The curious object in my hand is a fruit roll piece made of strawberries, mango, and melons, with a generous addition of ground flax seeds. I used to love eating fruit rolls, or as we called them, “fruit leather”, as a kid, and started incorporating them into my feedings as I started swimming long distances in open water: they were flat and easy to pack, and delivered a satisfying sweet jolt. I typically bought the ones with no sugar added, but they came in a fairly limited assortment of flavors; imagine my joy when I figured out I could make some of my own using my new Excalibur dehydrator (buy directly from the factory: they have some great deals.)

This is my second attempt so far, and it has been a partial success. I put ripe strawberries, mango, and melon pieces in the blender with some lemon juice, because I remembered that pectin was an important ingredient in many commercial leathers. I added flax seeds and pureed the mixture. Then, I spilled it over my silicone mats and shook them a bit to guarantee an even spread, and started the dehydrator at 135 Fahrenheit. After about six hours I got what you see here. I suspect that a thicker layer would be more flexible and less brittle, but would take longer to dry; I’ll try that next time. But I should point out that even the mistakes are tasty, and I plan to continue experimenting.

The thing also makes fabulous banana and strawberry chips, and I plan to use it to make seed crackers soon.

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