Healthy homemade fruit leathers
Growing up, we had no shortage of fruit roll-ups or gushers in our house. My sister and I loved that type of sweet “fruit” snack. Now, my own children love gummy-type fruit snacks, too. I mean, who doesn’t? Fruit leathers and snacks aren’t available where we are currently living, so I did what I always do – make our own!
Not only are they delicious, but they can also easily become a zero-waste craft activity since your kids can help cut and roll them, which makes them even more enjoyable.
We usually make plain apple fruit leathers, but I love to make apple pumpkin if I’m lucky enough to have pumpkin puree lying around. The nutrition facts in this recipe are based on apple pumpkin fruit leathers.
To make fruit leathers, you can puree other types of fruit that you have on hand, but I have found that they turn out best when I use some applesauce. Therefore, I always use at least 1/2 homemade applesauce. The only ingredient you need for this recipe is pureed fruit (fresh or frozen is fine). Optionally, you can also add honey or any sweetener of choice. Some additional blends that we have tried and enjoyed are:
- Applesauce + mixed berry
- Applesauce + cinnamon
- Applesauce + mango
- Applesauce + sweet potato
- Applesauce + pear
Admittedly, I have tried to sneak carrots and beets into this recipe, and the kiddos didn’t enjoy them as much. But, if you want to give it a go – kudos to you and let me know if they like it!
Purree your fruit. If you’re using fruit like berries that will blend very easily without steaming, just add them into your blender raw. If you’re using sweet potato or pear, you will want to steam them first to make them soft for blending. You will need two cups. If you want to make thicker fruit leathers, you can use three cups. You will need to bake them for an additional hour.
Bake for five hours at 150 degrees F. Our oven does not bake evenly, so I turn ours at 2.5 hours. After my five hour timer goes off, I check on our leathers and see if they are fully dehydrated. They should have no moisture and be able to peel from your silicon mat or parchment paper very easily. Just test your corner, but do not peel yet. They should cool first. If they are still wet and won’t peel easily, continue to bake them, and check on them every half hour.
Remove from the oven and let them cool for at least an hour.
Peel fruit leather from your silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. If done carefully, you should be able to peel it off into one large strip.
Cut into 1″ strips. I let my little ones help me with this!
Roll upwards into fruit roll-ups. I also let my little ones do this part.
Place and store into an airtight container. I do not know how long these will last, because my children always eat all of them in a day! 🙂
However, because they are dehydrated – they should last at least two weeks. I am certain that they wont, though. 😉
I thought it would be the perfect time to reshare this recipe because many of us are home with our children and looking for fun ways to nourish their bodies and find enjoyable crafts to do together. Once you make these, they will become a staple in your home. And what’s better than creating something that is zero waste and earth-friendly? We love making and baking our own snacks, because single use plastic is bad for our planet.
I hope you’re doing well and in good spirits! Peace and love from our family to yours.
- two cups of fruit puree of your choice. Applesauce is recommended for at least one cup.
- OPTIONAL: sweetener of choice, such as honey.
- Blend your fruit in blender or food processor until completely combined.
- Pour onto baking sheet, over parchment paper or silicone bake mat.
- Dehydrate by baking at 150 degrees F for five hours.
- After five hours, check to see if leathers are fully dehydrated. If not, continue to let them bake and check every 30 minutes.
- Once dehydrated, let cool for an hour.
- Peel from baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Slice into 1 inch slice.
- Roll into fruit leathers.
- Store in an airtight container.