Fruit leathers, also called roll ups, can be healthy, satisfying bites of sweetness or tartness with a unique chewy texture. You can make fruit leathers from fresh fruit, but did you know you can make them with canned fruit which is cheaper but still healthy? Try to choose fruit packed in water only, otherwise rinse the fruit canned in sugar syrup. You can use frozen fruits or those jars of applesauce stored in the pantry. Try different fruits, veggies, and seasonings to discover your dog's fave flavors keep in mind that flavors and sweetness intensify after drying so less is more. For light colored fruits, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to prevent browning. If it's too thick to pour just add a little juice from the can or water.
It’s more energy-efficient to make fruit leathers using a dehydrator but if you don’t have one, or have a round one like mine, you can still make them in the oven. Fresh fruit has to be heated to kill off potential pathogens before using it so you can skip that step since canned fruit has already been heated.
Cherry Fruit Leather
Cook Time: 4 hours
Nutrition facts: 21 calories, 0 from fat
- 1-14.5 oz can red tart cherries, pitted
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Drain the cherries in a colander.
- Puree all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Pour the mixture into the center of a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap (good quality won't melt) or a silicone baking mat and spread evenly with a spatula until it is between 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch thick. Be sure to spread the puree evenly so that all areas of the fruit leather dry in the same amount of time. The thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry.
- Place in the oven and bake at 170 degrees, or the lowest temperature your oven has, for roughly 4 hours. It’s ready when it looks translucent and the center is only slightly sticky to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to parchment paper while it's still warm, Using kitchen shears, or a knife, cut into strips, roll and tie with twine or use a piece of tape.
- Line the trays with wax paper or non-stick dehydrator sheets.
- Pour the mixture in the center of each tray and spread with a spatula until it is between 1/4 and 1/8-inch thick. Be sure to spread the puree evenly so that all areas of the fruit leather dry in the same amount of time.
- Dehydrate until it looks translucent, is only slightly sticky to the touch, and peels easily away from the wax paper or non-stick sheet.
- Plastic wrap or silicone baking sheets work best since the fruit mixture will stick to foil and parchment paper which you can still use as long you spray it with a non-stick spray or brush it with vegetable oil first.
- The edges will cook faster than the center so if they look like they’re getting crispy just brush them with a little water or juice or cut them off and discard later. If you over bake the entire pan, you can brush with a little water until it’s pliable again.