Fruit Leather

Make your own fruit leather! It’s an excellent low-waste school snack, and such a great way to use up an abundance of fruit. Summer and autumn are great times to make this treat, with all the late-season plums and all the apples and pears to be found – especially if you’re into foraging!


INSTRUCTIONS:
🍑 Pick ripe fruit. Any type should work. Berries, stone fruits, apples and pears are particularly great.
🍓Wash and de-stone fruit (if applicable). Skin apples/pears if using.
🍒 (Optional) Chuck fruit in a pot with a little bit of water (this will vary depending on how big your pot is, but essentially it’s just to stop the fruit burning before it begins to release its own juices) and simmer until a bit mushy.
🍎 Turn fruit into smooth pulp. Either push it through a sieve or whack it in the blender.
🍐 (Optional) Add some sugar. Whatever type you like, and do it to suit your tastes.
🥭 Add some spices at this stage if you want. Vanilla powder/sugar/essence goes well with pretty much everything, but experiment with cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, or even pepper and chilli!
🍉 Dollop onto dehydrator trays lined with regular baking paper. Spread it out but leave it quite thick (5-10mm), as it will dry much thinner!
🥝 Dehydrate at 60-70 degrees Celsius until it is no longer pulpy, and just tacky to touch. This can take up to 18 hours depending on the thickness of your paste.
🍏 Cool, cut into strips (still on the paper), and store (flat or rolled up) in airtight containers.

Like with fresh fruit, eating too much fruit leather WILL give you the runs, so as delicious as these are, try to limit your daily intake 😂

NOTES

* If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use an oven if it goes down to around 60C. Just leave the door ajar so humidity can escape. We’ve written up loads of dehydrating tips here if you’re interested in learning more.

* When using foraged apples, watch out for coddling moth grubs. These fat white grubs chew tunnels through fruit, leaving behind crumbly black-brown powder. Cut these bits out, and the rest of the apple is fine to use.

* Save apple peels & cores (if unaffected by coddling moth) to make apple scrap vinegar with. It’s great for lots of things, from salad dressings to cleaning liquid to hair conditioner!

Permaculture Principle 2: Catch & store energy; 3: Obtain a yield; 6: Produce no waste; 10: Use and value diversity; 11: Use edges and value the marginal.

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