Today I made the most AMAZING dehydrated fruit snack! Some call it fruit roll up and some call it fruit leather. Whatever you choose to call it, it is extremely easy and comes out MUCH tastier than anything you could buy in-store. Store bought varieties come with a host of ingredients my family wishes to avoid, including Corn Syrup, Dried Corn Syrup, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil to name a few. By simply making it yourself, you have full control of what ends up in your body. What I have made today is Raw and Vegan, though there are recipes out there that call for cooking the puree before dehydrating.
Here is my experience, please forgive the lack of photos– I wasn’t aware I would be making a blog when I began. Let’s get started!
- Blender or food processor
- Fruit (whatever you have)
- Stevia, agave, maple syrup or honey if not vegan
- Parchment paper or Silpat
- Food Dehydrator or Oven
First, pick the fruit you would like to use. I went with strawberry and pears because that’s what I had on hand, but you can really use anything. But strawberry and peaches are amazing; peach adds a sweetness and texture that other fruits just can’t match. Apples are delicious when mixed with a little plum and cinnamon, it’s like apple pie! Inspiration can be found HERE. (I also added one packet of stevia to my puree because my strawberries were a little on the tart side and I was really making this for my 2-year-old.)
The *dehydrator I happen to have is a cheap, no name-brand circular type. It works extremely well, as long as I am aware of what kinds of food I am dehydrating and which layer of the tier I place things (bottom layers are closer to the heating element and tend to get dry faster). I always like to periodically rotate the tiers, so that I can ensure they’re drying out at an even pace. When using this kind of dehydrator for fruit leather, I find the use of parchment paper extremely helpful. I like to cut and fit my parchment before I even get started on the fruit. One of my concerns with using parchment is the lack of air flow up and out of the machine, which would cause steaming and gooping. My elegant solution to this issue is making the parchment just a little too small for the rings. I cut it just enough to allow air flow up and around the sides. It worked very well and I have not had any issues with steam or goopy fruit. I really like to multi-purpose my dehydrator by making a variety of items at once, which is where my concern about goopy fruit comes in.
Wash and dry your fruit and prepare them in the food processor or blender by cutting off the tops, peeling, or coring; whatever your fruit choice deems. I cut my pears into largish chunks after I peeled them. Once in the blender, pulse until a chunky consistency, then let it fly! Allow it to run until it becomes a smooth puree, I let mine go for about 45 seconds to a minute. Once a smooth puree is achieved, pour with your blender or use a spoon to ladle the puree onto the parchment ring (already placed in dehydrator tray). I like to make a thick layer due to the thinning of the leather as it dries out. Start out with too thin a layer and you can end up with a somewhat crunchy leather (I made this mistake).
Poured Puree onto parchment tray
I allowed my Fruit Leather to dehydrate for 8-12 hours, it depends on how thick you made the layer of puree. You can kind of eyeball it, touching the thickest spots to see how soft they are.
And Voila! The finished product!
*If you’re using an oven to dehydrate, follow these instructions. Make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat just as if you were using a dehydrator.