Recipe, Snack, Whole Foods

Homemade Fruit Leather Fruit Snacks | Allergy Friendly, Gluten Free, Top 9 Free

Whether you have extra fruit purée or sauce from canning, like I do, or you find fruit or sauces on sale, I’ve got a quick, easy and healthy recipe for you to use it up and enjoy the results!

What if you have canned fruit or frozen fruit instead?! NO PROBLEM! It is not just canning, or whole fruit that you can use. It’s essentially any and all fruit. The gist of it is, that you need to purée the fruit into an applesauce consistency.

Strawberry, Apple, Mango, Pear, Blackberry, Blueberry, and even Peaches Oh My!

Literally use any fruit! Depending on whether you’re using canned, frozen or fresh from the source… you will aim to turn it into a fruit purée!

That basically means you will deseed it, peel it when necessary, and add a little water.

For homemade purée you will want to add lemon juice as listed in recipe below, to avoid discoloration.

Adding spice is optional for added flavor.

Details on canned, frozen and homemade sauces is below.

Canned Fruit

This one is super simple and a great way to use canned goods up quickly before they go bad!

Just drain the juices from the canned fruit, add fruit to blender, add a tablespoon of water at a time to blender as needed to purée. Although, most canned fruit is pretty watered down so it may not need any added, just drain the excess in can. Use as directed in recipe below for fruit leather.

Frozen Fruit

Yup! You can use that too! Put that yummy fruit in a blender and add about 1/4 cup water per 1 cup frozen fruit. Purée until applesauce consistency. Use as directed in fruit leather recipe below.

Store Bought Apple Sauce

You can use any unsweetened applesauce in this recipe. Feel free to play around with it by adding some of your favorite spices such as cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or even turmeric, one of my favorites.Pre-made store bought applesauce already has an ingredient to avoid discoloration, typically ascorbic acid (vitamin c).

Homemade Apple or Pear Sauce

If you have canned apple or pear sauce, you can use this as-is, straight from the jar, or as with the store bought sauce, add some of your favorite spices. It is preferable that it is unsweetened as the sugar can make it more sticky, tend to harden when drying, kind of like a candy, and of course not as healthy, but useable. The unsweetened has better soft texture and of course healthier.

Make Your Own Sauce | Simple From Scratch Recipe

If you happen to come across a great sale on apples or pears, buy them in bulk and make sauce! It’s really just fruit purée!

Pear or Apple Sauce Recipe and Instructions

INGREDIENTS

8-10 apples (about 4 pounds)

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Gather 8-10 apples or about a dozen pears (approximately 4 pounds of fruit).

Apple varieties that are great for sauce: Granny Smith, Fuji, Golden Delicious and McIntosh.

Pear varieties great for sauce: Bartlett and D’Anjou.

Peel your fruit, core and quarter them.

Add them to a pot and cover with just one-half cup of water.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

If you’d like to add cinnamon now is when you’d add just 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the pot of fruit, lemon juice and water.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a handheld electric mixer or a potato masher, mash cooked fruit into a fine purée.

Alternatively, you can pour the cooked fruit into a blender and purée.

Allow purée mixture to cool to room temperature and then use as directed in fruit leather recipe below.

Storing Homemade Fruit Roll-Up Fruit Leather

Store cooled, room temperature fruit leather, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 weeks.

Tips and Tricks

1. The bake time on these is slow and low, with oven time ranging from 6-8 hours. If you need to bake them partially and resume later in the day, you can turn the oven off and then back on when you are ready to resume same day.

2. Your oven temperature, local weather, and the water and/or sugar content (both natural and added) will make a variance in cooking or drying time of your fruit leather. Check on it regularly and to a touch test. Once it is “tacky” to the touch such as if you touch your finger to the sticky side of a piece of tape vs if you touch white glue. Tacky is perfection, sticking to you like glue is not ready.

3. If fruit leather is over cooked and becomes brittle, wet your fingertips with water and gently rub on top of fruit leather to add moisture. Allow to sit for 30-45 minutes and add more water if still needed.

4. You do want to err on the side of it being more done and crispy as opposed to under cooked and have mold or other issues from not being preserved and dried out properly.

5. You can freeze your fruit leather in a freezer bag for up to 12 months. When ready to use, remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature.

6. If the inside is perfection, but the outer edges are crisp, just trim the edges and enjoy as a candy, and roll up the soft insides! Nothing goes to waste.

How Do I Know My Fruit Leather is Done

It will be dry along edges, and when gently touch the surface elsewhere it is “tacky” like the sticky side of tape sticking but releasing from finger tips, as opposed to touching white Elmer’s glue and it adheres and pulls away sticking to and transferring to your skin. Remember tacky is good, sticky is bad. Remember that it will continue to set as it cools.

Make It Even Healthier! Add Some Veggies!

Consider blending up frozen broccoli, cauliflower or kale to add to your fruit purée.

Vegetables tend to have a more bitter flavor so start off with a ratio of about 1/4 purée vegetable for every 1 cup purée fruit. Mix it all together and make a super healthy fruit and veggie leather snack!

Homemade Fruit Leather

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Cook Time 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 cups applesauce or any fruit purée
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice if using homemade fruit purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºF. Line a standard sized baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread applesauce evenly on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 hours. When fruit is tacky to the touch (doesn't pull away and stick to fingers), it is ready to remove from oven for cooling.

  2. Allow to cool for an hour. When reaches room temperature, use kitchen shears to cut into desired strip size, length or shape.

  3. Store in an airtight container, in a cool dark location for 5-7 days.

  4. Alternately may store in freezer for up to 12 months. When ready to eat, allow to come to room temperature and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Unsweetened Applesauce Store Bought: Use as is in recipe. 

Homemade Applesauce: mix in lemon juice called for in recipe to avoid discoloration. Use as directed in recipe. 

Canned Fruit: Use any canned fruit from your pantry. Drain excess water, add lemon juice, and purée in blender. Use as directed in recipe. 

Frozen Fruit: Add 1/4 cup water to every 1 cup frozen fruit, and add lemon juice as directed in recipe. Purée, and add to recipe as directed. 

Fruit Ready to Go Bad: If you have berries, apples, pears, peaches, mangos or other fruit about to go bad, simply peel if necessary, deseed, and purée. Adding just enough water to purée, lemon juice to avoid discoloration, and then use as directed in recipe. If you have apples or pears, you can refer to the blog post to cook them and mash them prior to puréeing similar to cooking and mashing potatoes. 

Essentially, you are wanting to purée fruit with minimal water content, no added sugar, and spread onto a baking sheet to dry in oven at low temperature, to achieve fruit leather. 

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