood checklist for this tonic included a few must haves such as:

  • Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties
  • High in Vitamin C
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Relieve nausea
I took a hint from a tea that I brew when I have an upset stomach (lemon, ginger, honey) and assembled the following ingredients:
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Shitake Mushroom
  • Black Pepper
  • Dates

all natural ingredients healthy immune system bushkas kitchen @bushkaskitchen


The lemon and mushroom formed the base of this “smoothie”, and in retrospect I would probably do a 2:1 or 3:1 mushroom to lemon ratio. I made one recipe with a 1:1 and one with a 1.5:1. I enjoyed both, but my boyfriend said the 1:1 is too strong for him.


immune booster dehydrated food bushkas kitchenI suggest peeling 4 lemons, blending, and then slowly adding mushrooms to the blender. Taste test after addition and stop once the flavor is the right balance of lemon to mushroom.
Remember, flavors often become more intense after dehydrating as the moisture is gone, and the sugar is more concentrated.

Because all of these are such strong flavors, I'm not going to include measurements here. You really need to taste test as you go along to find the right blend for you!

Also, you may be tempted to skip the black pepper, but think twice before doing that! Besides relieving nausea and headaches (among other benefits), freshly cracked - or ground! - black pepper increases the bioavailability of turmeric which means your body is able to make better use of the turmeric. So don't skip the black pepper if you want to reap the full benefits!

Now, onto business!

To make these dehydrated fruit leathers:

  1. Peel lemons and remove pits
  2. Add lemons to blender and puree until smooth
  3. Add mushrooms, one at a time, taste testing after each addition
  4. If necessary, add water or apple juice if the mixture at this point becomes too thick. You are aiming for an “apple sauce” like consistency.
  5. Add dates one at a time. Don't forget to remove the pit if the dates are not pitted!
  6. Add ginger and turmeric and garlic in equal parts
  7. Add fresh oregano leaves (If you like oregano chunks, add last and don't blend)
  8. Top off with black pepper 
  9. Blend until smooth but not runny
  10. OPTIONAL - if your mixture is runny, simmer on the stove until enough moisture has evaporated off.


Depending on the consistency of the puree, you may want to add in a natural thickener, like agar agar, pectin, or corn starch. You can also simmer on the stove for 2-5 minutes to help thicken up the puree. simmer stove puree bushkas kitchen

Once done, pour onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 125 and not 135 since the majority of ingredients are vegetables, and I left the dehydrator running for approximately 8-10 hours. I like my leathers on the crunchy side, so I dehydrated closer to 14 hours.

If you don't have a dehydrator, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dry at your oven's lowest temperature. Depending on how low your oven goes, your leathers will vary between 4-8 hours.

dehydrating puree leather on tray bushkas kitchen

Your leathers are done when they peel completely off your fruit leather tray or your oven's parchment paper tray. You should be able to bend the leather without it cracking. The leather should be slightly sticky to touch, but when pressed together the sides will not stick.

crunchy tonic powder immunity booster for flu season bushkas kitchenI'm planning on grinding some into powder to add to hot water as a true tonic, so I let some of mine become crunchy!

healthy fruit vegetable rollup bushkas kitchenI've always found leathers easier to roll when still warm, so cut into fun shapes and either wrap or store in a ziplock baggy!

Enjoy! And stay healthy my friends. Taste test outside for that extra Vitamin D dose!

outside happy customer bushkas kitchen

 

 

 





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