Making Fruit Leather or Fruit Roll Ups with a Food Dehydrator

Simple Steps to Make Delicious and Nutritious Homemade Fruit Leather


Fruit Leather or Fruit Roll Up Recipes

Fruit leathers or fruit roll ups are homemade fruit rolls. Fruit leathers are made from pureed fruit that is dried on a flat surface. After the fruit is dry, it is pulled from the drying surface and rolled into small tubes. Fruit roll ups get their fruit leather name from the look and texture of the dried, pureed fruit which is shiny and leathery.

Homemade fruit roll ups are a great tasty, nutritious snack that children especially love. Homemade fruit leather can be made from many different fruit combinations and spices and are substantially less expensive and more wholesome than store bought fruit roll ups. Store bought fruit roll ups are really over processed candy. Store bought fruit leathers contain heavy sugars or corn syrup and are partially made from fruit juice. Thus, store bought fruit roll ups are not one hundred percent fruit.

Making fruit leather requires the following utensils:

  • knives,
  • a double boiler or steamer (optional),
  • a food processor or blender, or alternatively strong arms and forearms for mashing and blending
  • and plastic wrap or non-stick dehydrator sheets
Fruit Leather steps:
  • Use ripe or slightly overripe fruit
  • Wash fruit, remove stems and seeds, remove peels (some peel can be left on oranges, lemons, limes and other similar fruit)
  • Cut the fruit into slices or chunks
  • Steam the fruit for 10-15 minutes (optional)
  • Puree the fruit in a blender or food processor
  • Add juice or spices as flavoring (pineapple, lemon, lime), if desired add sugar or honey as a sweetener, and or add chopped nuts or coconut to create different textures
  • To prevent food discoloration and flavor loss, add 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for every 2 cups of fruit.
  • Lightly coat the dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray
  • Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch
  • Maintain a dehydrator temperature of 115 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, or 46 to 54 degrees Celsius, and dry for 5 to 10 hours. The fruit leather is ready if it peels readily at the edges and if you cannot see any indentations after you touch it in several places.
  • Roll your strips of fruit leather and wrap them in plastic wrap. Fruit leather can be stored for a year in the freezer, several months in the refrigerator and a month or two at room temperature.

Fruit leather can also be made via an uncooked method. After slicing the fruit into chunks (step 3), skip step 4 (steaming) and proceed to step 5 and puree the fruit.

Other tips:
  • Fruits suitable for fruit leather include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, tangerines, and tomatoes
  • Draining excess juice from the fruit will speed up the drying time
  • Applesauce can be dried alone or added to any fresh fruit puree. Applesauce will add sweetness and make the fruit leather smoother and more pliable.
  • Spices to add: Sparingly use cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice

Published 5/18/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: Fruit Leather, Fruit Roll Ups, Food Dehydrator

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