Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Real Food snacks: Fruit Leathers

Real Food Snacks: Fruit Leathers
When talking with my husband and boys about the real food challenge, and writing about it; they jumped in with a request I post my fruit leathers. According to them, this is the biggest of all the changes. These have been a fantastic snack alternative to candy bars, etc.  Along with simple dried fruit for snacks(banana chips apple chips, dried pineapple), I always keep something of this on the counter readily available for anytime they need it. 

Apple Fruit Leather
1 jelly jar of apple butter (Homemade and canned, gala apples simmered with honey and cinnamon for 10 hours in crock pot until fully reduced, and canned in jelly jars) or 8oz applesauce!
1 7 oz jar homemade plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
mix well and dehydrated in dehydrator on 135 degrees for 6-8 hours until leathered
pulled off and cut warm, wrapped in wax paper rolls. sent easily in lunches for snack.
Pina-Coco Leather
1/2 pineapple cored, skinned, and cut into chunks
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup organic honey
Combined all in food processor  and pulse until smooth,  (this one will always appear slightly chunky- get it as smooth as possible). Spread flat on dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 135 degrees. this one comes out a bit stickier, thicker- remove from sheets and wrap in strips on wax paper while warm. Delicious pina colada flavor.

Pina-coco leathers are not as pretty but just explode in taste:

If you do not have a dehydrator:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper. Pour out the mixture into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Heat the oven to lowest setting below 140f. Perfect range: 135-140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the fruit in half the time.  Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the fruit mixture to dry out and form fruit leather. We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours for the thicker leathers, check at 6 hours for thin leathers like apple. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.

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