I can’t believe how far we are into the summer months – yikes! I am looking at my freezer and cupboards and I think this time last year they were much fuller – but we also had an early season with a late frost and some of the earlier crops of the season did not fair well. During the winter months, my fruit-aholic, daughter gets by on apple and pear sauce and the many fruits that I dehydrate during the summer. Thus far I have done pineapple and mango. This week at the market organic strawberries and kiwi were on sale and since they are at the top of Stella’s list of favorites I stocked up. Now to get to the dehydrating!
Kiwi is a wonder fruit! Stella is a carrier of strep and 2 winter’s ago she came down with strep 7 times, this past winter just once. In the past year I have really changed up our diets – more raw and live foods, less processed and refined, the addition of super foods, sprouting, fermenting, etc. What are the benefits of kiwi? A study in Italy showed that children had less trouble with wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing at night and it is beneficial to asthma sufferers – you will need to eat 2 – 7 servings (1/2 cup) a week. It has also been shown to reduce the potential risk of blood clots and decrease triglycerides.
According to a study at Rutgers University, the kiwi is the most nutrient dense fruit, ounce for ounce. They provide 16% of your RDA for fiber, has phytonutrients, which help repair DNA, provides 10% of the RDA for folic acid, 230% of the RDA for Vitamin C, provides 10% RDA for Vitamin E and decreases the risk of heart disease. Kiwi is also packed with minerals: calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc! Pretty good for such a small fruit.
Strawberries are another nutrient packed fruit in a small package! They are high in vitamin C, which boosts immunity, promotes eye health, have antioxidants which help fight cancer, help keep your skin looking younger, fight bad cholesterol, along with antioxidants they have phytochemicals – the combination helps reduce inflammation, regulates blood pressure and they have folate and fiber.
To dehydrate, I peel the kiwi and slice the same thickness and for the strawberries, I cut the tops off and cut in half. I lay the fruit on the dehydrating tray, making sure that the fruit is not touching and there will be air flow around each piece. I dehydrate at 135 degrees check after 6 hours – but both strawberries and kiwi can take anywhere from 7 – 15 hours to dehydrate. I then store in a mason jar, I take the air out of with my food-saver (special attachment for jars) and store in a cool, dark cupboard. These then come out during the winter months.