When I was younger and my mother would buy fruit roll ups (it was very rare), I would go crazy over the delicious sticky and highly sugary treats and then I would not sleep for weeks due to the excessive amount of sugar and chemicals I had just ingested. Although a sheet of dehydrated fruit sounds like the healthiest of options to have as a snack, the ingredients on the store-bought ones are a bit scary, even some of the “natural” and “organic” options. Packed with high fructose corn syrup, among many other ingredients, this initially harmless and delicious treat, turns into a nightmare. I really just want to enjoy my food without having to worry about all the crap that goes into it to make sure it can spend months on a shelf at the grocery store to then spend a few more months on the shelf at home without going bad…Sounds SO fresh and healthy. I noticed that a lot of recipes online for the homemade fruit leather even added granulated sugar and I personally don’t think it’s needed as most fruits are already sugary. If it happens that the natural sugar of the fruit isn’t enough sugar for you, add a natural sweetener such as raw honey or agave syrup and you’re good to go!
Last Friday, my mailman delivered the most wonderful of machines: a Food Dehydrator. If you have not heard of such a thing, you should read up on it because it could very well change your life. There are so many food possibilities with this thing and much like a slow cooker, you can assemble and walk away, something you can’t really do with your kitchen oven. I can make meat jerky, chips, spices, fruit leather, potpourri, and so much more! I have only attempted to make fruit leather so far and I only have 2 trays at the moment so it’s a lengthy process. Lengthy but damn worth it and effortless.
The first fruit leather I made was from the recipe book that came with my dehydrator which was called Tropical Fruit Leather. I ate it right away even though it specifically said to let it cool down first… I’m impatient like that. The recipe called for 6 bananas and 1 orange (coincidentally, I had exactly 6 bananas that needed to go) which I thought was too much banana and not enough orange so next time I try it, I will do 5 bananas and 2 oranges. I will also add one teaspoon of raw honey because the sweetness of the banana is not one I enjoy when it’s overpowering like in this recipe. To be experimented with though, so if you make it before I do, please let me know how it goes! I will make pineapple fruit leather later this week as well, I just have to get around to prepping that pineapple first… and I’m being lazy about it!
Fruit leather is among some of my favourite treats and is one that doesn’t make me feel all that bad if I end up eating
all too much of it. I look forward to bringing them on my nature adventures and more!
You can use any type of fruit (fresh or frozen) but keep in mind that some are juicier than others which affects the consistency. If the fruit you are using is a dry fruit like the banana, you may need to add water or pair it with a juicy fruit such as an orange. Some fruits also require to be cooked into a purée such as apples and plantains.
Spices such as cinnamon can easily be added as well for popular flavours such as apple and cinnamon.
The possibilities are endless!
Cherry Fruit Leather
- 450 g of pitted Cherries (I had a 600 g frozen bag of PC pitted Dark Sweet Cherries)
- 2 tsp of raw Honey
Mango Fruit Leather (my favourite flavour!)
- 2 Mangoes (1 for each tray)
- 2 tsp of raw Honey (1 tsp per mango)
- Blend the fruits and honey into a purée
- Spread evenly on dehydrator trays – Each recipe makes 2 trays
- Set the dehydrator according to its cooking instructions. Mine has a fruit setting. Time varies according to the type of fruits (Cherry: 12 hours/Mango 10 hours)
- When done, leave it to cool off completely in the trays
- When cool, peel it off the tray
- Place it on a cutting board to cut into the size and shapes you want
- Put the fruit leather on wax, plastic or parchment paper and roll away
- Secure with twine and enjoy!
Nov 27th, 2014 – Pineapple Fruit Leather Edit:
As I mentioned above, I was planning on making pineapple fruit leather and I did! Unfortunately we had a power outage which disrupted the process and I woke up this morning to pineapple brittle instead of leather. Next time, I will monitor it instead of leaving it overnight. I really thought it would need a good 12 hours to dehydrate since it was a very juicy pineapple and the cherries and mangoes took that long and were less juicy. It’s all about experimenting! Still delicious, just not as exciting as the leathery part of the treat.