How to Make Fruit Leather in a Dehydrator

How to Make Fruit Leather in a Dehydrator

Fruit leathers or fruit roll ups are a fantastic way of using up fruit. Making fruit leathers using a dehydrator at home is actually really simple, and offers a great healthy snack for both kids and adults.


What are the benefits of homemade fruit leather?

Homemade fruit leathers or fruit roll ups are so much tastier than store bought varieties. The bought versions are also often full of sugar and can be expensive. Fruit leather is also a great way to get kids eating a fruit snack, often without them realizing and without the added sugar!

They can also be made from a number of different fruits, so it means that your fresh fruit that may be heading towards the end of its shelf life can be used, which is kinder to your pocket!

As with any fruits, they are extremely beneficial for your health. Low in saturated fat and processed sugars, they are delicious but do not impact too much on your health!


What types of fruit can make fruit leather?

Almost any different fruit or berry you can think of can be used to make a flavor of fruit leather. You can even make a vegetable version that can be used as a vegan wrap.

Most of the fruits and berries found in a grocery store, from strawberry fruit to mango are good for fruit leather, so you’re sure to find something that utilizes your favorite fruit. The main difference is that some fruit takes a slightly longer prep time than other fruits.

For example, rhubarb requires some cook time before making the fruit puree because it is a little bit more fibrous and needs the cooking to break it down and make it a bit more palatable.

You can also use frozen fruit but they need to be fully defrosted before use . If you want to use soft fruits like bananas, be aware that they will discolor and turn an unappealing brown color, so feel free to use them with other fruits.


A recipe to make homemade fruit leather

Although there are many recipes available online to make fruit leather, here is a strawberry fruit leather recipe to get you started. You will need:

  • 6 cups strawberries

  • ¼ to ½ cup honey or sugar (sweetener optional)

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (Optional to help discoloration)

  • Dehydrator

  • Parchment paper or baking sheets (Don't use wax paper)


How to prepare fruit for dehydrating

In order to make fruit leather, you first need to prepare the fruit. Make sure it is washed thoroughly and peeled if needed.

You will also need to try and remove any blemishes as these will detract from the taste. Next, chop the fruit up enough so that it can fit into a blender.

different types of fruit leather


Fruit leather recipe: A step by step guide to making fruit leather

  1. Place the chopped fruit into a blender or food processor.

  2. Add the lemon juice and your desired sugar/sweetener/honey, if required.

  3. Once the mixture resembles a fruit puree, spread the fruit mixture onto a parchment paper on a food dehydrator tray

  4. The layer you create should be around 1/8 inch thick.

  5. Tilt the tray or use a spatula to spread the mixture evenly.

  6. Set your food dehydrator to 140F/60C and allow it to dry for between 7-12 hours.


How do I know when my fruit leather is ready?

You should dry the fruit puree until it is leathery and pliable, with no moist spots. Rotate the dehydrator trays around half way through the cycle (4-6 hours), so that the drying process is even.

Near the center of the leather is the best place to check for wet spots. The color should be fairly even and the finished leather should look slightly clear.

The leather should pull away from the parchment easily and without sticking. When you press on the leather, it should not leave an imprint.


How do I prepare the fruit leather for eating?

Once you have removed the fruit leather from the food dehydrator, you should let it cool completely at room temperature.

Then, remove from the parchment and using scissors, a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the fruit sheet into long 1 inch strips. To make the roll ups, cut into strips and roll the sheet whilst still attached to the parchment paper.


How do I store fruit leather and how long does it last?

You can store the fruit leather in an airtight container, in a cool, dry location for around 2 weeks. Alternatively, you can place the container in a fridge and they can last for up to 2 months or even longer!

Alternatively, place the roll ups or leather in a zip lock bag and place in the freezer. They can last for up to a year before degrading.

orange fruit leather


What's the best dehydrator to buy for fruit leather?

As with any home recipes, the type of dehydrator you need for fruit leather depends on how much you are looking to make and what sort of budget you have. There are a number of food dehydrators on the market that would be suitable for this task.

For a relatively small and inexpensive model, you can't go wrong with the Samson Silent SB-106B Digital Dehydrator. It has the capacity for 6 trays, allowing you to dehydrate 6.5 square feet at any one time. It has a good temperature range and a timer with increments, so you can keep checking to see how your leather is doing. This machine comes in at under $150 but has an automatic fan for consistent and even drying.

For something a little more advanced, you could try the Tribest Sedona SD-9000 Digital Raw Food Dehydrator. It has a good capacity of 9 trays and efficiently distributes air, meaning it can dry much more evenly and effectively than some other models on the market. It is energy efficient and has digital controls, which makes it really easy to set.

At the top end of the range, the Tribest Sedona Express SD-6280, SD-6780 Digital Food Dehydrator offers the space, speed and even drying to ensure perfect results. The 11 trays allow plenty of finished product and the Two Stage Sequential Temperature Timer enables cooking at a higher temperature to switch to a lower temperature part way through the cycle.

If you have any questions with regards to how to make fruit leather in a dehydrator or suitable dehydrators , please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tips for other ways to use your dehydrator:

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