Homemade fruit leather is an easy way to give your family a healthy snack, and even sneak in some veggies too! Find out how to make this delicious fruit leather with a bunch of zucchini and just a few strawberries!
My son loves all things strawberry. Fresh, frozen, in a smoothie, you name it and he will eat it! What he hasn't developed a love for yet is zucchini...
However, we have so much of it coming out of our garden (free food!) and now that I know more about the health benefits of zucchini, I knew I really needed to find some way to make zucchini for him that he would willing eat on a regular basis.
It only took me one try to perfect this amazing strawberry zucchini fruit leather recipe. It's so good that I've already made 3 full dehydrator batches because my son and husband are eating it so quickly!
Not only is this recipe easy and delicious, but it's a great way to preserve large or surplus zucchini so you don't waste any of these ridiculously good-for-you veggies.
I can guarantee you this recipe will be an instant favorite and would be shocked if it lasted the day! I filled my 5 tray Excalibur dehydrator 3 days in a row with this stuff and they still wanted more!
In addition to being so good for you, it's also cheap! An entire batch of this homemade fruit leather (which filled my dehydrator) only cost $4 since the zucchini was free.
If you don't have a garden of your own, ask around. It's likely you know someone who is just looking for a place to discard all their extra zucchini. Snatch that up and make fruit leather!
Strawberry Zucchini Fruit Leather Recipe
This strawberry fruit leather is made in the dehydrator and is actually made with a ton of hidden vegetables! By boiling the zucchini in fruit juice, it takes on the fruit juice flavor and becomes the ultimate hidden veggie snack for kids and adults!
Dice the zucchini into 1-2" chunks. If the zucchini are very large with oversized, tough seeds, de-seed the zucchini as well.
Place the diced zucchini in a large soup pot and cover with fruit juice. We like a strawberry apple blend, when possible, but any fruit juice will do as long as it's not a citrus fruit.
Bring the mix to a boil and continue boiling until the zucchini goes from solid to translucent in color (it won't be actually see-through, but it will be cooked).
Remove the zucchini from the juice, saving the juice. You can use the juice several times to boil more zucchini, so don't throw it out! However, I would recommend using it all in the same day as it will be gelatinous once it cools.
Puree the zucchini in a food process or blender, along with a handful of strawberries (fresh or frozen), and some honey to taste (optional).
Line your dehydrator trays with parchment and spread an even layer of puree onto each tray. The mix should be an even 1/4" thick.
Note: You can use re-usable dehydrator tray liners, however I choose to use parchment so I can roll the strips up more easily!
Dehydrate the fruit leather at 120° until it reaches the desired texture. You may like your fruit leather softer or harder than others, as with the thickness of the spread, so the time may vary. But it will be between 10-16 hours.
Once your strawberry zucchini fruit leather is ready, cut the parchment and fruit leather as one into 2" strips. Roll the pieces and secure with tape, if desired.
Store in an air tight container with a silica pack for up to 2 months at room temperature, or 6 months in the freezer.
We have ours stored in a large mason jar with a silica packet at the bottom to ward off mold.
Storing Bulk Puree
If you have limited dehydrator space but you have several batches of puree, you can do one of 2 things with the leftovers!
1. Keep it in the Fridge: You can store the strawberry zucchini puree in the fridge for up to 4 days before processing it, allowing you to do multiple batches during a short period of time.
2. Freeze the Leftover Puree: Additionally, you can just freeze the puree for later! I have found that a 1 gallon ziplock baggie of puree will make one 5-tray dehydrator of fruit leather!
Just thaw it in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 6-8 hours, then process as normal.
Strawberry Zucchini Fruit Leather
- 20 cups of diced zucchini I don't peel or de-seed the zucchini
- 64 ounces organic 100% fruit juice any flavor works, but for this recipe I choose a mixed berry blend
- 1/4 cup honey optional
- 4 cups fresh or frozen organic strawberries
- Dice the zucchini and place it in a large stock pot.
- Pour juice over zucchini to cover. Note: Zucchini floats, so it won't actually be covered. I pour until the pieces float up a bit.
- Bring mix to boil, continue boiling until the pieces are translucent. Note: They may be slightly discolored depending on the type of juice you used.
- Scoop pieces out and process through a food processor in batches: 5 cups of zucchini, 1 cup of strawberries, 1 tbsp honey.
- Blend until smooth.
- Prepare your dehydrator trays will silpat mats or parchment paper.
- Pour mix onto trays and smooth to 1/4 inch think. Make them as even as you can, with slightly thicker edges. (If the edges are slightly thicker, they won't dry out and get crispy)
- Repeat until all ingredients are used.
- Dehydrate at 120° until dry (about 12-18 hours).
- Check the fruit leather periodically to make sure it's not getting crispy.
- Remove from dehydrator once fully dry and cut into 2 inch wide strips.
- If you used parchment paper, just role up the strips and secure with a bit of tape. Then store in a jar! (Be sure to add a silica pack to avoid mold. Keep jar out of reach of kids if you are including a silica pack!)