What’s fruity, chewy, rollable, and full of that flavor punch?
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
- fruit punch
- blueberry orange
- raspberry banana
- watermelon kiwi mango
- cherry cranberry
- 2 cups rhubarb
- 1 cup cranberries
- 2-4 Tbsp honey (where to get raw, unfiltered honey)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2-4 Tbsp of water (as needed)
- Measure and cut 3 cups of fruit total (your choice). Fresh or defrosted frozen fruit is great.
- 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.
- Allow the fruit to cool. Add the cooked fruit to your blender or Cuisinart and blend until very smooth.
- 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!).
- Dehydrate at 135° (140° is ok for the oven, see more oven specific instructions below). Takes 6-11 hours depending on method, thickeness 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)
- 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.
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!