On my quest for a healthy Road Trip Menu, I started with the snacks, if for no other reason than a road trip without snacks is really miserable. I started with my own favorite healthy snacks that I normally keep on hand, singling out the portable ones. I asked Twitter, and mined Pinterest for ideas as well, to come up with this list:
• Hummus with veggies
• Homemade Trail Mix
• Homemade Trail Mix
• Baby carrots
• Beef Jerky
• Homemade dried fruit
• Fruit salad
Many of the snacks were very straight forward, mostly just requiring to be tossed in snack-sized ziplock bags, or packed as is. I did, however, make my own dried fruit, and my own Trail Mix.
Oven Dried Kiwi Fruit
I tried dried kiwi for the first time just the other day, and LOVED it! Seriously delicious, and I just had to try to make my own. It was really easy, but yes, somewhat time consuming, although kiwi is apparently pretty quick to dry compared to some fruits, which can take upwards of 20 hours!
10 kiwi fruit
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 145˚F; remove oven racks.
2. Prepare the fruit by washing it thoroughly, peeling, and removing any imperfections. Slice fruit in 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. Mix lemon juice and water in a shallow bowl. Dip fruit slices in juice mixture. The acid will help preserve the color of the fruit. This can also be done by a salt bath, or ascorbic acid.
4. Line oven racks with cheesecloth. Arrange fruit on top in a single layer, making sure the pieces do not touch.
5. Bake fruit 4-6 hours, or until done. Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, and rotate racks every 2 hours. Overachievers can place a fan close to oven, to properly circulate air.
6. Check your kiwis for doneness by first touching them - they should be dry and a little dusty feeling, still pliable, almost leathery, but not brittle. Pull off a piece and inspect the tear. If there are any beads of moisture on the fruit, it'll need a bit more time.
7. Store fruit in air-tight containers (super important), and keep protected from sunlight.
8. If you're making a large batch, and want the fruit to last for a long time, pasteurize your kiwis by heating them again, at 175˚F for 10-15 minutes.
This recipe can be made with any kind of fruit, but drying times can vary with each fruit, so check carefully for doneness. Also, keep in mind, dried fruit is called "Nature's Candy" for a reason, although it should probably be called "Nature's Crack" instead. Enjoy in moderation.