Dehydrating Fruit Rolls
For a Healthy Homemade Treat!
By dehydrating fruit rolls, you'll be able to create nutritious snacks for your family which are healthy for young and old alike.
These 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! Here's a little history on fruit rolls courtesy of Wikipedia.
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Fruit rolls 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!
Add a Little Sweetness!
Photo by Permission Camtasia 2018 for Susan Gast / Easy Food Dehydrating
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
Use Fresh Fruit in Season
It's always best to use fresh fruit for your fruit rolls while
it's in season and plentiful – i.e. cheaper.
Don't forget you can
also use overripe fruits or those misshapen, bruised fruits too.
This is a perfect USE for those 'imperfect' fruits! (I'll never tell!)
Use Canned Fruits - or - Frozen Fruits!
In a pinch? You can use canned fruits too while dehydrating fruit rolls. 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
If it's still too runny, add an apple to the mix!
Use Fruit Roll Sheets or Plastic Wrap
for Dehydrating Fruit Rolls
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).
Make It a Little Thicker on the
Tray's "Outer Edge"
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.
(aka Fruit Leathers)
- Wash your favorite combination of fresh fruit and trim away any bruised and/or spoiled areas. You can leave the skin on – chop the fruits into 1" chunks to make it easier on your blender and discard the core and seeds. Add a tablespoon or two of water to get the blender moving.
(There may be no need to add water if you're using (thawed) frozen fruit
or canned fruit).
- Place the fruit in your blender. Now is the time to add the sweetener of your choice, if necessary.
- After puréeing the fruit, you may choose to lightly wipe the
fruit roll sheet with vegetable oil to help prevent sticking. Next:
Simply pour the purée onto the food dehydrator's special fruit roll
sheets – around 1.5 cups per tray
- Turn on your dehydrator and set the temperature between 135°F to 140°F.
Note the higher temperature for fruit rolls!
- When the fruit roll has dried, peel it from the tray and roll
it into a tight cylindrical shape. Use a piece of plastic wrap to wrap
it up and store in airtight containers. At room temperature, they'll
last a month. In my photo below, you'll see that I vacuum packed some so
they will last even longer!
- Drying time: between 4 – 8 hours or until the fruit roll/leather
is pliable (or per your food dehydrator's instructions). It should be
non-sticky to the touch and a little shiny in appearance – and they do
dry much browner, but that is absolutely nothing to worry about!
- Remember to rotate your food dehydrator trays while dehydrating fruit rolls, for even drying.