These Maple Peach Chia Fruit Chips turned out terrific. My first intention was to create a fruit leather but I dried them a tad to long and the sheet of fruit leather was in the in between stage. Not pliable enough to roll, yet not crispy enough to be really crunchy. So, I cut them into 1″ squares and made fruit chips out of them. Got to love how versatile preparing raw foods can be. So keep in mind, you can easily make this into a fruit leather as well, just don’t over dry it as I did.
Did you know that August is the national peach month? I was excited to learn that after I had bought myself a large case of “canning peaches”. What do I mean by canning peaches? Yesterday, my dear friend Ruthie and I were out visiting the local fruit stands and I asked one of the attendants as to what they do with fruit that is overly ripe. She told me back in to the cooler she had a few cases of peaches that were either overly ripe or had blemishes on them. My eyes lit right up and I asked how much… $10 for a case, not just a flat. SOLD! I was just giddy with delight.
Here are some interesting facts that I learned about peaches; it was peach month, that peaches were once known as Persian apples, and that there are over 700 varieties of peaches. Peaches are also a good source of vitamins A, B and C. A medium peach contains only 37 calories.
If you find yourself with some extra peaches on hand that you would like to make into fruit leathers but they aren’t quite ready, you can ripen peaches by placing them in a brown paper bag for two to three days.
Select RIPE or slightly overripe peaches that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor.
Prepare the peaches; wash, dry, remove stems, and stones.
In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the chia seeds until they reach a powdery consistency.
Puree the fruit and maple syrup in the blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and sweeten more 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 of the finished fruit leather.
Add chia powder to the blender and process until well mixed. All the puree to rest for about 10 minutes so the chia has a chance to thicken up the puree.
Spread the fruit puree onteflex sheets that come with the 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. When spreading the puree mixture, try tilting and shaking the tray to help it distribute more evenly. Also, it is a good idea to rotate your trays throughout the drying period. This will help assure that the leathers dry evenly.
Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 115 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 16 (+/-) 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.
Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F). Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe. Learn why (here).
Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.
Don’t you just love my new (to me) kitchen tool?! It’s an old
paper-cutter that worked beautifully to cut my strips into fruit chips.