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Article: Put Your Dehydrator to Use: Make Fruit Leathers at Home for Healthy, Delicious Snacks: Leathers

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Forum: Article: Put Your Dehydrator to Use: Make Fruit Leathers at Home for Healthy, Delicious SnacksReplies: 32, Views: 136
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Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

July 31, 2008
11:59 AM

Post #5347671

Your article reminded me that I haven't made fruit rollups in a while and that I should make a few batches. Leathers can be made from veggie pulp, too!! You can use the pulp from juicers, but may need a little of the juice to make it spreadable. Over the years we've added every kind of topping you can imagine on the puree before dehydrating: finely chopped nuts, shredded coconut, and various spices and herbs.

Thanks for reminding me about the leathers! Good article!!

critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2008
1:38 PM

Post #5348075

That's a great idea to use veggie pulp from juicers... I had a juicer once and always thought there had to be something else to do with the carrot pulp etc. rather than just toss it out (and at the time I lived in a city apartment with one window box, so composting wasn't really in the picture LOL).

I've been thinking that a banana-applesauce puree topped with shredded coconut would be really tasty... I'll be keeping an eye out for bargains on big cans of crushed pineapple, too.

The Excalibur site suggested drying a gazpacho type mixture for snacking, and I admit I was having a hard time imagining that... but I'll have to give it a try. Thanks!

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

July 31, 2008
1:50 PM

Post #5348149

critter, you can use the veggie pulp in cakes, sweet, and savory breads, too!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2008
2:13 PM

Post #5348277

I used to put some into breads, but I seemed to end up with way more carrot pulp that I could find uses for... maybe I was just drinking too much carrot juice! LOL

Now I just eat the carrots, straight up.
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

July 31, 2008
4:29 PM

Post #5348858

You can make yogurt leather as well. I haven't since my kids were little. I need to pull the Excalibur out for sure.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2008
8:20 PM

Post #5349672

I haven't tried yogurt leather yet. I've read to roll it up (without plastic wrap), snip into bites, then dry for another couple of hours so it's not so sticky. "Yogurt bites" are on my list of things to try! :-)
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

July 31, 2008
9:18 PM

Post #5349928

Sounds great! Now if only I had an Excaliber.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 31, 2008
9:42 PM

Post #5350025

Fruit leathers are one of the easiest things to make with any sort of dehydrator... it's just easier to set up the plastic wrap liners on the trays of the Excaliber. I think you could also use a solar or oven setup for dehydrating... this is not a fussy sort of procedure in the slightest!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

August 1, 2008
2:18 AM

Post #5351330

Jill,

There is a Post on the Recipe Forum about dehydrator recipes. You might be interested...

Here's the link. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/829579/

Gita
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 1, 2008
2:21 AM

Post #5351345

Thanks, Gita! That's a great link to include here... lots of good ideas there. :-)
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 7, 2008
2:21 AM

Post #5379510

Very informative article, critter! Experimenting with the stuff is fun and I'm finding that leathers are a great way to use up the pulp left from jelly making. Wild plums mixed with yogurt, maple syrup and a splash of vanilla made a really smooth leather because I put it through my VitaMix.

Thanks!

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

August 7, 2008
2:51 AM

Post #5379644

critter, I don't think I can drink too much carrot juice, lol. I love the stuff, but you're right, there's only so much carrot pulp you can hide in other foods.

4paws, that sounds like a really good recipe!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 7, 2008
4:26 AM

Post #5380063

I've got to try mixing yogurt and fruit... what ratio did you use? half & half?

Sundownr, now I'm thinking I have to keep an eye out for a juicer... :-)

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

August 7, 2008
5:01 AM

Post #5380155

critter, I got my Jack La Lanne Power Juicer at Kitchen Collections, and I love it.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 7, 2008
5:03 AM

Post #5380157

OK! I'll look around for a bit before buying new... never know what'll turn up at the fall rummage sales! :-)
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 7, 2008
3:01 PM

Post #5381385

I had a Jack LaLane juicer and loved it EXCEPT for cleaning it. For a juicer, it's easy to clean, but that's not saying a whole lot! Wonderful juice, though.
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 7, 2008
4:31 PM

Post #5381820

I gave away my juicer for postage last year on DG; it was a good one, a Miracle Juicer, but I like the Champions the best for ease of use. It takes up so much room and is heavy, however, so the VitaMix is what I decided to keep instead.

Critter, the ratio - probably close to half and half. I added until I got the consistency I wanted, more or less.

Something I discovered with the leathers-I'm using the paper the Excalibur company sells and the salesman told me not to wrap for storage in it or it might impart a flavor - is to turn the leather over about three hours before drying is over. It, along with letting it (or anything I have dried) cool completely makes a lot of difference.

I really like how your little rolls look, critter, and I'm going to try it in the plastic wrap. I buy it in those commercial restaurant boxes which lasts me many, many years.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 7, 2008
5:17 PM

Post #5382045

Commercial plastic wrap also comes in wider rolls, and my friend Irene says those work great because they'll cover the whole tray, and you can wrap them around to the back a little so they stay put. You might have to use tape or sticky labels to mark the pieces before cutting rather than writing directly on the wrap if you don't use Press 'n Seal... I like the P'nS, but it is a little $er than regular plastic wrap.

I've peeled and flipped the sheet also, then dried for another hour. That does cut down on the stickiness.
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 8, 2008
5:35 AM

Post #5384852

That's a better idea.

Instead of rolls, I've made strips, but they stick together when piled up, so I'm thinking about what I could dust them with that would prevent that and taste good, maybe sifted cocoa powder? What do you think?
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2008
12:18 PM

Post #5385459

confectioners sugar

The rolls do seem to work well... I guess I didn't realize I'd come up with anything different, rolling and cutting like that. :-)

A friend of mine cuts hers into squares... I'll have to ask her about whether or not they stick together. She did mention that she gave some to her grandkids, who hadn't had homemade fruit leather before. She said, so, what did you think? They said it tasted good but was a little too chewy for them. Turned out they hadn't peeled off the plastic wrap. ROFLOL!
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 8, 2008
2:47 PM

Post #5386044

That's kind of like a Yankee eating boudain for the first time, I guess. What a hoot.

If you don't want to add sugar, would cornstarch do the trick? I accidentally bought too much vanilla yogurt last week and instead of letting it go bad I plan to dry it. I love doing stuff like this!

Major question, though -- could you use parchment paper instead of plastic wrap?
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 8, 2008
2:52 PM

Post #5386070

Yes, parchment paper works- that is essentially what Excalibur sells.

I tried the rolls first, too, Jill, but they were not as dainty as yours. I also wanted to up production speed.

I thought of confectioners' sugar, but didn't want to add sweet. Cornstarch I've considered as well. I'll probably wait until I have apples to play with, since I have an endless supply of those. Cinnamon might work.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2008
3:08 PM

Post #5386139

Adding enough cinnamon to take away the "sticky" would be an awful lot of cinnamon... maybe cornstarch with a little cinnamon and/or a little confectioners sugar, just so it doesn't leave you with a starchy taste.

Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

August 8, 2008
3:48 PM

Post #5386314

Would carob powder with a small amount of powdered sugar work, then mixed with cornstarch? I know it wouldn't work for everything, but maybe some fruits...

My dehydrator book says to cut the leather into small squares and dry until crispy for leather chips... maybe that would work for some sticky leather situations, too.
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 8, 2008
5:13 PM

Post #5386620

Lots of good ideas!

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

August 8, 2008
5:40 PM

Post #5386741

How about spraying it, ever so lightly, with Pam--or any other spray oil? They come in so many flavors now.

Or--just rubbing a bit of oil with your fingers as you cut and roll the leathers?

Not sure how well oil would go with fruit--unless they had strawberry-flavored oil??????

HEY!!!!! BRAINSTORM!!!! The AHA moment!!!!
How about Jello powder? Then you could choose a complimentary flavor to whatever fruit you are "leathering up"!!!!!!

Gita
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 8, 2008
6:32 PM

Post #5386950

KoolAid?
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 8, 2008
7:15 PM

Post #5387196

There is a product called Superfruit that is a jello like dessert - I have some of that.
Jill, you're going to have another article to research from this...lol


Sundownr

Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA
(Zone 6a)

August 8, 2008
8:26 PM

Post #5387421

You can sprinkle a little flavored jello powder across apple slices before you dehydrate them and it makes a glaze on them (like cookies). I bet you could do the same with the leathers too. Also, you can spread peanut butter, cream cheese, jam, etc., over the fruit leathers, roll them up, and cut into slices like cookies/candies!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2008
8:37 PM

Post #5387451

I love the way the ideas and suggestions keep rolling in! :-)
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 8, 2008
8:37 PM

Post #5387452

mmmm...incorporate bread into that and you have lunch! Fun!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

June 21, 2010
2:00 PM

Post #7908303

Thanks Jill:

I liked adding extra blueberries to the muffin recipe.
I like your pie too.
I have a head ache from the too many ideas here.
I will have to re read this several times.

It is exciting though.

Hummm I wonder if crab apples would be good in leathers.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 21, 2010
2:23 PM

Post #7908359

I don't know about crab apples.. although you could mince up peel, seeds, and all in a food processor or blender, I'm thinking the result would take a lot of sugar to be edible (at least the crab apples I've tasted). I would stick to making jelly with the crab apples! :-)

I'm glad you're finding some fun ideas here. You're right, there's an astonishing amount of info on DG!

I promise, that blueberry muffin recipe will make the best muffins you've ever tasted, as long as you don't skimp with the butter or cinnamon sugar! (They're not dieters' delights, but they're a wonderful indulgence, and with all those blueberries surely they can't be unhealthy LOL.)

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