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How to Dehydrate Fruit Rolls
For a Healthy Homemade Treat!

I can't wait to show you how to dehydrate fruit rolls! Create nutritious snacks that young and old alike enjoy munching on.

Fruit Roll-Ups on a plate

Fruit rolls (also known as fruit leathers, and fruit roll-ups—no, not those hard candies!) are easy to make and cost less than any fruit leathers bought in a store! (Plus you know what's in 'em - as we don't add preservatives that you can't pronounce!)

Check out this brief history of fruit rolls courtesy of Wikipedia, then come on back here.

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Top Question: Make a fruit leather with dehydrator?
A. Please read the information on this page!

Q. Fruit leather with no added sugar?
A. Here are some tips for making tasty fruit leather with no added sugar:

  • Choose Naturally Sweet Fruit: Go for fruits like mango, pineapple, banana, figs, applesauce, etc, which have enough natural sugars to set up the leather. Berries and tart fruits may need a touch of sweetness, though.
  • Boost Flavor with Spices: Cinnamon, vanilla, almond extract, lemon or orange zest add flavor without sugar. Or try ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg combos.
  • Use Vegetable or Fruit Juice for Liquid: Thin out thicker purées with 100% juices like apple, white grape, pear, or carrot instead of water. Adds sweetness back in.
  • Include Dried Fruits: Chop or purée nutrient-dense dried fruits like raisins, dates, cherries, or apricots into the mix. Work especially well in leathers with some tartness.
  • Sweeten with Alternatives: For a light touch of sweetness, minimal amounts of maple syrup, honey, molasses, or stevia can be used instead of plain sugar.
  • Keep it Thin: Spread fruit purées thinner over dehydrator sheets - less than 1/4 inch. Thinner leathers dry faster. See my TIP about how to spread your fruit mix properly for best drying HERE.

With the right fruit combos and a flavor boost from added spices and herbs, it's easy to achieve enough sweetness in a reduced-sugar fruit leather! Play with proportions as desired by taste-testing before smoothing out your purée on the sheets.

Add a Little Sweetness!

honey for sweetness

Make fruit rolls from fresh fruits or any leftover fruits. Sweeten them if desired by adding cinnamon to an apple and pear mix. Yummy! See more ideas in the FAQ section at the top of the page.

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 tasty combination. How about strawberries with rhubarb, or pineapple and cranberry?

Use Fresh Fruit in Season

fresh fruit

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!)

How to Dehydrate Fruit Rolls with Canned Fruits—or—Frozen Fruits!

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 sieve).

If it's still too runny, add an apple to the mix!

Apple and Pear Fruit Roll Mix in a blender

How to Dehydrate Fruit Rolls (aka Fruit Leathers and Roll-ups)

  1. 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).
  2. Place the fruit in your blender. Now is the time to add the sweetener of your choice, if you find it necessary.
  3. After puréeing the fruit, you can 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
  4. Turn on your dehydrator and set the temperature between 135°F to 140°F.
    Note the higher temperature for fruit rolls!
  5. When the fruit roll has dried, peel it from the tray and roll it into a tight cylindrical/conical shape. Use a piece of plastic wrap to wrap it up and store it 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.

Purée Fruit in a Blender

To make the fruit rolls, purée the fruit in your blender and by spreading it thinly onto your food dehydrator's special sheets created just for this purpose.

Blenders at Amazon

Hamilton Beach® Power Elite 58148 Table Top Blender

  • Powerful ice crushing with patented Ice Sabre blades
  • 700 Watts peak power
  • Mix, purée, dice, crush ice
  • 4 buttons with 12 blending functions

Ninja® Professional Blender (BL660)

  • Frozen drinks, smoothies, sauces and more
  • 100 Watts motor
  • Chops food as a processor: mince, chop, grind, and blend
  • 72 oz pitcher

KitchenAid® 5-speed with PBA-Free Pitcher

  • Intelli-Speed Motor Control with 'soft start' feature to pull food into the blade then increases to the selected speed setting
  • Pulse and Crush Ice features
  • Stir, chop, mix, purée, or liquefy.
  • 56 oz PBA-free pitcher - silver-colored base

Hamilton Beach® Wave Crusher Blender

  • Patented Wave-Action system for smooth results without stirring with Ice Sabre blades
  • 14 Blending functions, 700 Watts peak power
  • Mix, purée, dice, crush ice, and more.
  • 40 oz Glass Jar with clean easy-pour lid

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

Use Fruit Roll Sheets or Plastic Wrap for Dehydrating Fruit Rolls

If you're not using (or don't have) 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 you're using a Nesco dehydrator or similar style dehydrator. (I do highly recommend using the sheets though).

Make It a Little Thicker on the Tray's "Outer Edge"

fruit roll mixture spread out on solid dehydrator sheets

When spreading out the puréed fruit, make sure the center portion of the tray's contents is a little thinner than the outer edges.

The outer edges tend to dry out faster.

NOTE: When using two Nesco dehydrator fruit roll trays, I used two large apples and 4 pears. This is to give you a rough idea of how much fruit to use for two sheets.

I also added extra dehydrator trays in between the two fruit roll trays as Nesco recommends using NO LESS than four trays at a time for proper air circulation.

Read more about NESCO dehydrators here.

Peeling off the fruit leather from the solid sheet

Peeling Off Your Fruit Leather!

Carefully lift the leather off the solid sheet. You WILL get better with practice!

Fruit Roll-ups Vacuum-Packed

Store in Vacuum Sealed Packages

I hope you enjoyed learning how to dehydrate fruit rolls. Please feel free to send photos of your creations by contacting us here. Thanks!

Don't forget to get your free "Six Simple Steps" eBook where I share how to dehydrate food safely!