What’s fruity, chewy, rollable, and full of that flavor punch?

Fruit Leathers!

How to Make Fruit Leather

The Healthy Fruit Leather

I’m not talking about those processed, cut-out rolls of food coloring and sugar. I’m talking about the easy peasy homemade ones! Read “How to Make Fruit Leathers” and you will be a pro in no time. Your kids and friends will think you are a superhero for actually making something so delicious and good for them.


I’m going to show you how to make Cranberry Rhubarb fruit leather. That doesn’t mean you only have to make fruit leathers with the fruits I choose. You get to make these out of anything you want, that’s the fun part! Get creative, and use the fruits your family likes best!

Whole Food Ingredients

Since the fruit is being concentrated down, it is a healthy choice to choose organic. You don’t want a fruit leather filled with pesticides. Personally, I use the “clean 15” rule when choosing organic vs. conventional.

As far as honey goes, the amount you use will depend on your taste buds and the fruit you choose. Since I used cranberries and rhubarb, I used the whole 4 Tbsp of honey. Usually, I only add 2 Tbsp if I use sweeter fruit. The lemon juice will give any fruit flavor a pop! If your fruit is not watery, then you should add a few tablespoons just so the pan doesn’t burn. These are also GAPS friendly, so nobody is missing out!

The Perfect Chewiness

There are many different recipes for making fruit leathers out there, but when I tried them, most would turn out too thin. We like the fruit leathers nice and chewy at my house, so I found a way that works every time! By cooking the fruit down you are concentrating the flavor and taking out some water. The honey gives it that nice soft chew for little mouths. I switch up the fruit every time depending on what is in season. Have fun, and enjoy!

Here are some fun flavors my family has enjoyed!

  • apple cinnamon
  • mango pineapple
  • strawberry
  • fruit punch
  • blueberry orange
  • raspberry banana
  • watermelon kiwi mango
  • cherry cranberry

Fruit Leather

Ingredients:

Directions:


  1. Measure and cut 3 cups of fruit total (your choice). Fresh or defrosted frozen fruit is great.
  2. Add the fruit, honey, lemon juice, and water (if needed) to your pan. Cover with a lid. Cook on low until the fruit is released in juices and combined together. Let it cook down until thickened.
  3. Allow the fruit to cool. Add the cooked fruit to your blender or Cuisinart and blend until very smooth.
  4. Spread the thick puree onto a dehydrator sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper (14″ x 14″). It should be spread on thick. Use a spatula to get a nice even surface (important, so it dries evenly!).
  5. Dehydrate at 135° (140° is ok for the oven, see more oven specific instructions below). Takes 6-11 hours depending on method, thickness and fruit of your fruit leather. Sometimes one section will dry faster, so turn the tray occasionally to help keep the drying even. (Buy Excalibur dehydrators here)
  6. Carefully peel fruit leather off sheet and cut into 12 strips. Roll in parchment paper strips and seal the end with a staple (an easy and simple way to keep it together, as tape does not stick to parchment paper). Enjoy your chewy fruit leather! Yum :)

Oven directions: Use a baking sheet and line with a Silpat or parchment paper. Spread the thick puree onto the sheet. Use a spatula to even it out.

You will know it is done when it is tacky, but not sticky. The fruit leather should not be hard. Peel back the edges and if it does not stick, it is probably done. Some fruits turn out more “leathery” or chewy than others. Just experiment to find your favorite combination.

About Caroline


Please welcome Caroline Lunger of Gutsy. She loves creating recipes that are GAPS–friendly for her family and readers. She is currently on the GAPS diet to heal her gut and multiple chemical sensitivities. Caroline is an 18 year old Gusty girl. :) Stop by her website and check out her yummy, good-for-your-tummy GAPS recipes!

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Comments

  1. Jessica says

    Wow, I cannot wait to try these! Growing up I loved fruit roll ups but now I try my best to keep processed foods out of my house. I love that you can make so many variations and not feel bad about eating them.

  2. Jess says

    My kids LOVE fruit leather, but sometimes it’s hard to find ones that I love (no corn syrup, etc.) reasonably priced. I have a bag full of apples that I’m supposed to be making apple sauce with, I’m thinking they just found a new purpose. I can’t wait to try these!

      • Jess says

        Just wanted to update that I made the apple cinnamon yesterday and it’s AWESOME! My oven doesn’t go low enough, so I overcooked it a bit. Okay it was partly the oven and partly me, I didn’t spread it very evenly. Trial and error…I’ll borrow my mom’s dehydrator for my next attempt.

  3. Laura Amann says

    Hi-
    What temperature do you set the oven at and do you have any idea how long it takes in an oven?

    Thanks.

  4. Deena says

    This sounds wonderful! How long will they keep and do they need to be refrigerated?

    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas. I have a folder on my computer that I keep all these great DIY recipes in. :)

  5. Doug says

    I like many of the things you post but to suggest someone should purchase unfiltered honey from the Phillipines (that is where your link led me) seems wrong. I am a beekeeper and you should not have to go far to find in any local environment in the US raw unfiltered honey. Don’t be fooled by these companies who blend honey from different continents and package it in the US making you think it is from the US. It is more expensive to go local but this is a great way to buy local, support local and then you get the pollen from your area to help you not from some foreign country.

    • says

      Thanks for your concern Doug. I just purchased raw honey from a new beekeeper friend who lives 3 miles up the mountain. Because we can’t find local honey for everyone reading, we did the next best thing in finding a resource available to all. Order local first, and if you can’t find that, we trust the companies on our Resources page.

      • says

        I agree with you Matt about local 1st then resources page 2nd. The farmers market is a nice place to get honey and you get to meet the farmer too; love that!

  6. says

    I wish I could get behind this, but the natural sugars get intensified and the stickiness gets into grooves of teeth and cavities form :( I have seen so many cavities come from dried fruit and gummy vitamins…..too bad vegetable leather doesn’t seem appealing:) Great article and really well written, but as an oral health coach that deals with cavities day in and day out the subject matter kills it for me.

    • says

      I won’t be eating these either Carrie, but I think it’s a great option for mom’s already serving less healthy options looking for something better, and homemade.

  7. April says

    Thank you.
    I tried making fruit leathers a few times and dehydrated then too long. Thank you for the great instructions. How long will they keep for? Should the be refrigerated?