Kids sure do love those fruit leather snacks, but parents who buy them will cringe at all the "Frankeningredients" listed on the box. For example, here's a list of ingredients in a popular fruit leather "product" found in any grocery store.
That's why I love to make my own at home using my Ronco Turbo Dehydrator. It's a great way to let the kids help in the kitchen and talk to them about healthy choices to boot.
To make fruit leathers at home, you simply dehydrate purred fruit. Sometimes I add a little honey or simple syrup and some cinnamon, vanilla or sweet spices (depending on the flavor we're going for), spread it on the Fruit Leather Tray, and set to dehydrate for 6-16 hours.
For a summer-inspired recipe, I made these delicious Watermelon Fruit Leathers. As an added bonus, I was left with a pitcher of watermelon juice that we mixed with limeade to to enjoy summertime Watermelon-Limeade! Some other great ideas for leftover juice are making watermelon popsicles, sorbet, cocktails, or just drink it as is!
Time: 8-10 hours
- About 3 cups watermelon pulp (2 personal watermelons)
- 1/2 cup honey
- Juice of 1 lime
- Ronco Turbo Dehydrator with Fruit Leather Trays
- Blender or food processor
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Large Kitchen Bowl
1. Using a sharp chef's knife, slice off the top and bottom of each watermelon. Then peel the watermelon with your knife by setting the watermelon on a cutting board and slicing off rind in a downward motion.
2. Cube watermelon
3. Working in batches to not overfill your blender, place cubes into blender or food processor. Blend until the watermelon is liquidized-about 30 seconds.
4. Place fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain pulp through strainer until most of the juice is removed. You will end up with about 3 cups of pulp to 10 cups of juice. *
5. Remove any remaining seeds
6. Add pulp back to blender or processor and add in honey and lime juice. Pulse to incorporate.
7. Using a rubber spatula, spread pulp onto Ronco Fruit Leather Tray. Try to spread the pulp as evenly as possible. (It's best to have a nice, thick layer... because although you have removed most of the liquid, the watermelon pulp still has a ton of liquid in it which will reduce as it dehydrates.)
8. Set Turbo Dehydrator to 160F, place Fruit Leather Tray onto Dehydrator Tray, and allow to dehydrate for 8-10 hours. Rotate the tray every few hours to promote even drying.
9. Fruit leathers are ready when the pulp is dry and solid to the touch and the edge begins to peel away from the tray. Make sure there are no wet spots remaining.
10. Portion fruit leathers and store in a cool, dry place.
*Your pulp yield will vary depending on the size of the melon- which is fine as the amount only affects the dehydration time. Just be sure to buy enough watermelon to cover at least one tray.