Healthy Fruit Leather

 

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Banana Blueberry Apple Fruit Leather

Dried fruit leather is one of my family’s favorite treats.  As a Health Coach, I am concerned about the effects it has on our body – in particular, the effect it has on blood sugar and the body’s insulin production. Commercial fruit leathers often have sugar added, and other unhealthy ingredients. Homemade fruit leather is much healthier, but generally still has a high amount of natural sugar and can pose a problem by spiking blood sugar.  I have found a way to make great tasting fruit leather that has extra protein and fiber, which alleviates the problems caused by a high natural sugar content.

I have added ground flaxseed, hemp hearts, and chia seeds to the fruit leather. These three ingredients add protein, fiber and healthy fat (omega 3 fatty acids), which reduce the effects of the natural sugar. Raw nuts, like walnuts, can also be added to increase the amount of healthy fat.  The result is a very delicious and much healthier fruit leather.

Here’s our favorite flavor of fruit leather. Enjoy!

Banana, Blueberry & Apple Fruit Leather

Prep time: 10 minutes

Equipment: food processor or VitaMix®, food dehydrator, parchment paper

Dehydrating time: 21 to 24 hours

Yield: 8 servings (2 large fruit leathers, cut into 4 servings each)

 

Ingredients:

5 over-ripe/bruised bananas, peeled & broken into chunks

1 apple, cored and cut into chunks

¾ cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries

¼ cup ground flaxseed

2 Tbsp hemp hearts

2 Tbsp ground chia seed

optional: 1/3 cup raw walnuts

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or VitaMix®
  2. Process until smooth – the resulting mixture should be quite thick.          NOTE: Extremely ripe bananas are very soft & will puree easily. If the bananas are firm, you might need to add a small amount of water or coconut water to get the fruit to puree more easily – try using 1 Tbsp of water at a time. Add water ONLY if necessary – be careful not to add too much water or the mixture will be too liquid to stay on the dehydrator trays.
  3. Line 2 dehydrator trays with parchment paper.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the 2 lined dehydrator trays, spreading the mixture as evenly as possible.  DO NOT spread into a thin layer – it should be spread about ¼ inch thick.  As the moisture dries out of the leather, it will darken in color and become quite thin.
  5. Place the trays in the dehydrator for 13 hours.  Then take the fruit leather out, turn the fruit leather over onto the tray and peel off the parchment paper.  Continue drying the fruit leather for another 8 to 12 hours.

 

NOTE: You might need to adjust the dehydrating time.  Exact time depends on:

1) how thick the initial fruit puree is

2) the temperature the dehydrator is set at

3) the humidity of your environment