Salty snacks, GORP, energy bars… Palate fatigue is a real thing, and after a few days of these foods something fresh tasting is like a little slice of heaven. Fruit leathers are one of the snacks that provide a break for my palate.
This awesome recipe* helped me power my four-day trek through the Tetons this summer. It’s just as delicious as my autumn recipe, plus I added a couple of optional ingredients for added nutrition.
I added coconut milk to increase healthy fat calories per ounce, as well as to add additional minerals. You can leave it out if you’re allergic to coconuts and you’ll only lose the slightly improved calorie to weight ratio. It does nothing to affect the taste.
This was my first time adding gelatin to a fruit leather, and I love the way that it turned out. Gelatin is a very efficient, flavorless way to add protein to this snack. It’s not a necessary component, so this recipe would probably be just as great for vegans or vegetarians by skipping the gelatin. But it does add a nice chewiness, and it seems to keep the rolls from sticking together. It also seemed to peel off of the dehydrator tray a bit more easily than prior recipes.
- 157g organic cherries – pitted & sliced. (Pitting is the most time-consuming part of this project)
- 1 large organic peach – pitted & sliced. This came out to 249g for me. I used a peach with yellow flesh for greater nutritional benefit. White flesh would probably be sweeter, and you might not have to add honey.
- 1/2 of a partially-green banana – sliced. 75g.
- 1/3 cup organic coconut milk*
- 2 Tbsp beef gelatin powder.**
- 1/2 Tsp Honey
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
Put all of your sliced fruits into a saucepan, and add a half-inch of water to the pan. Add the cinnamon. Simmer on low, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat once the fruit softens and mixes into a chunky fruit sauce. Pour it into a blender, and add the gelatin powder and the coconut milk. Blend until smooth and evenly mixed.
Pour evenly onto your fruit leather trays (these trays came with the dehydrator linked here) and set at 115° to dry out over night.
In the morning I used my food scale to weigh out five equal servings of the fruit leather. I Zip-Loc’ed four servings for the trail, and shared the 5th serving with the wife and kids who liked it even better than the fall recipe.
I calculated the calories per ounce to be in the mid 80’s. It’s not the most efficient food as far as caloric density is concerned, but it’s got a ton of micronutrient content and it’s the best way that I’ve found to enjoy fresh(ish) fruit on the trail.
Comment below with questions, suggestions, or your favorite fruit leather recipes.
*You guys are lucky – you only hear about my successes. My poor family has to taste-test ALL of my recipes.
**Be sure to use the canned, high-fat coconut milk, not the thin, watery coconut milk that comes packaged in quart-sized cardboard boxes (like almond milk). I personally use this brand.
*** This recipe would probably more closely resemble store-bought fruit rolls if you only use one tablespoon. I added two because I was looking for ways to pack more protein (especially glycine) into my diet without choking myself to death on jerky. I didn’t mind the extra chewiness at all. The link in my ingredients list above leads to the brand that I buy.
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