Summer is winding down and fall is right around the corner. I cannot wait for the pumpkin spice lattes to start flowing in about a week! I don’t know about you, but this is also the time of year that the overabundance of gardens start to show up at work. You know – zucchinis showing up in your car if you leave your window open while running in to the grocery store, tomatoes and cucumbers left in the breakroom, peaches and pears at their peak flavor. Well, if you have an abundance, what can you do with it that doesn’t involve too much work? Fruit leather, my friends!
I was a little sneaky and made Fruit (and veggie) Leather for my kids. They didn’t even know. Not that they would complain – they can only say about 8 words each. 😉
The recipe here is more of a guideline than a strict recipe. You could add any combo of veggies and/or fruit you want! But there are a few key points to remember:
- I ALWAYS bring my mixture to a boil before drying. Better to kill any stray bacteria you can. Die, buggies, DIE!!
- Dry until the leather is no longer sticky to the touch. That means enough water has evaporated, and no water means less of a chance of spoilage.
- Technically, you could store the stuff at room temp, tightly wrapped, for a couple of weeks. I like to store mine in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped.
What can you do with fruit leather other than eat it straight up? Cut it up and put it in your oatmeal, your favorite trail mix, homemade granola, add it to cookies and cakes, etc. Or you could soak it in a little hot water until it dissolves for baby food. Or so all the dehydrating books say…
Super Simple Fruit Leather
- 5 cups fruit/veggie puree – peel fruit like peaches, pears, and apples
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of your fruit/veggie puree)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Cooking spray
- Place puree, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a low boil, and let boil gently for about 5 minutes.
- Place parchment paper on cookie sheets or extra wide plastic wrap over your food dehydrator tray. Be sure not to block the airflow around the tray with plastic wrap.
- Spray the parchment paper or plastic wrap with cooking spray.
- Ladle the puree onto the prepared trays. It should be about 1/4 inch thick on each tray and should fill about 2 trays.
- Place in a 130°F oven or food dehydrator set at 145°F. WALK AWAY.
- Allow to cook/dry for 8-12 hours, or until no longer sticky.
- Gently lift the parchment paper or plastic wrap off the cookie sheet/tray.
- Cut into strips or shapes with kitchen shears – wrap each piece well with plastic wrap.
- Store in an airtight container at room temp or in the fridge.
I made 3 different combinations this weekend:
- 2 cups pureed cooked carrots and 3 cups pureed peaches
- 1 cup plums, 2 cups nectarines, and 2 cups peaches
- 1 cup blueberries, 4 cups grapes