Fruit leather is a tasty, wholesome snack convenient for taking on the go or whenever hunger strikes. Best of all, making fruit leather only requires a small amount of hands-on time, with most of the work being done by the dehydrator.
Creating fruit leather is simple: puree your favorite fruits, spread the mixture thinly, and dehydrate until most of the moisture is gone. Once dried, fruit leather can be rolled up (just like that childhood snack that many are familiar with) or folded into pieces for you to tear into later.
Fruit leather is highly customizable. Start with your favorite fruits to get the method down, and then experiment with different fruits and combinations for different flavors. Give it a try and enjoy the taste of this wholesome treat!
The Sahara Folding Dehydrator provides excellent air circulation and dual time/temperature control to ensure optimal settings for dehydrating your favorite fruits. Using Non-Stick Silicone Mats ensures the fruit leather will peel off easily and makes for easy cleanup.
Ingredients for Fruit Leather
Various fruits, either alone or combined, can be used to make flavorful fruit leather. Some fruits that work well include berries, bananas, apples, apricots, cherries, grapes, melons, pears, peaches, pineapples, and mangoes. However, this is not an exhaustive list; you can experiment with other fruits too!
Tip: Watermelon fruit leather is delicious, but it's best to combine it with less watery fruit like bananas to thicken the puree due to its high water content. If using watermelon alone, puree and then strain excess liquid through a cheesecloth before dehydrating.
You can also add vegetables to your fruit leather. Try vegetables like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. Some vegetables, such as carrots, can be used raw but will blend easier if cooked. Others, such as beets or sweet potatoes, should be cooked first. Add a dash of cinnamon to a winter squash puree for a fantastic fall-flavored leather!
When fruit is dehydrated, its natural sweetness and flavor become more intense. Many fruits may not need additional sweeteners, but others- especially tart fruit- may benefit from it to balance the taste. Granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup are good options for sweeteners. It's best to taste the fruit puree first and then decide if you need to add any sweeteners. If you do add sweeteners, use 1 to 3 tablespoons of sweetener per 3 cups of fruit should be sufficient
Adding lemon juice to your fruit leather maintains its bright color and adds a touch of acidity, enhancing the flavor. This extra liquid also makes it easier to blend less juicy fruits into a smooth consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every 3 cups of fruit.
Flavoring such as vanilla bean, cinnamon, or flavored extracts may be added to the fruit purée. After spreading the purée on the silicone mat, you may sprinkle shredded, coconut, or finely chopped nuts on top. If using nuts or seeds, we recommend storing the fruit leather in the refrigerator for longer-term storage to preserve freshness.
How To Prepare Fruit
Choose fruit that is ripe or even slightly over-ripe. Sort and thoroughly rinse the fruit. Remove any blemished or damaged parts of the fruit. Peel tough-skinned fruit. While it’s not necessary to peel soft-skinned fruit, such as peaches or nectarines, peeling will help achieve smoother fruit leather. Pit, core, and destem fruit as needed. Cut fruit into small to medium-sized chunks.Canned and frozen fruit may be used to make fruit leather as well. Strain canned fruit to remove any excess liquid. Thaw frozen fruit first before pureeing. Frozen or canned fruit may be mixed with fresh fruit.
Have some fun!
- Switch up the shape: Try circles for small bite-size portions of fruit leather.
- Two-tone color: Use two different purées with two different colors. Swirl them together on one silicone mat, making a tie-dye or striped pattern.
Fruit Leather Recipe
Yield: 2 silicone mats (16.5 x 11.4”) of fruit leather
Timing: Active: 20 minutes; Inactive: 6 to 10 hours; Total: 6 to 10 hours
- Sahara Dehydrator
- Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mats
- Vegetable peeler
- Cutting board
- Offset spatula, silicone spatula, or large spoon
- 6 cups of Fruit
- 2 to 6 tablespoons (or to taste) of sweetener, optional
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, optional
Prepare the fruit: Prepare the fruit by rinsing, removing any blemished areas, and peeling, coring, and removing any seeds if necessary. Cut the fruit into small to medium-sized chunks.
Place the fruit in a blender and purée until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of water or fruit juice if you have difficulty blending the fruit into a smooth mixture. Taste the mixture and add sweetener if desired. Blend again once the sweetener is added.
Spread fruit puree onto trays: Line 2 dehydrator trays with nonstick silicone mats. Pour 2 cups of puree onto one mat and the remaining two cups onto the other. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the fruit mixture as evenly as possible into a rectangle a bit smaller than the size of the mat and about ⅛ inch thick. Be careful not to make the center thicker than the edges. The center is the last spot to dry, so if it is too thick, the edges will be brittle before the center is dry.
Dehydrate: Place the tray into the dehydrator and dry for 6 to 10 hours at 145°F. The length of drying time will depend on the type of fruit, the moisture content, and how thickly it is spread.
About halfway through the drying time, check the fruit leather. If one side seems to be drying faster, rotate the tray.
To check for doneness, touch the leather in several places. It should be dry but slightly tacky to the touch, with no wet spots remaining. If fruit leather is not dried fully, it can grow mold as it is stored, so make sure no wet areas remain. Properly dried fruit leather will be flexible and leathery. If the leather is brittle and cracks as it is peeled, it has dried for too long. It is still edible but will be difficult to roll.
Once removed from the mat, place the fruit leather directly onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. (This step is optional but will prevent the fruit leather from sticking to itself as it's rolled.) You may roll the fruit leather without the paper, but it may have a greater chance of sticking to itself. Starting at the bottom edge, roll the leather up. Store the roll as one piece, or cut it into smaller strips.
Fruit leather may be eaten immediately, or it may be stored for later use.
How to Store Fruit Leather
Place fruit leather in an airtight container (glass jar, silicone bag, or other container) and store in a cool, dark place. Fruit leather will keep for up to one month at room temperature or for several months in the refrigerator. You can also freeze fruit leather. Wrap the piece in plastic (or vacuum seal) and place it inside a plastic freezer bag to store in the freezer for up to a year.