Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to Make Fruit Leather

Fruit leathers or fruit roll ups are homemade fruit rolls. Fruit leathers are made from pureed fruit that is dried on a flat surface. After the fruit is dry, it is pulled from the drying surface and rolled into small tubes. Fruit roll ups get their name from the look and texture of the dried, pureed fruit which is shiny and leathery.

Homemade fruit roll ups are a great tasty, nutritious snack that children especially love. Homemade fruit leather can be made from many different fruit combinations and spices and are substantially less expensive and more wholesome than the store bought kind. Store bought fruit roll ups are really over processed candy and contain heavy sugars or corn syrup and are partially made from fruit juice. Thus, store bought fruit roll ups are not one hundred percent fruit.

Dried Fruit

Making roll ups requires the following utensils:

Knives, a double boiler or steamer (optional), a food processor or blender, or alternatively strong arms and forearms for mashing and blending and plastic wrap or non-stick dehydrator sheets

Fruit Leather steps:

Use ripe or slightly overripe fruit Wash, remove stems and seeds, remove peels (some peel can be left on oranges, lemons, limes and other similar food) Cut the food into slices or chunks Steam it for 10-15 minutes (optional) Puree it in a blender or food processor Add juice or spices as flavoring (pineapple, lemon, lime), if desired add sugar or honey as a sweetener, and or add chopped nuts or coconut to create different textures To prevent food discoloration and flavor loss, add 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid crystals or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for every 2 cups of fruit. Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch Maintain a food dehydrator temperature of 115 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, or 46 to 54 degrees Celsius, and dry for up to 10 hours. The fruit leather is ready if it peels readily at the edges and if you cannot see any indentations after you touch it in several places. Roll your strips of fruit leather and wrap them in plastic wrap. Fruit leather can be stored for a year in the freezer, several months in the refrigerator and a month or two at room temperature.

Fruit leather can also be made via an uncooked method. After slicing the fruit into chunks (step 3), skip step 4 (steaming) and proceed to step 5 and puree the fruit.Other tips:

Fruits suitable for fruit leather include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, tangerines, and tomatoes Draining excess juice from the fruit will speed up the drying time Applesauce can be dried alone or added to any fresh puree. Applesauce will add sweetness and make the fruit leather smoother and more pliable. Spices to add: Sparingly use cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice

How to Make Fruit Leather

Visit Food Dehydrator to learn how to dehydrate food and make beef jerky and dried fruit. Use our food dehydrator content and calculators to discover the benefits of food dehydrators and dried food.

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