Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dehydrating Kiwi Fruit - The Eyes Have It

(Sorry this posted late, I had it scheduled a week off.) They say that fruits, nuts and vegetables will look like the part of the body it will help when you eat it. 

A perfect example is the carrot. When you slice it, it has a round "pupil" looking area in the center, then lines coming out from the center and looks like an eye. 

Kiwi fruit, also know and Chinese Gooseberry, also looks like an eye. Carrots are known to help the eyes due to lots of Vitamin A. 

Kiwi fruit has FIVE times the amount of vitamin C of an orange and second up is Vitamin A. It also has K, E, B, copper, potassium, fiber etc. It is also good for the eyes with vitamins C and A.

So, with that, I share how to dehydrate kiwi fruit with you. Be aware that Kiwi Fruit is very acidic similar to pineapple as both can make your mouth sore if you eat lots of the fruit at one time. Dehydrating it is similar to high acid fruits and it can go black or dark brown due to the acid. Dehydrators with fans are the best to help with this and I wouldn't stack a ton of trays at the same time as this will facilitate it drying quicker avoiding the blackened fruit. 

My favorite way to eat Kiwi Fruit is how I learned in New Zealand (home of the kiwi) when i was an exchange student. Before going there, I had never even seen or eaten a kiwi fruit and didn't know what it was. 

They cut the fruit in half and eat it like you would a soft boiled egg with a spoon. Just take the spoon and swirl it around inside the skin and then push it through the bottom inside the skin and pull the fruit out. This is a great way to eat it but it isn't really pretty to make dried fruit. However, if you want to make fruit leather, it is the fastest and easiest way to get to the fruit itself. 

If you want to make fruit leather, peel / scoop out the fruit and put it into a blender and blend, let the mix settle for a few minutes so that the seeds will go to the bottom. Pour the mix onto fruit leather trays in your dehydrator or watch my video on making fruit leather using plastic wrap on my youtube channel - thesecretisgratitude. 

Someone shared on one of my videos that they save large yogurt container lids and pour the mixture into those lined with plastic wrap so that it is the right size as the store bought fruit roll-ups and it is the perfect depth to get the right thickness as well. 

Since Kiwi fruit is so acidic, they don't usually only make kiwi flavored. They usually add some other sweet fruit as the acid can make it tart. Feel free to experiment as it is a good way to get the vitamins but not have the acid making the mouth sore from eating too much. 

If you want to dry the pieces of fruit without having the seeds, as some people don't like seeds, you can peel it, slice it on one side, then from the other, then lay the rest down and cut the edges off leaving you just the seeded part. It is more time consuming but it is a way to get the flavor and health value without the texture if you have someone that doesn't like seed textures. 

I personally like the way the whole fruit looks just sliced for drying. I use a potato peeler and peel the entire thing and then just slice it so each slice looks like an eye. I lay it out on the trays and it is better if it isn't touching really tight as that can cause the blackening as well so leave a little breathing room around each piece. 

Since Kiwi fruit is more expensive as fruits go, and you can't grow it everywhere, and it is a bit more work as you need many vines for pollination etc, there arent many places in the U.S. where it grows well so if you can find a deal on it, great. 

I would suggest talking to the local store fruit manager. Ask if you can buy the older fruit at a discount when they put the new fruit out. I used to take them back a bag of dried fruit each time I approached them and we became friends this way. 

The other way, is maybe approach the local food bank and ask if you can dry some for them when they have overages as sometimes they get more fruit and veggies than they can give out so they appreciate getting dried treats when they have more than they can use.  

It you have finicky kids, you may want to dry the fruit and then make it into a powder / flour and put a bit into the pancake mix or other baked items and then they are still getting the health benefits without having to force it down them but for the most part, kids tend to like most dried fruits once they try them. 

I dried them at 130 degrees for about 24 hours flipping them half way through. I usually put the fruit on in the evenings while listening to an audio book and then flip them in the morning and then taking them off and putting more on that night. It is a good system for me with the kids but now I don't have a ton of kids eating the dried fruit so I have cut back except for apples as everyone likes my apple trees fruit so I keep up on those. 

Feel free to ask questions either on here or on my youtube channel.

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