Thinking of snacks these days can lead to unhealthy choices, but have you ever tried dehydrating fruit leather? This may be the right hobby for you.
This isn’t as hard as it sounds, and it can become a healthy snack.
Dehydrating Fruit Leather Is Easier Than It Seems
First things, though, what exactly is dehydrating fruit leather?
Fruit leathers are homemade fruit rolls. Yes, you read that right. You can make those delicious fruit rolls at home.
All you need is the fruit, and the ability to dehydrate it flat enough so that it becomes leathery and rubbery.
Pick the right fruit, puree it down by cooking or mashing, add seasoning, and spread thinly on trays to dry.
Once dry, all you need to do is let it sit, divide, and then roll it up. Wrap it in plastic and keep at room temperature for up to one month.
The 6 reasons why this will be your favorite pastime
Reason #1: You can use the fruit that seems completely overripe to make a delicious snack
Instead of throwing away your overripe fruit, you can find a way to use it and make a tasty snack.
When dehydrating fruit leather, the best kind of fruit you can use is one that is soft and purees well.
That’s why using ripe, overripe, and fruits on the verge of going bad, can be a good way to make sure your fruit leather is smooth.
All you need to do is mash it well and then spread it onto a flat surface so it can dry.
Reason #2: You can pick whatever sweetener (or none) that you like
Fruit rolls are a delicious treat, but they have a ton of sugar, which is why they aren’t even considered a fruit anymore.
When you make your fruit leather at home, you can use whatever sweetener you prefer, or none, if that’s what you like.
Some people prefer to use honey, agave syrup, or even artificial sweeteners. Honey is a great sweetener for fruit leather to last longer.
This is also a safe snack for people that have diabetes, or who can’t consume as much sugar
Reason #3: You can even use your canned or frozen fruits
If you don’t have much fruit lying around, don’t worry, frozen or canned fruit will work just as well.
For canned fruit, drain it, but save a bit of the liquid. Puree it just as you would a fresh fruit; use the remaining liquid if needed.
As for the frozen fruit, let it thaw for a few hours on the sink. Once soft, mash it well, add water if needed to make it smoother.
Instead of letting your canned or frozen fruit go old, use it to make a different snack. There are more uses to it than just making a smoothie!
Reason #4: You can dry fruit leather without much effort
Dehydrating fruit leather is one of the easiest preservation methods, as most of the process requires little supervision
All you need to do is arrange your pureed fruit onto trays or cookie pans. Line them with plastic wrap and smooth out wrinkles.
Don’t use waxed paper or aluminum foil. Let your trays dry in the sun, but bring them inside overnight. The process will take many days.
When using a food dehydrator, things are much easier, simply line up the trays, and let the machine work its magic.
While it may not be ideal, you can also use the oven. Pick the lowest temperature, open the door slightly, and let the fruit dry for up to 8 hours.
Reason #5: You can make new flavors you like
Cooking your fruit down to a puree isn’t always a necessary step, but if you do, you can add some spices and seasoning.
Some good spices include cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, ginger, lime, and tamarind. Taste as you go and mix flavors.
You can also cook fruits together when boiling them down, which will result in very cool and new flavors.
Now your kids’ and family snacks don’t have to be boring, they can be different, healthy, and fun.
Reason #6: You can reuse your leftover jam, jelly, and other fillings
If you have leftover fruit jam or jelly, this is a good way to reuse it instead of letting it get old.
Mix the jam or jelly with your fruit puree and spread out thinly as you would normally.
Keep in mind that some jams or jellies can be too thick, so you may need to add water. A good way to ensure they are smooth is to use applesauce or puree.
Some other ingredients you can use include peanut butter, marmalade, cream cheese, melted chocolate, or marshmallow cream.
Not only will you save your food from going bad, but you will also get a variety of delicious snacks in the process.
Time to get the fruit ready, cook, spread, and dry. These are simple steps and you’ll have yummy fruit leather to enjoy!