Turn fresh pears or apples into a crunchy, good-for-you snack. Package creatively to give as gifts and your health-conscious friends (and their waist lines) will thank you.
Dried fruits, which are high in fiber, vitamins and complex carbohydrates, make an excellent snack food. They can either be air-dried, or left in a conventional oven to dry out. Dry orange slices in the same way to use as holiday decorations.
preheat the oven to 120 degrees F.
3-1/2 pints water
1 tsp salt or a little lemon juice
ripe apples and pears
several bamboo canes or a length of string
1. Pour water into a large bowl and add salt or lemon juice. You may need a second bowl of water if you have a lot of fruit. Then core each of the fruits.
2. Slice the whole fruits into rings by cutting accross the cored center. Add fruit slices to the salted water immediately to prevent oxidation (turning brown).
3. Immerse fruit slices in water. To air-dry the fruit, thread the slices onto bamboo canes or string and hang in front of an open fire until they have completely dried out.
4. To oven-dry the fruits, pat dry then arrange in a single layer on cheesecloth on a rack, leave in the oven for one hour, increase the oven temperature to 140 degrees F. and leave for three to six hours until dry. Tip: Leave the oven door slightly open to prevent a build-up of condensation.
Excerpted from A Greener Christmas
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2008