Many moons ago, when I lived in New York and had access to seasonal fruit picking, I enjoyed making up batches of homemade fruit leather in my Excalibur dehydrator. The kids loved it, and at the time, I thought it was an uber healthy snack to have around. I’d also buy store-bought fruit leathers for the kids to have on hand for when we’d be out of the house.
Of course, this was back when they were much littler and it seemed I had to shove food at them every hour or they’d be unhappy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still think a homemade fruit leather is far healthier than most snacks out there. It’s just that now, I try not to feed my kids too many sources of concentrated sugars without some fat to pair with it.
(I have an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator and I love it! I use it for so many things, including taking all the trays out for making yogurt and more! Don’t forget to pick up some non-stick dehydrator sheets to make your fruit leather!)
I have been dreaming up a way to make fruit leathers and adding fat of some form to it to make it a more balanced snack. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how I would do this – I kept thinking coconut oil, but didn’t think it would work well. Then I got a copy of ‘Lisa’s Counter Culture: Pickles and Other Well Bred Foods‘ and lo & behold, she had a recipe for ‘Kefir Leather’. Genuis! Not only did it include some fat, but some probiotic benefits as well. I was beyond thrilled and set out to give the recipe a try. I asked Lisa if I could share the recipe on my site and she agreed. So, today, I bring you this super simple tasty treat – I encourage you to make your fruit leather paired with good fats from here on out!
- ½ cup Kefir, yogurt, sour cream, coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 cup Pureed fruit (Blenheim apricot, raspberries, plum, etc.)
- Combine kefir (or try one of the other options) and fruit in high-speed blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
- Taste. If it tastes rather sweet, add a bit more kefir. The sweetness will be stronger as the leather dehydrates.
- Spread on paraflex sheets and place on dehydrator trays or alternatively place on parchment paper on trays and set into dehydrator at 115°F for 8 to 12 hours.
- When leather easily peels and is not sticky, it is done. Peel and store in glass container for storage.
- They are great for traveling. And if you dehydrate them at 135°F or below, the kefir will be 20°F lower than the thermostat temperature—the probiotics are retained. A great way to preserve your harvest without turning on the stove!
- Note - If you spread it out too thin on the paraflex sheets, the leather will be paper thin when done.
- I doubled the batch and made 3 small squares on 3 trays. The edges got a little thin, so I cut them off and placed the center back in for a bit longer.
The kefir leather got mixed reviews in my home. I personally, LOVED them! Two of my boys, the least picky two, liked them quite a lot. My oldest noticed the kefir taste a bit I think when he said they had a strange ‘aftertaste’, but that they were still really good. My two middle boys tried them and liked them at first, then decided they didn’t. I think because none of my kids are used to kefir that is what they noticed. Kefir contains saccharomyces boulardii, a strain of bacteria and yeast. I think it was the yeast they were tasting. I personally don’t mind that taste as I am used to it, but for someone who is not yet used to kefir another option may be best to try.
The next batch I make I’ll use homemade yogurt or sour cream and see how they like that instead. For those who can’t do dairy, coconut milk or cream would work just as well. I am really excited about this recipe and can’t wait to play around with it some more. All of my boys love plums and I can still get them locally right now. You can peel the fruit if you like, I peeled some and kept some skin on. It gives it a nice speckled color plus a lot of the nutrients are in the skin. So long as it’s organic fruit and not sprayed with pesticides etc. If you use a strong blender, such as a Vitamix, the skin will puree up just fine and not cause any texture issues. Make sure you have some non-stick dehydrator sheets on hand as well!
If you are interested in a copy of ‘Lisa’s Counter Culture: Pickles and Other Well Bred Foods – buy it here!
*Disclaimer: This blog post may contain Amazon and other affiliate links and should you purchase through them will not affect your price and all proceeds go towards the cost of maintaining this website. Thank you!
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