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Monday, November 15, 2010

BOSS's Fall Endeavors

BOSS (Back to Old School Sustainability) is a subcommittee of the Green Club that meets a few times a semester and makes things we'd like to learn how to make ourselves instead of buying. So far we've made salve, fruit leather and applesauce, we plan to make granola this Sunday (November 21), and would like to make things like shampoo, cleaning products, dried fruit, etc. in the future. Email Jake Winkelman ( if you'd like to get involved.

For our first meeting we made salve. It's a super easy recipe and great to use for lip balm or to put on scrapes, to heal dry skin, etc. It's made from oil and beeswax, with a little bit of essential oil thrown in for a nice scent.

Notes: The ratio that we used for making the salve was 2 tablespoons of wax to 3 ounces of oil. You can use any sort of oil for the salve. We used olive oil, but coconut and jojoba are also suggested. On it's own, the salve is only a lubricant and moisturizer, and adding essential oils give it its higher medicinal qualities. We used lavender for ours, which gives the salve antiseptic and anti-inflammatory capacities.

Salve Recipe:

Heat the oil up a bit.

Add the beeswax and essential oil.

Continue to mix until your salve reaches the right consistency.

If you would like to purchase a little container of the salve for $1, you can contact Jake Winkelman (

In our second meeting, the we made applesauce, a perfect fall food, and some fruit leather.

Applesauce Recipe:

Cut up the apples into small pieces, removing the core. If you're going to peel the apples, it's probably easiest to peal before cutting.

Put apples in a pot on the stove on low heat with a little bit of water. We recommend cooking mostly with the top on to contain the moisture. Cook for about three hours, until it's the consistency that you prefer.

Add a little bit of cinnamon if you feel like spicing it up, but it's great on it's own too!

Notes: We made two batches of applesauce: one with the peel and one without. They turned out very different, both because of the peel and because of the cooking method. For the applesauce with the peel, we added more water and subsequently stirred it for a longer time without the top on. This one is a lighter color and a little chunkier (thanks to the peels). We added less water to the applesauce without the peel, and initially cooked it with the top on. It came out much darker and more soupy.

Fruit Leather Recipe:

Peel the fruits that you will be using for your batch.

Puree the fruit in the desired quantity.

Spread VERY thinly on a greased cookie sheet (about 1/8").

Let bake in the oven on 150º F (or the lowest setting of your oven - ours was 170º) for about 3 hours, until it is the right consistency.

Notes: We used bananas, pears, and peaches for our recipe. We used about 3 peaches, 3 pears and 3 or 4 bananas, and we had way too much mixture and not enough cookie sheets, so keep your quantity in mind. It's pretty essential to have a food processor for the pureeing, as a blender really doesn't work very well to get a very fine consistency. We did not peel the fruit, and subsequently the texture is a little grainy and the leather looks uncannily like vomit. But it tastes perfectly delicious! Also keep in mind that you want a very thin layer. If you have it even slightly too thick, the outsides will bake, but the middle won't. Another note: it's best not to refrigerate the leather once it's baked. It will keep at room temperature, and it gets too moist in the fridge.