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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Homemade Carrot Peach Leather Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Easy


I got a very large amount of carrots recently for free (more about that in a later post), but because they weren't in the best of conditions, they needed to be used up sooner rather than later, or at least something needed to be done with them to extend their shelf life. 
With some, I made my sweet and spicy carrots medallions. With others, I made a stir fry with other free vegetables. I made Vietnamese carrot pickles (recipe to come soon). But I still had so much more left and was trying to figure out what to do with them. (Chilled carrot soup will probably make it to my menu soon, either with orange juice, or with leek and cumin.)

When I was on my recent hiking getaway with my mom and sisters, we were brainstorming with ideas of Paleo food to bring along that wouldn't be too heavy (since we had to carry it on our backs) and while homemade ground beef jerky was for protein, figuring out vegetables was harder. I thought of making butternut squash leather, and my mom did so, and it was pretty tasty but lacking something. Eating it together with the banana leather it was perfection.
Seeing my carrots on my counter, I thought I'd take inspiration from that butternut squash leather, and see if I could turn my carrots into "fruit" leather. (I know it as fruit leather, but have a hard time with calling it fruit leather when its pretty much vegetable leather.) I did some googling to see if carrot leather worked on its own, and all other people seemed to add fruit to it, so I figured why not. It still is predominantly carrots, but I added a few peaches that had soft spots and would spoil if I didn't use them up soon. I decided to add some ginger and cinnamon so it would be reminiscent of pumpkin pie.
Well, I can't say that it worked. I don't taste the pumpkin pie. Next time I should probably increase the amount.
But what I can say is that this leather tasted amazing. In fact, I'd say its probably some of the best tasting "fruit" leather I've eaten in a while. My kids loved it too.
It doesn't taste quite carroty and it doesn't taste quite peachy, but somewhere between the two, just the right amount of sweetness, etc...


The only problem with my leather was that I must have put too thin of a layer on my trays, because when they dried, they dried with little cracks in them. But that's just aesthetic, and when you roll it up and cut it to serve, it doesn't make much of a difference anyhow.


While this recipe may seem difficult at first glance, actual active work time for it was less than 5 minutes total, so I'd qualify this one as an easy recipe. And its suitable for pretty much every diet out there other than low carb. Highly, highly recommended.

If you don't have peaches at home, I'm sure this also would be great without them. Next time I do this, I plan on using soft pears, and will try it some other time with apples and/or bananas. I don't think you can go wrong with this one.

Homemade Carrot Peach Leather Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Easy

Ingredients:
15 large carrots
3/4 cup cups water
6 peaches and/or nectarines
1/4 cup jaggery, date syrup, honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice (optional but helpful)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger

Instructions:
1. Peel and roughly chop your carrots, put them in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until fork tender.

2. Put the carrots in a food processor or blender, half at a time, with 3/4 cup of the water used to boil them, and blend until completely smooth. I find that blending things works best when there is a little bit of liquid in my food processor makes it work best, so when transfering the first blended batch out of the food processor, I try to leave a little behind for the next batch, to help it blend more smoothly.

3. Remove the pits from the peaches or nectarines and add them to the carrot mixture, and blend until completely smooth. Add cinnamon, ginger, and sweetener, and mix well.

4. If you have a dehydrator, dry there following the instructions of the dehydrator. Since I use my oven, here's how to do it there. Cover two oven trays with parchment paper, and then divide the carrot/fruit mixture evenly between the two trays and smooth them as well as you can, so that there aren't areas that are thicker than another.

5. Put them in the oven at 75-100 degrees Celcius, or 165-200 Fahrenheit (the hotter it is the faster it'll be ready) with the door propped open a drop for the moisture to escape.

6. Dehydrate until it is fully dry, has the texture of fruit leather, is not tacky, and can be removed from the parchment paper easily. This can take anywhere from 5 hours to 12 hours, depending on the conditions. I just put it in and checked it again in the morning, and it was ready then.

7. To serve, roll up the parchment paper, and use strong scissors to cut strips of leather wrapped in parchment paper.

Enjoy!

Have you ever made leather? What did you put in it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?
What would you do with a very large amount of carrots?

11 comments:

  1. Can I make this using pumpkin or butternut squash? Would the quantities be the same?

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure it would be great with either of those but since I didn't write how many cups of puree you'd have to figure that out.

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  2. Going to try this Sunday if I can!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your leather, Penny! It's so delicious. I would never have guessed it was mostly vegetable :)

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  4. Oh, awesome recipe. I've only ever made fruit leathers. Applesauce leather being the easiest (because I can buy apple sauce very cheaply where I live). This is definitely going to be added to my repertoire.

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  5. When I have a lot of carrots I make carrot kugel. It's fast and easy and tastes like pumpkin pie without the crust.

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  6. If I don't leave the oven door open a bit, will it affect the texture?

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  7. This sounds yummy! i'm wondering how you decide what to cook and what to put in raw. For example, if i want to use apples, should i cook them first?
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. great idea thanks for sharing we make mango leather here in Bangladesh but thinking of carrot mango now

    ReplyDelete

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