Chocolate Banana Personal “Pizza” Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~
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This recipe is a great way to spend some fun time in the kitchen with kids. Even if you don’t have any kids this is still a lot of fun to make. There are endless possibilities for toppings that you can use on this dessert style pizza. No need to really go out and buy any particular ingredients, this is an opportunity to use up the ripe fruit on the counter or the nuts and dried fruits in the cabinet. That is exactly what I did. These would great to make ahead for up and coming birthday parties, slumber parties or whatever the special occasion may be. Party on duds and dudetts!
Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups puree (16 / 1/4 cup circles)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 7 fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- Select RIPE or slightly overripe bananas that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor. The banana skins should have lots of brown spots (not to be confused with bruises).
- Puree the bananas, cacao, agave, cinnamon, vanilla and salt, 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 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.
- Spread the 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.
- See photo below – Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, pour the puree into small circles. All the puree to pour in the center of the circle and hold steady. This will cause the puree to form a near to perfect circle. Using the bottom of the measuring cup, gently touch it down on the puree and make a small circle to fan it out to about 4″. You can make these any size that you want.
- 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.
- Now place your toppings on top of the wet leather.
- Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 105 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 6-8 (+/-) 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.
- Wrap individually so they don’t stick to one another.
- 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 in the fridge for one month, or in a freezer for up to one year.