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Strawberry Fruit Leather

If you follow weelicious on Twitter or Facebook, you may have read about my recent fruit leather obsession. My kids love fruit roll-ups and while there are some great brands out there made with just fruit, I know I can save a ton of dough making it myself.

Strawberry Fruit Leather from weelicious.com

While I haven't spent a lot of money trying to figure it out, I have spent a lot of time! As of today, I've made 15 (yes, fifteen!!!!) batches of strawberry fruit leather in an effort to perfect the recipe. It's been a frustrating challenge to say the least, especially when making fruit leather seems so easy in principal. It's just fruit and heat, right? Yes and no.

Strawberry Fruit Leather from weelicious.com

Here's a breakdown of my results.

Batches 1-4: I used juicy strawberries from the farmer's market, baked them for three hours and the batch turned out perfect and chewy with a deep red color. I couldn't believe how easy it was and was very busy congratulating myself afterwards. Kenya actually found one of the batches that I hid in the closet to save for his school lunch and ate the entire thing! At least I know he got his vitamin C for the day -- I mean, week!

Batches 5-8: So much for being proud of myself. These attempts were total disasters. This time I used organic strawberries from the grocery that were much bigger and less juicy than the ones I bought from the farmer's market. Sadly, each of these batches burned when I cooked them at different times right around three hours. I was left totally frustrated.

Batches 9-12: Back to perfection using berries from the farmer's market. I kept the cooking time at three hours for each batch and I finally realized the juicier the berries, the longer they take to cook. You really have to judge the berry you are using before setting your cooking time.

Batches 13 & 14: Back to the organic grocery store berries, but this time I wised up and only baked them for only two hours, which produced one batch that burned a bit on the edges (because I didn't spread it out totally even) but another turning out perfect.

The only other option is dehydrator versus oven. I'm a huge fan of using my amazing dehydrator because it makes fruit leather even better tasting and looking than what you buy at the grocery. Below I added cooking instructions to both so you can try for yourself!


Knowing that people will have varying results, I asked friends and a bunch of weelicious readers to give the recipe a try. Everyone's outcomes were slightly different. Here's what I've determined - you have to experiment for yourself with this recipe. Everyone's berries and ovens are different, so there isn't one definitive cooking time. My best advice is to spread the mixture as evenly as possible on the baking sheet and keep a close eye on the fruit while it's cooking. Be prepared for a bit of trial and error and don't lose your cool. Hopefully when you find your ideal cooking time, you'll be knocking out batches of your own fruit leather with ease.

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Strawberry Fruit Leather (Makes 8 Long Strips)

Prep Time: 2 mins Cook Time: 3 mins

egg free

nut free

dairy free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave, optional

Preparation

1. Remove the stems from the strawberries and place them in a blender. Drizzle a bit of honey or agave if you want to sweeten them up a bit. This is optional, and if your berries are very sweet, you can skip additional sweetener. Blend until smooth. 

2. Pour the strawberry puree onto a dehydrator sheet, or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the mixture in a completely even layer. You don't want the mixture to be too thin or too thick - this is where the experimenting comes in to play! 

3. Place the sheets in the dehydrator set to 135F degrees for 3-4 hours, until the fruit leather is dry to the touch, no longer sticky. 

For the oven: set the temperature to 250F degrees, and bake the fruit leather for 2-3 hours, until it is dry to the touch. Cooking times will vary depending on your particular oven and how thick you spread the mixture. The fruit leather will feel stiff when it comes out of the oven. Allow it to sit at room temperature to soften, about 2 hours (I have had best results when I've let it soften overnight). 

4. Cut the fruit leather into strips and roll up in parchment paper. Fruit leather can be stored at room temperature for a few months, although we never let ours sit around that long! 

Make N' Share!
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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96 comments

  • Gwen

    This is awesome! I have been making fruit leather for sometime, but I've only used apples and not berries. I would always have to add a little water to get the mix a little juicier. Also, I've never used the oven, which is what I love about THIS recipe (besides the berries!). However, if batches continue to burn or get a little more crisp than you'd like, use a dehydrator. I have a 4 tray dehydrator and keep them in the fridge. I'm trying it this way tomorrow! :)

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      How long does it take it in the dehydrator? That is such a great idea but most people don't have a dehydrator - which is why we used the oven. I think I'm going to use the dehydrator and see how they turn out too!

      leave a comment

    • Joni B

      Can you share your recipe with the apples?

      leave a comment

  • Susan

    Hello! What are some other good fruits to use here-would rasberries/blueberries be too tart? What about mango? As long as it's blendable in the cuisinart is it pretty much a go? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can definitely use mangos! - You can always just add a little more honey to the puree and then put them in the oven. Anything pureed will work :)

      leave a comment

  • Holly N.

    Do you think this is for older children and not toddlers? I have an 18 month old and thought this sounded wonderful for her but didn't know if it would pose a choking hazard. Has Chloe eaten any?

    Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Ya she'll eat it so fast! As long as they have teeth, they can eat it. If you are worried about choking - just give it to them in small pieces :)

      leave a comment

    • Amy

      My 14 month old loves fruit leather, but he has all his teeth and is accustom to textured and chewy foods. I started out breaking it up on his tray, but now he eats it on his own when we are out and about. I like two parts strawberries and one part pears.

      leave a comment

    • Betsy

      I just gave some to my 9 month old. He loved it! He has no teeth, but eats only table food. Only you know what will be good for your own child. Use your best judgement and think about how you present it to them to optimize success. I broke it up into very small pieces for my son. I hope your daughter likes it!

      leave a comment

  • Tammy

    How is this stored after it is made? How long is it good for? Can't wait to try it! Just wondering if small batches are best. Thanks alot.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can store them in ziplock bags or tupperware. They are good for about 2 weeks to a month if they even last that long! :)

      leave a comment

  • Betsy

    Made some last night. I must not have spread it as evenly as I had thought because the edges began to brown before the middle was set. I pulled it out of the oven, let it sit over night, cut the done portion into strips, placed the undone portion back into the oven this morning...I will call it a success. The true success is that the kids, and my hubbie, loved it!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I had to do the same thing this last time that I had made them! And I have made them over 10 times! Everyone loves it - they can't get enough of it!!

      leave a comment

  • Lauren

    Since these are completely all natural, do you have to refrigerate them? How long will they keep fresh after making them?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      If you refrigerate them, they will get more moist. Just put them in Ziploc bags or a Tupperware for 2 weeks to a month but I doubt they will last so long - we love it!!

      leave a comment

  • Moll

    I got so excited when I say this! Can't wait to try it. We have 5 kids and I know they'll love this!

    A local store is have a GREAT sale on strawberries. I'd love to stock-up. Do you think I could puree them and then freeze some extra batches tell I'm ready to cook them? Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Sure! :)

      leave a comment

  • Amber

    OK I'm so excited about this I'm gonna burst! Quick question - does step 6 happen in the fridge, or on the counter? Covered, or uncovered? THANKS!!! THIS IS GREAT!!!

    leave a comment

  • Andrea

    I know you said the juicier berries take longer, so you just have to watch it, but what do you think the starting consistency should be like? Is it very runny or is it more like a jarred applesauce consistency?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I wouldn't be able to tell because it depends upon the fruit. My consistency was just a thick puree of strawberries, the weren't runny. I guess you can say like applesauce but a little more thin.

      leave a comment

    • FaTox

      After examining a few of the blog posts in your wsbtiee now, and I really like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark wsbtiee list and can be checking again soon. Pls check out my wsbtiee as well and let me know what you think.

      leave a comment

    • Creaky

      That's an ingenious way of thinking about it.

      leave a comment

  • Joann

    Can wax paper be used instead of parchment paper??

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Sadly, no sorry, it will burn..but you can get parchment at any grocery store.

      leave a comment

  • Jamie

    I was wondering if you could use one of the reusable Silicon mats instead of the parchment paper? I cant wait to try this my daughter absolutly loves fruit snack stuff! So excited!!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes you can! :) They are amazing!

      leave a comment

  • Kristin

    I am soooo excited that I came across your site. I was chosen to host a home party by healthy child healthy world and I was looking for organic foods to serve that would inspire the mom's to make at home. I honestly cannot wait to make your recipes, especially this one, it was really easy and tastes amazing! Thank you for all your work and devotion!!! I hope everyone catches on to your healthy food movement :)

    leave a comment

  • Lisa

    This was absolutely AMAZING! I cannot believe how good it was. I whipped up a batch last night of dried mango, dried apricot, and raisins and dried in a 250 degree oven for 1.5 hrs. My kids ate it for breakfast and lunch today and I even love it. Thanks so much for this idea! So easy.

    leave a comment

  • Lisa

    Now, I'm getting ready to do my second and third batches. Fig leather and blueberry/raspberry leather. So excited about how much my kids love this. And, it's so easy to do.

    leave a comment

  • Sarah

    I first wanted to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your website!! You have really helped me in the kitchen with my family! Thank-you for doing this!! I wondered if grapes would work or do you think it is too watery?

    leave a comment

  • Melissa

    Hi there! We love fruit leather at our house, too! I just saw your facebook posting about using pomegranates...any chance you could explain a little bit about what you did? Did you use the juice and the seeds? Did you just puree the seeds? What did you do about those pesky little bits of white membrane? So excited to try this!

    Melissa

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I pureed the seeds, i did the same exact thing like the strawberries so just follow those directions and sub pomegranate for strawberries :)

      leave a comment

  • Brianna

    what about watermelon?? would that be too liquidy?

    leave a comment

  • Jen Staffeldt

    When is your cookbook coming out? I'll be FIRST in line to purchase. Can't wait :)

    leave a comment

  • Berkeley Heights NJ Clown

    What a great post, glad to be an alumni!

    leave a comment

  • Annie

    These turned out great, thanks for the recipe! How do u recommend storing them? Do they need to be refrigerated?

    leave a comment

  • Kristen

    I baked four sheets of leather this weekend with mixed results. The most successful batch resulted when instead of spreading the puree onto the sheet with a spatula, I POURED the puree onto the sheet. I then held the parchment paper in place as I gently tilted the tray back and forth to achieve a thin, even layer. I found that with the spatula spreading method, I could never achieve a perfectly even layer which caused burning and other inconsistencies. The batch that I used the pouring and tilting technique had a consistent thickness and did not burn at all. It looked totally \"perfect\" like store bought leather and was soft enough to roll! It really is true that you must let the leather sit overnight to soften up before attempting to roll it.

    leave a comment

    • Brixie

      Thank you Kristen! I'm about the make a batch right now and I was wondering about the best way to spread it.

      leave a comment

  • Katherine

    I Just made a batch with wax paper not realizing that I would not be able to get it separated from the paper...I guessI should have used parchment paper.....it is stuck to the paper....guess I will be going back to the farmers market to get more berries....did anyone else have this problem???

    leave a comment

    • Kristen

      Katherine, you definitely don't want to use wax paper. The wax will melt! Some recipes suggest plastic saran wrap, but I don't suggest that either because of the potential for toxicity. Parchment paper works very well!

      leave a comment

  • Denise

    We tried this with red cherries that we picked from the orchard and agave syrup instead of honey. Worked out really good. I agree that getting the layer as even as possible is best. Great recipe!

    leave a comment

  • Grayson

    look on starwars blog.com on the zilo beast for my story. and this was good(not me !).

    leave a comment

  • Jodi

    Attempted this two weeks ago with strawberries from the farmers market and honey...it just burned in my oven. I may have used a larger pan and so the layer was maybe too thin. I just put my second attempt into the oven with more fruit this time. Right after I did this I realized were going to make a 5 hour trip tonight to Michigan...I'll have to somehow bring the leather on the parchment with us in the car so that it can soften up over night! Hmmm!

    leave a comment

  • Pam

    I think that I left them in too long. As it is crispy:( I want to try it again, but do not want to waste anymore strawberries.

    leave a comment

  • Melissa

    Okay, tried this yesterday. I got it all set up, put it in our old wedgewood oven for about 45 minutes before we decided we wanted to go to the farmer's market (again) So I turned the oven off, figured I'd turn it back on and do the rest of the drying later. When I came home about 2 hours later, it was dryer than when we left. I decided to just let it sit in my oven overnight and it was totally dry before I went to bed! This morning it is perfect and ready to roll. I'm going to try it next time just sitting in the oven without baking at all. Fair warning, my oven is old and the pilot light keeps the small oven portion warmer than modern ovens do!

    leave a comment

  • What To Do With All That Leftover Baby food… « Simonscookbook

    [...] favorite solution though is to make fruit leather.  I first got the idea from this post on Weelicious.  And actually, the first time I made it, I used fresh strawberries and agave [...]

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  • Andrea

    Have these in the oven now... been in just under 2 hours and they're getting the \"black spots\" of burn as people above posted about. I used sprayed parchment. I'll try again and use the plastic cling wrap I think. My fruit mixture is apples, frozen strawberries, a little honey.

    leave a comment

  • SaraJacobs

    i just tried making the leather fruit with 2 big boxes of strawberries and the fruit is now crispy and stuck to the paper. So bummed. I am pretty sure it was parchment paper...
    oh, i cooked it for 3-4 hours because it was sticky in the middle but dry on the edges. argh!

    leave a comment

  • Kristap

    i cant wait to try this was thinking tho what about if you used cookie cutters on it rather then just strips?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      That would be so cute!

      leave a comment

  • Straw

    [...] If you do not have a dehydrator, you can make the roll-ups in the oven by following Catherine McCord’s method on her blog, Weelicious (Click HERE). [...]

    leave a comment

  • Rebecca

    Well, my first try resulted in a batch burned around the edge, about 4 inches, and the center still almost liquid under the surface skin. Don't think I'll try this again...can't afford to waste money on berries that end up going to waste.

    leave a comment

  • Catherine

    Oh No! Fruit leather can be a little tricky, and it takes some getting used to. Did you make them in the oven or the dehydrator? How long did you let it cook? How thick was your layer of puree? It should be fairly thin, but not see-through.

    leave a comment

  • Sara

    I'm on my fifth batch & you are right - they all turn out a bit differently. I'm wondering though, if I should take it out of the oven when it is not \"wet\" or sticky even if I can still feel liquid underneath the top layer? Will it harden up out of the oven? There seem to be big pockets of \"wetness\" underneath the top layer.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      If it is still liquid or mushy underneath the top layer then it isn't finished yet! Also try spreading it more evenly. Isn't experimenting fun?!

      leave a comment

  • Ruth

    Made one batch using parchment paper and one batch on silpat. The silpat worked PERFECTLY. The parchment permamently stuck and only after dampening the paper was I able to scrape any fruit off. Read somewhere else that leathers work best on silpat or plastic wrap (it won't melt at low temps), but for parchment, the paper needs to be well oiled first.

    leave a comment

    • Ruth

      So I've now made this recipe 3 times, have finally figured out how to make a perfect batch with my oven, and my 5-yr old tells me \"I only like them a little, don't make them anymore!\" Turns out he doesn't care for the bumpy bits (strawberry seeds). Grrr... back to the drawing board to figure out how to either strain out the seeds or what other berries to use (I include applesauce in my version).

      leave a comment

  • Mo

    I have been struggling to get apricot leather to work in my dehydrator. (I pureed apricots, honey, dates and water) I had no problem with raspberry, it was perfect, but the apricot sticks to the parchment paper each time. Any ideas?

    leave a comment

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  • Fruit Leathers CulinaryChat

    [...] If you do not have a dehydrator, you can make the roll-ups in the oven by following Catherine McCord’s method on her blog, Weelicious (Click HERE). [...]

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  • Lori

    So happy to find this recipe and you make it so simple and easy to do! I have never made my own fruit leather before but I am happy that I can do that now. Just think of all the chemicals you won't be putting in your body by making your own!

    leave a comment

  • Jen

    Oh no, Epic fail on my first attempt. I used thawed frozen strawberries and a couple fresh ones, and the whole thing burned to a crisp within 1.5 hrs. The kitchen smelled so good too!

    leave a comment

  • Hannah

    I love this. I'm trying it now :) Can't wait to eat some. I'm going to be pinning lots of your recipes. Thanks.

    leave a comment

  • Betsy

    I have a batch of this in the oven now. I added fresh guava to the strawberries! The liquid was delicious!! Can't wait to see how it turns out. My entire apartment smells divine!

    Question: Does this need to be stored in the refrigerator?

    Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Nope, I store it on the countertop!

      leave a comment

  • Hannah

    so excited to try some of these for my uber-picker 4 1/2 year old!

    leave a comment

  • Ctgirl

    I love these fruit leather recipes. Could u please make more of them?

    leave a comment

  • Erica

    Do you think I can take frozen strawberries (that I froze fresh last summer) out and thaw them and use for this? I am just worried that they will be too juicy?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I think they might be too juicy.

      leave a comment

  • Donna

    Is this oven temp in degrees F or C?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Fahrenheit!

      leave a comment

  • Raya

    Awesome! I love everything you make!

    leave a comment

  • Victoria Alexander

    my leather is stuck to the parchment paper! how do I get it off? it looks and smells delicious but I cant eat it since I cant peel it off the paper.

    leave a comment

  • Stephanie

    Catherine, I saw you on the chew last week and ever since then I've been on your website. I love it! I have an 18 month little girl and love to make everything for her...your recipes have been so helpful and your videos are helpful and so fun! Anyway I made the fruit leather this morning..grocery store organic berries...3 hours...and got a small patch of actual fruit leather..the rest burnt bitter nastiness!,! I will try again next weekend!

    leave a comment

  • Cyndir

    I tried this recipe, as well as watched the video. The first batch didn't come out so well, ended up burning the whole thing. In the the recipe it calls for 3 cups of strawberries but in the video, it looks like you're using more than 3 cups. So is that meant to be 3 cups of pureed strawberries or 3 cups of dry strawberries.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      3 cups of strawberries, before pureeing! Also, it doesn't really matter how much puree you make. The trick is to get it completely even!

      leave a comment

  • Kathy

    I've only done it once, but I think it was too juicy, I used frozen strawberries, and had to add some water to get it to puree correctly, but I think I added too much, and it was too thin, so it spread over the whole pan, and burnt... I'm hoping to try again, so we'll see how that goes! I baked it for 2 1/2 hours, before that the rim was done, but the middle was still liquid.

    leave a comment

  • Megan

    Just made this and it worked out well! I took some suggestions from other reviews and poured the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat. I rotated the tray several times and dryed it for two hours. Then I turned off the oven and let the tray sit for awhile. The drying process was perfect, but I think I'll make more mixture next time because it ended up to be thin and the edges crisped up. Thanks for the recipe!

    leave a comment

  • Evangeline

    This was AMAZING!!! :D I think due to the different temperatures at which our ovens cook, the best way to do this is to keep checking on the leather every 20-30mins or so. I caught mine browning at the edges at 1.5 hrs, with the centre still squishy, so I lowered the temp and kept it going for another hour and it's turned a beautiful dark red. Love it!! I even ate the slightly browned sides. It tasted like strawberry honey crisps! :D

    Thank you, Catherine! Loved fruit leather from the store as a kid.. And was always deprived by my mum cuz of the colouring.. Now i know how to make this! And my dear daughter can enjoy em! :D

    leave a comment

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    […] purchasing Weelicious by Catherine McCord, I’ve been eying her Strawberry Fruit Leather recipe. Always skeptical, I end up cutting up the fruit and eating it raw, rather than wasting it […]

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  • Nathalie

    Do you have to use honey/other sweeteners or would it work if I just used strawberries? :)

    leave a comment

    • Catherine McCord

      When you dehydrate fruits the flavor becomes extremely concentrated. So if you have super sweet strawberries you definitely don't need sweetener, but if they're on the tart side the resulting fruit leather will be very tart so in that case I would add some sweetener. :)

      leave a comment

  • Linda

    I love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing

    leave a comment

  • Nes

    I just made my first batch. I took it out of the oven as soon as it stopped being sticky. Its edges are a little brown and it is crisp. I hope it softens overnight like you say. I really want it to work. Do I just leave it out or do I need to store it somehow? Thanks :-)

    leave a comment

  • Leilei P

    how do you keep your parchment paper looking so pretty on your fruit leather? mine turns so brown.

    leave a comment

  • Yael

    I have the EZ drayer which I dry fruit, vegetable, meat and... fruit Leather.
    no need to worry about burning anything... If you like to make healthy food for your children.... this is worth the money!
    my kids take it as snacks everywhere
    By the way... I don't add any sugar/hunny to the fruits. it perfectly sweet!
    You can also mix fruits and make fruit Leather.

    this is an example of a machine, nit the one I have but you can see the idea:
    http://www.amazon.com/Nesco-FD-60-Snackmaster-Express-Dehydrator/dp/B000LNVUJQ/ref=lp_1090752_1_2?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1409032673&sr=1-2

    leave a comment

  • Nes

    Is the solution to the fruit leather browning a lot around the edges to turn the oven down? Does the entire leather have to be not sticky when ready (even the centre)?

    Just trying to perfect it.

    Thanks :-)

    leave a comment

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  • Unicorn

    ooommmggg!!!! im going to try this at home yyaaayyy they cost a lot over here 45.00$ that is a lot for one pack of pure sugar don't think soooo

    leave a comment

  • Unicorn

    oooommmmgg im going to try this at home were live the cost 35.00$ that's a lot thanks :::::::)

    leave a comment

  • Unicorn

    hey

    leave a comment

  • Mariam

    hi,
    I wanted to know that can you use foil instead of parchment paper while making strawberry fruit leather

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      No, the foil curls up and sticks to the fruit leather. Use parchment paper, or the silicone inserts that come with a food dehydrator!

      leave a comment

  • Molly

    I was just going to make up some tonight because my son and I went strawberry picking on Sunday. When we've done it before, it's really thin. Do you just add more to make it thicker? And, does the honey change the consistency?

    leave a comment