So I'm feeling like I need a break from sugar. Refined and added sugar, that is, because naturally-occurring fruit sugars are still fair game, which brings me to my new boyfriend, my food dehydrator.
I think I'm going to call him Hugh.
Strangely enough, most dried fruits that can be bought commercially are coated in sugar, which - with the exception, maybe, of cranberries - is highly unnecessary. A fresh, ripe piece of pineapple is as sweet as sweet can be, there is no need for extra sugar.
In the past week I've dehydrated six pineapples. They were on sale for $1.88 each in my local grocery store, a steal of a deal. I absolutely love fresh pineapple, but I also wanted to make the tropics last longer than a week. Who am I kidding, I just wanted to play with my dehydrator.
Guess who is going to get dried pineapple as school snacks this week? Actually, only one of my children likes pineapple. The other one is going to have grapes, plus they will both have some nice fruit-sweetened banana bread. We have got to get this sugar monkey off our backs, and I feel like those snacks will help. Sweetness, without all that added sugar.
The fun thing about dehydrating fruit is how tiny it gets. Below is the yield from four dehydrated pineapples, or approximately sixteen cups of diced fruit.
Hence, here is my caveat: it's pretty easy to eat an entire dehydrated pineapple at one sitting, and that's a lot of sugar. It's so delicious, though, and I do feel like it's a wonderful, wholesome thing. I recommend a dehydrator for everyone! The kids are already putting in their requests: grape fruit leather and dried cherries being at the (completely not seasonal) top. I will update in the summer and the fall with my attempts at those two things; in the meantime I'm going to be playing with currently-available items.
Wow, I feel like Ma Ingalls, if Ma Ingalls had electricity, access to tropical fruits, and modern drying technology.