If you’re looking for a great sweet snack that’s actually healthy, you should defs consider dehydrated fruit snacks. Yes, there are a million fruit leather and dehydrated fruits available at the supermarket, but they are FULL of sugar. One fruit-by-the-foot has more sugar than half a twinkie. So if you think you’re eating better by going for it, you’re not.
But, you can easily make it yourself, with no sugar, and no preservatives, and it takes minutes. Not to mention, dehydrating is a really great way to preserve foods that you have a lot of. Got a huge apple tree and you can’t eat all the apples? Dehydrate them, and they’ll last you the whole year!
To make dehydrated fruit, here are the steps:
Using the fruit of your choice, remove any peels and pits, and blend it down to a very very fine puree.
Step 2: Pour it into tray
If you’re using a dehydrator tray, make sure it has the plastic cover so you don’t pour it through the bottom. For the oven, use a non-stick baking pan, or a baking pan with a Silicone Baking sheet. Gentle shake the tray so the fruit distributes evenly. You can also add spices or toppings at this point.
Step 3: Dehydrate
In a dehydrator, cook for 6-8 hours until dry. If you’re using an oven, cook at 140°F for 12-18 hours. If your oven doesn’t go that low, you will cook the fruit rather than drying it. It takes longer in an oven because it doesn’t have the air circulation. A convection oven does, and should cook it in a similar time as a dehydrator.
Now, some AMAZING recipes:
Peel and de-pit the mango, and put in blender with pineapple and juice. Puree and pour into trays. Sprinkle with unsweetened coconut. Dehydrate. (OMFG guys, this one is so delish!)
Apple pie Fruit Leather:
Pour the apple sauce into the trays, sprinkle with cinnamon. Dehydrate.
Cut the apples into thin slices, and place on dehydrating tray. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Dehydrate.
Cut the bananas into slices and place on dehydrating tray. Dehydrate. (If you like the really crispy chips, you may need to dehydrate these for longer)
I really can’t recommend these highly enough as snacks. Especially if you have fussy, young kids who don’t like healthy food. This is a great way to give them a flavourful, nutritious snack they’ll actually eat!