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You know, getting an idea to do something you've never done before can be very exciting, but it can also be a lot of hard work. Lucky for you, I am putting in the work so you can learn from me and make your life a lot easier. As my mom told you in this post, I bought a bushel of apples from somebody in my church that was selling them. We decided to split them and I thought it would be fun to try making my own fruit leather. I've never made my own before, so I did some internet research on best practices, and I am going to share with you what did and did not work.
In the midst of all this, strawberries were on sale at the grocery store again. So I bought four cartons and thought, "hey, I know! I'll make two kinds of fruit leather, in two ways!!!" I am so foolishly ambitious. I ran out of steam and only ended up making the strawberry fruit leather, because, pregnancy +visitors coming to town to stay with us this week = I do not get to doing the kitchen things I planned on doing. Lucky for you however, there are still apples left, and I am going to make some apple butter with them. So hold on to your hats for that!
Making the puree was simple enough, and you can see the recipe below. I borrowed my parent's dehydrator (I really need to get me one of those). Here are a few tips.
1. In my internet research many people said you could use parchment paper to dehydrate your leather. That is a lie. Don't believe those people, they are not your friend.
2. My parents' dehydrator came with one fruit leather tray. The tray is really the best thing to use. I also tried to use nonstick lining paper. While it worked better than the parchment paper, it still didn't work as well as the tray that came with the dehydrator. If you want to do your own food storage and make your own healthy snacks I highly recommend buying your own fruit leather trays. I've provided a link below for your convenience.
3. Some dehydrators apparently have a temperature gauge as many places where I researched said to set your dehydrator for 140 degrees Fahrenheit. My parent's dehydrator does not have a temperature control. You just turn it on and let it to it's thing. So I would suggest checking your trays periodically and rotating them if necessary. My bottom tray was done right away and I feel like it got a little too dry in certain spots, while the upper trays still had wet spots.
4. Going along with evenness, try to spread out your puree as evenly as possible to avoid over drying certain spots. I smoothed mine out as evenly as I could, and your edges are still going to dry first, but you don't want to ruin half your leather while you wait for the other half to dry.
If you use these tips going forward, making fruit leather really isn't too hard. Making the puree itself was quick and easy. I used my ninja to blend everything together and then poured it on one tray at a time. The wait comes from letting the dehydrator do it's work, but in the end you get a tasty snack that you know doesn't have weird added preservatives in it! Happy fruit leather making!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!