Fruit Leather

i’m totally switching gears from my last couple of posts :)  but this blog reflects real life, and real life includes lots of food, and recipes, etc…
so…i’ve been meaning to post this recipe for awhile:

and tell you about my newest addition to my kitchen cabinets….my Dehydrator!
i own the Ronco 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator:

i received this dehydrator from Ronco, with the request to use it for my family, and if i came up with some recipes that i love, i could pass them along for them to use in some of their marketing. i couldn’t pass up the offer, because i had been in the market for a dehydrator anyway, so was thrilled to have them send it my way.  however, if you’ve been around my blog for long, then you know that the purpose of my blog and the things i post is not to promote other blogs or products.  so i made sure that Ronco was aware that i was not planning on doing that.  they were wonderful, and agreed that that was not their intention in sending me this product.

however…i’ve fallen in love with my new dehydrator, and although i was not asked to promote this product at all, you know me….when i love things, i have to share them!  so this post is ALL my doing!

since we began our Clean Eating journey, i’ve often thought how great it would be to have a dehydrator, because i have such a hard time finding dried fruit without sugar or preservatives in them, and dried fruit has been a staple in our diets for many years.  well…i have to say…now that i own one, its even better than i thought it would be.  i’m telling you…5 minutes of prep, and a little patience yields some fun, yummy, healthy results!

i have been nothing short of impressed with this product, and i personally think you are getting massive bang for your buck.  so if you happen to be in the market for one, here’s the link to purchase one.  (they are also in some Walmart and Target stores, and i’m pretty sure they will be in all Target stores by the end of this month…but don’t quote me on that!)

here’s a recipe that you’ll want to make first thing!

you can really use any fruit you want, but we love this combo and usually have it on hand, so we went with strawberries, peaches, and bananas.
and its seriously SO simple…no cooking, a few minutes of prep…and you are done!

place chopped fruit in a blender or food processor:  (this was before my beautiful Cuisinart blender bit the dust…so sad :(

and puree until smooth.  add honey to taste, until as sweet as you desire.  the fruit itself is pretty sweet, so you won’t have to add too much.  in fact, you could leave it out all together if you desire:

my dehydrator trays needed to be covered with something so that the puree did not drip through the cracks.  i used plain old plastic wrap, and just made sure to cut out the center hole for air circulation:

since making these, i’ve discovered these Fruit Roll-Up Mats for Dehydrator.  they just came in the mail yesterday, and i’m so excited to try them out.  it will make this step much much easier!  so if you are ordering a dehydrator, it might be worth it to throw in a mat or two :)

Pour the puree evenly into the trays.  this recipe (card at bottom) will fill 2 trays:

this is the part that requires patience.  once you pour the puree into your trays, cover your dehydrator and turn it on, and let it go for about a 1-2 days.  i rotated the trays every 6 hours or so, to make sure it was evenly dried.  our’s took about 1 1/2 days.  i’ve never used a dehydrator before, and i was expecting it to make a noise and kinda annoy me for a day and half, but it was silent!  so so easy!!  literally a few minutes of prep, a little patience, and the machine does the rest!
after a day or two, your fruit leather should be dried out.  you want to make sure its not sticky or wet in any places.  but don’t let it go so long that it crisps up.

i used some scalloped scissors to cut the fruit leather, just to give it a fun, finished look.  you could cut into whatever shapes you desire:

this recipe was totally kid approved, and has been requested everyday as a lunchbox treat ever since school started!

here’s the recipe card for you:

hope you enjoy!  my next attempt is to sneak some veggies into our fruit leathers.  i’ll be sure to let you know how it goes and share the recipe if its a hit :)