Wish I could say I had orchestrated this on purpose, but I’m afraid that’s just not the case. A little family bike ride the other night led us through an area near our house known as The Incredible Edible Garden. We noticed that tons of tomatoes, squash and peppers were literally rotting on the vine.
A couple of days later I did a little googling around and found the contact info for the food bank that harvests the crops. The lady on the phone didn’t seem too concerned about a minimum group size, so I arranged for myself and kiddos to go do some gleaning today. I roped a friend’s kids into picking with us, and off we went. What a wonderful relief to the stress I have been feeling of late. Everything was put on hold for two hours as we did nothing but pick eggplant. Who knew eggplant could be so therapeutic?! And who knew that eggplant could be so prickly? I was glad to get these shoes off when we were done picking.
All together we picked 11 bins of eggplant and 2 bins of bell peppers. Not bad for a band of 5 kids, one toddler, one almost toddler, and a weary mom. Everything we picked will go to Second Harvest Food Bank and be distributed to people who are in need. How cool is that?
We had one brief break while picking and I whipped out some homemade fruit leathers, water, and grapes. Let’s just say that the friend’s daughter that I had taken with us is BEYOND PICKY in what she eats. I was banking on her maybe drinking some water and that would be about it. She suspiciously eyed the fruit leathers. Like an animal checking out its prey, she inched closer and closer. She asked what they were and I answered. Still not actually offering so as to not scare her off. Finally she asked to taste. I held out the container and she took a smidge. That would be the end of that, I thought. All of a sudden it was like Mikey and the old Life commercial – She liked it; she really, really liked it! To the tune of about 6 fruit leathers down the hatch. So with that picky eater approval, I present you Apple Peach Fruit Leathers. This is so simple it is ridiculous!
I started with some unsweetened applesauce. Then, I pureed one peach and added that to the applesauce.
After that, I added in some cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
I spread the mixture out thinly and evenly on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Now here’s the kicker . . . I baked it for SIX hours at 170 degrees. I then used a pizza cutter and cut the leathers into strip size pieces.
So easy (long yes, but easy) and so healthy.
Oh, and the really sweet part of this deal? Not really satisfying the picky eater friend at all. But driving these kiddos to get well-deserved milkshakes post-picking and hearing their sweet voices as they prayed for the people who would eat the food that they had gathered.
Want to explore more “leather” recipes? Check these out to start.
- Vegetable Leather (nicepockets2.wordpress.com)
- Watermelon Fruit Leather (thefinishedplate.com)
- Fruit and veg leathers: Easy and not just for kids (triblive.com)
- Homemade Fruit Leather – Day 26 of 30 Days of Healthy Homemade Summer Treats (greensahm.com)
- Blackberry Mint Lime Fruit Leather (relish.com)