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how to make fruit leather in a food dehydrator


How to Make Fruit Leather in a Food Dehydrator


Fruit leather is a delicious and healthy snack that you can easily make at home using a food dehydrator. With this simple guide, you can turn any fresh fruit into a yummy and chewy treat that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. In this article, we will walk you through the entire process of making fruit leather in a food dehydrator, from selecting the right fruits to preparing and drying the leather. So let's get started!

Choosing the Right Fruits:

The first step is to select the right fruits for your fruit leather. Keep in mind that some fruits, like apples and strawberries, work exceptionally well for making leather, while others may not be suitable due to their high water content. Ideally, you should choose ripe, juicy fruits that are naturally sweet. Some popular choices include apples, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and mangoes. You can also experiment by combining different fruits to create unique flavor combinations.

Preparing the Fruits:

Once you have selected your fruits, it's time to prepare them for the dehydration process. Start by washing the fruits thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides. Then, remove the stems, seeds, and any tough skins. If you're using fruits like apples or pears, consider peeling them as well. Next, cut the fruits into small pieces to facilitate even drying. For apples and pears, removing the cores is essential. Remember, the size and thickness of the fruit pieces will impact the drying time.

Blending or Pureeing:

After preparing the fruits, you have two options to transform them into a fruit puree or pulp. The first method involves using a blender or food processor. Simply add the fruit chunks and blend until smooth. If you want a chunkier texture, blend for a shorter time. The second method is manual pureeing. Mash the prepared fruits using a fork or potato masher until you achieve the desired consistency. Both methods work effectively, but the blender or food processor will give a smoother texture.

Adding Optional Ingredients:

To enhance the flavor of your fruit leather, you can add optional ingredients. Consider incorporating a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors or a sprinkle of cinnamon for a hint of warmth. If you prefer your leather sweeter, you can add a small amount of honey, maple syrup, or any other natural sweetener of your choice. Be creative and experiment with various flavor combinations to find your favorite.

Preparing the Dehydrator Trays:

Before spreading the fruit puree onto the dehydrator trays, it's important to prepare them accordingly. Ensure that the trays are clean and dry. If your dehydrator comes with non-stick sheets or parchment paper, place them on the trays to prevent sticking. Alternatively, silicone mats can also be used. Avoid using wax paper or aluminum foil as these might stick to the fruit leather during the drying process.

Spreading and Drying:

Once the trays are ready, it's time to evenly spread the fruit puree onto them. Use a silicone spatula or a spoon to create a thin layer, about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Make sure the layer is consistent to ensure even drying. Pay extra attention to the edges, as they tend to dry faster. As a helpful tip, avoid spreading the puree too close to the tray's edges, as it might overflow during drying.

Dehydrating the Fruit Leather:

Place the trays with the fruit puree inside the food dehydrator. Make sure to leave enough space between each tray for proper air circulation. Set the dehydrator's temperature to around 135°F (57°C) and let it run. The drying process usually takes around 4 to 12 hours, depending on the moisture content of the fruits, the thickness of the puree, and the humidity level in the environment. Remember to periodically check for dryness by touching the center of the leather. It should be tacky but not sticky.

Peeling and Rolling:

Once the fruit leather is adequately dried, remove the trays from the dehydrator. Allow the leather to cool down completely before handling. To ensure it has dried correctly, gently peel off a small corner of the leather. If it peels off easily without tearing, you can proceed to the next step. Carefully peel the fruit leather off the trays in one large sheet. If it sticks, try loosening the edges with a butter knife. Once free from the tray, lay the fruit leather on a sheet of wax paper and cut it into desired-sized strips or shapes. Roll them tightly and secure with twine or string.

Storage and Enjoyment:

To store fruit leather, wrap individual rolls with plastic wrap or place them in airtight containers. It is best to store them in a cool, dry place or the refrigerator as it will extend their shelf life. Properly stored fruit leather can stay fresh for up to a month, though they are often enjoyed much sooner! Take a bite into your homemade fruit leather and relish the natural flavors bursting in your mouth. It's perfect for snacking, hiking, or adding to lunchboxes.


Making fruit leather in a food dehydrator is a fun and rewarding process. By choosing your favorite fruits, preparing them correctly, and using a food dehydrator, you can create a delicious and nutritious snack for the whole family to enjoy. With a multitude of flavor combinations and the ability to control added sugars, homemade fruit leather is a healthier alternative to store-bought snacks. So give it a try, and let your taste buds rejoice in the delightful world of homemade fruit leather.


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