Fruit Leather with Chia
Fruit leathers, sometimes also known as fruit rolls, are a perfectly delicious and portable snack. And despite the long cooking time, they're surprisingly easy if you have a dehydrator. If not, fruit leather can be made in the oven, but the dehydrator remains preferable since it won't burn fruit enzymes the way oven heat might. Dehydrators are easier to find and cheaper than ever, which means that for about $60 you can have your own homemade veggie chips, fruit leathers, "raw" crackers, and any dried fruit and vegetable you can think of. If you want to try this delicious fruit leather before you splurge on a dehydrator, just cook on your oven's lowest setting, keeping in mind that the cooking time will be doubled. You can make fruit leather from a variety of fruits without cooking them beforehand, from berries to apricots, citrus fruits, peaches, pears, melons, bananas, mangoes and pineapples. All you need to do is to purée them first. Other harder, more fibrous fruits and vegetables (like apples, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beet, carrots, squash, etc.) will need to be cooked before you purée them.
Preheat oven to 175°F (80°C) if you don't have a dehydrator.
Purée fruit in the food processor until smooth. Add chia seeds and maple syrup, mixing well.
Line a baking sheet with a nonstick silicone mat (like a silpat), and spread fruit purée evenly using a spatula. Bake in the oven 6 to 8 hours (or dry in dehydrator 3 to 4 hours on highest setting). Let cool completely. The texture should be dry, smooth, and similar to leather.
Cover fruit leather with parchment paper and turn baking sheet onto a cutting board, fruit leather under. Cut into strips and roll each one with its parchment paper to make individual, portable snacks.