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Kidding Around Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

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Kitchen’s are not just for adults, they are also an exciting place for children of all ages (do we ever really grow up?).  They are lured into the kitchen by the clanking of pots and pans and the aroma of their favorite foods.  I guess we are all lured into the kitchen, it’s usually the hub of the house, the heart, the gathering spot.  I don’t have children but some of the fondest memories I have growing up happened in the kitchen and even to this day, I am still creating memories in the kitchen.

The kitchen has a way of bringing people together to spend quality time.  And sharing your kitchen with young ones early on creates an important bonding experience.  With that in mind, I put together this fun recipe that can be enjoyed by all ages.  Fruit Roll-Ups are usually well liked by kids so why not teach them just how easy and fun they are to make, and how delicious they are!  Helping create a wonderful recipe in the kitchen can make a child feel positive about themselves.  And when your child tells the whole family or their friends, “Look at what I made!” they are filled with pride.  Then something magical happens…  all of us are much more likely to eat nutritious food if we’ve had a hand in making it.  The “oohs” and “ahhs” from others as they eat your creation is a great self-esteem builder.  I know how I feel when someone loves a dish I’ve made!

So let their creative minds go!  Yes, cooking is messy whether it’s done by children or top chefs; accidents are okay. If something finds its way onto the floor, clean it up.  If a dish gets broken, recycle it, if half the batter gets eaten before it hits the dehydrator tray, so be it… create positive memories!

Ingredients Strawberry puree – yields 2 cups

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh, organic strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds, ground
  • 10 drops liquid stevia

Ingredients Blueberry puree – yields 2 1/2 cups

  • 3  cups organic, fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds, ground
  • 1/4 tsp liquid stevia

Ingredients Banana puree – yields 1 1/2 cup

  • 2 cups ripe bananas, diced (3 large)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

  • Select RIPE or slightly overripe fruit for each puree that has reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor.
  • Puree each different flavored puree separately, in the blender or food processor until smooth.  Taste and sweeten if needed.  Keep in mind that flavors will intensify as they dehydrate.  When adding a sweetener do so a little at a time, and reblend, tasting until it is at the desired taste.  It is best to use a liquid type sweetener.  Don’t use a granulated sugar because it tends to change the texture.
  • Allow the puree to sit for 10 minutes so the chia has time to thicken the puree.  I didn’t add chia to the banana mix because it is a thick puree to begin with.
    • Transfer the puree into separate squeeze bottles.  If you don’t have any squeeze bottles you can place it in a Ziplock baggie, remove the air from the bad and seal.  Snip the bottom corner of the bag with a pair of scissors, don’t make it to big or it will be hard to control the puree as it comes out.
  • PLAY and be creative with the fruit puree on teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator.  Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch.  If you don’t have teflex sheets for the trays, you can line your trays with plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Do not use wax paper or aluminum foil.
    • Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray, I use coconut oil that comes in a spray.
    • When spreading the puree on the liner, allow about an inch of space between the mixture and the outside edge.  The fruit leather mixture will spread out as it dries, so it needs a little room to allow for this expansion.
    • Be sure to spread the puree evenly on your drying tray.  This will help assure that the leathers dry evenly.
  • Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 105 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 8 (+/-) hours.  Flip the leather over about half way through, remove the teflex sheet and continue drying on the mesh sheet.  Finished consistency should be pliable and easy to roll.
    • Check for dark spots on top of the fruit leather.  If dark spots can be seen it is a sign that it is not completely dry.
    • Press down on the fruit leather with a finger.  If no indentation is visible or if it is no longer tacky to the touch, the fruit leather is dry and can be removed from the dehydrator.
    • Peel the leather from the dehydrator trays or parchment paper. If it peels away easily and holds its shape after peeling, it is dry. If it is still sticking or loses its shape after peeling, it needs further drying.
    • Under-dried fruit leather will not keep; it will mold.  Over-dried fruit leather will become hard and crack, although it will still be edible and will keep for a long time
  • Storage: to store the finished fruit leather…
    • Allow the leather to cool before wrapping up to avoid moisture from forming, thus giving it a breeding ground for molds.
    • Roll them up and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
    • Place in an air-tight container, and store in a dry, dark place. (Light will cause the fruit leather to discolor.)
    • The fruit leather will keep at room temperature for one month, or in a freezer for up to one year.

 Photo above : Gummy worms?!

 

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9 thoughts on “Kidding Around Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    So lovely, sooo beautiful! Where do you find all those extraordinary ideas? I am totally amazed. Thank you so much, you are inspiring me every time I open your website, Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Anne- Marie. I am sitting here next to the fireplace, listening to Christmas music and smiling big because of you. :) Being in the kitchen brings me so much joy. I created this recipe idea with some friends in mind that have children. I don’t have any myself so I live vicariously through them. hehe Take care! amie sue

      • Anne-Marie says:

        It’s my turn to smile, how beautiful to be in contact by internet, it’s like talking to you by phone and it seems to be so close…
        Me too, I love preparing food, especially for friends or people who come for testing raw food. When I prepare the raw food dishes, they are happy and very surprised about this good food. And as my creativity is not as developped as your’s, I take recipes from internet and present the food in a very decoratif way, because we eat with our eyes. You are fully aware of this. Thank you for this pleasure! Take care, Amie Sue, sincerely AM
        Have a wonderful time, Amie Sue, AM

        • amie-sue says:

          Thank you AM….. I can only imagine that your dishes are divine on all levels. Don’t cut yourself short missy. :) Isn’t is such a blessing to feed others? And to feed them healthy foods that TASTE GOOD! Life is grand, life is grand.

          Off to watch a little TV before I crash for the night. Been a full, long day in the kitchen… Thanksgiving is tomorrow but Bob and I are snuggling all day… no big dinner… just nibbling on raw foods all day. Blessings, amie sue

          • Anne-Marie says:

            Yeees, I agree, Amie Sue, it’s such a big chance, to get such good food from mother earth and to be able to prepare it and give joy to other people. I say thank you every day. It’s great that more and more people start thinking about good and healthy food. Hopefully it takes over the whole world. Give my best regards to Bob, AM

            • Anne-Marie says:

              … and have a wonderful Thankgiving tomorrow :)

            • amie-sue says:

              After a good nights sleep…. lets plan on over taking the world! What do you think? hehe We always scale it back a bit and approach it by just one recipe at a time! hehe Many blessings, amie sue

              • Anne-Marie says:

                Hope you had a wonderful Thankgiving, it was also the birthday of my older son. Yes, Amie Sue, let it make happen thanks to your marvellous creations and inspirations. The year 2014 will be a magic year, I promise. We all together will spread and promote raw food as good as we can. Probably at the end of 2014, I will get a beautiful occasion to do so. In the meantime, (decision made exactely yesterday night at 1h00 o’clock in the morning), I think I have to planifie for à raw food chef course in the US…:)
                plenty of blessings, AM

                • amie-sue says:

                  How about we make everyday, starting now, a magical day? No sense in delaying the process. hehe If you come to the US let me know. :) Ok, I must really put this computer down and start to wind down for the day. Have a glorious day, I insist! amie sue :)

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