So school started a few weeks ago and I am always trying to figure out some healthy school snacks for my daughter that she will love. I am not one to really ever give her processed foods, and I always try and send her with a healthy alternative to the hot snacks at school so she never feels left out.
For snacks (and meals), my go-to was always nuts... muffins made out of almond flour, granola made out of nuts, nut bars, etc... so honestly, I was thrown for a loop when I discovered that we could not send any type of nut to school.
I decided to experiment! I will post some healthy snacks once and again to help you on your journey as well.
I remember as a kid loving Fruit Roll Ups--they were the best thing ever! They tasted fantastic and they were fun to eat, which are two key qualities in any food for a kid. As an adult though, you tend to read ingredients, and those fun snacks of our childhood don't have a great deal of real food in them (in addition to a bunch of added sugar.) So I decided to create my own. I was amazed with how easy it was--only one ingredient and a dehydrator!
Apple Fruit Leathers
(Makes 6 Fruit Leathers)
1 jar of Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce
Line one dehydrator tray with a non stick sheet. This is the dehydrator I use, and I have the Excalibur non-stick sheets, which are amazing as well (I have to admit that I tried parchment paper first as I didn't want to purchase the non-stick sheets and it made the fruit leather bumpy, did not dry evenly, and crusted at the edge. I don't recommend parchment paper in this instance).
I have the Excalibur Dehydrator. I absolutely love it, it is nice that it is square (some are round with a hole in the center) and I can control the temperature. It also has a timer. They have a 5 tray and a 9 tray model. I own the 5 tray, but once I started to use it I wished I got 9 trays as it is easier if you make a double batch of things.
Dump your jar of applesauce on the non-stick sheet and use a spatula to spread it out until it is around 1/4 of an inch. Try to make it in the shape of a square.
Dehydrate for approximately 12 hours at 115 degrees, until leather like.
Transfer the fruit leather to a piece of parchment paper and cut into strips. Roll and add a small piece of tape to keep from unrolling.
I haven't tried this in my oven yet, or with different fruit. I will continue to update once I have experimented with different flavours. So far, my daughter is loving the apple one so I am sticking with that for now. You can always add a little cinnamon on top for an apple cinnamon fruit leather.
* Please Note: Sweetened applesauce will NOT work!