By dehydrating fruit rolls, you'll be able to create nutritious snacks for your family which are healthy for young and old alike.
Dehydrated fruit rolls, (also known as Fruit Leathers, and Fruit Roll-ups – no, not those hard candies!) are very easy to make and cost less than fruit leathers bought in any store!
Fruit leathers can be made from fresh fruits or any leftover fruits and can be sweetened if desired – add cinnamon to an apple and pear mix! Yummy!
For added sweetness for fruit rolls when using tart fruits: for each quart of purée add one or two tablespoons of honey or corn syrup – whichever is on hand in your pantry – and taste-test 'til your taste-buds are happy! Note: adding regular sugar to fruit rolls can make them become brittle when in storage. Select a fruit combination for a fruit leather that will appeal to you and your kids! For example bananas and pineapples make a great combination. How about strawberries with rhubarb, or pineapple and cranberry?
It's always best to use fresh fruit for your fruit rolls while it's in season and plentiful – i.e. cheaper – but don't forget you can also use overripe fruits or those misshapen, bruised fruits that didn't quite make it to your fruit bowl on the dining table ... :-(
In a pinch? You can use canned fruits too. Simply drain off the excess liquid first (in a sieve, in the sink) then put the fruit in the blender and away you go.
You can even use frozen fruits but be aware that these may be a little thinner in consistency after puréeing.
To combat a too runny consistency, let the frozen fruit come to room temperature first, allowing excess water/juice to drain off naturally (in the sink, in a sieve). If it's still too runny, add an apple to the mix!
The fruit rolls are easily made by puréeing the fruit in your blender and by spreading it thinly onto your food dehydrator's special sheets created just for this purpose. If you're not using the Nesco fruit-roll sheets, simply lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the trays to make your own drip-proof sheets!
NOTE: Make SURE to cut out the center hole in the plastic wrap so that the air can circulate if using a Nesco dehydrator! (I do highly recommend the sheets though).
When spreading out the puréed fruit make sure that the center portion of the tray contents is a little thinner than the outer edges, as the outer edges tend to dry out faster.
NOTE: When using two Nesco dehydrator fruit roll trays, two large apples and 4 pears were used; this is to give you a rough idea as to how much fruit to use for two sheets.
I also added extra dehydrator trays in-between the two fruit roll trays for added air circulation: Nesco recommends using NO LESS than four trays at a time for proper air circulation.
Read more about NESCO dehydrators HERE.
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