Friday, September 10, 2010

Homemade...Fruit Leather

A few days ago strawberries went on sale at our local grocer for $1/pound. I bought 3 pounds. I decided to make some fruit leather (i.e. fruit roll-ups) in the dehydrator. It is so easy and you don't have to follow any type of recipe. They always turn out great - with none of the unnecessary "extras" in the commercial varieties. And amazingly enough the kids still love them. I used two pounds for this purpose and made 4 trays worth of leather. Yum!

Blueberry/Strawberry before dehydrating

After dehydrating for 9 hours

Not quite the same consistency as the store-bought stuff, but definitely healthier!

All I did was put a variety of fruit in the food processor and puree until smooth. For this batch I used:
  • 1 pound strawberries, tops removed
  • 1/2-1 cup blueberries
  • about 1/2 cup crushed pineapple I had left over from another meal
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • For a bit of extra sweetness I added 1 teaspoon of honey.
You need to be sure you use the special fruit leather insert to add to your trays, or the pureed fruit will just fall through the cracks (I believe most dehydrators come with at least one or two of these - ours came with two but we definitely will buy a few more soon). They also recommend greasing your fruit tray with a trace of vegetable oil first, because this allows it to come off easier when finished. As for the time it takes to dehydrate, it all depends on how thick you get the fruit on the tray. Our first batch took 9 hours but the second took a bit less because I didn't include the blueberries, so there was less fruit. It's also a good idea to separate the leather from the tray about 2/3-3/4 of the way through if possible. This just helps it to dry out a bit more evenly and faster.

Picture of completed leather cut & put in canning jar for storage.

Fruit leather is a great snack to have around the house. Or even better keep some in a purse or backpack to keep yourself (& the kids!) satisfied for those times when you're out and about, dinner isn't for a few hours, and your stomach starts yelling "Feed Me!" -Carrie

2 comments:

  1. I've never tried fruit leather before. I have an Excalibur, so I'd have to see about the insert (it didn't come with it.) My dried watermelon & cantaloupe have the same consistency, but I like the idea of strawberries and blueberries better.

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  2. What Pigs Don't KnowSeptember 10, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    Leigh -
    You should seriously try it. It's so easy - no tiny chopping of perfectly thin pieces. I know they have inserts for Excalibur, but not sure on the cost. I believe for my Nesco they are something like $9/for set a set of 2. -Carrie

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