You may have seem them before, we sold them at different festivals, they are quite known in The US as well, some people call them Fruit roll ups or fruit leather, but because we normally use berries we call them berry roll ups, or just raw candy! These are healthy, with no refined sugar added, just berries and dates which are dehydrated; they provide both nutrition and pleasure! It's a simple process, but it takes a bit of time (totally worth it though). Most kids and grown ups love them, because the flavor is strong and sweet, tasting like real candy but with better flavor and not purely sugar.
Here's what you need:
A dehydrator, a blender, a silicon spatula and some patience! *(More info under the recipe)
Ingredients, for 3-4 trays (depending on the dehydrator)
220g Dates, about 12 dates (we use organic Medjool dates, which are big in size)
400g Frozen or fresh berries, your choice; strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or a mix of all.
Step 1: Get things ready the night before, or at least for 6 hours:
Soak the dates to soften them up.
When using frozen berries: defreeze them and then leave excess liquids (don't throw it away!).
Step 2: Make the smoothie
When the dates are soft enough; take out the pits/seeds. Mix the soften dates and berries in a blender and make a smoothie. it shouldn't be too runny as this may make the candy dry faster but also make it harder.
Step 3: Spread the smoothie on to the tray silicon mat (or parchment paper) with a silicon spatula, make sure it's as flat and even as possible! It takes some time to learn the tactic, but you'll get there.
Step 4: Set the dehydrator to: 42 C and dry the candy for at least 5 hours. The cheap dehydrators might take much more time.
Check to see if they're not too wet or too dry, you want them to be a bit sticky without getting any smoothie on your fingers.
Step 5: Rolling and cutting!
When done: leave them out to chill for 20 minutes, then roll them one by one into a thin sausage form, as thin as you want them to be. Cut as big sizes as you want. You can also fold them to store them and later cut them.
Yes, you can also make them with a normal oven, but the results will not be the same and you'll be using an aweful amount of electricity (or gass) when having the oven on for many hours. A dehydrator uses less energy and gives you much better results, it's an amazing machine we use a lot to experiment with different raw foods and hiking/biking food, also for drying leftovers and other fruits and veggies. If you like to make this a lot, get one!
There are many out there in the market, but the best ones are Sedona and Excalibur, the second one being a bit cheaper. The much cheaper, plastic versions are meant mostly for drying fruit and such, but not so much for sticky stuff like these roll ups and other more "complex" raw food recipes, still it does work with some more patience.
The results are better when using silicon tray mats, but if you don't have these, just use partchement paper.
Any blender that makes a good smoothie without the need of so much extra water will work here.
Make a sweet drink out of the excess berry liquids and soaked dates! Freeze it using ice cubes :)
You can also experiment using other fruit, more acidic flavors such as with plums. Try adding coconut oil or/and vanilla powder for an extra something! Spirulina also goes well with blueberry candy, but make sure not to add too much, one teaspoon should be enough.