header

I made these slightly-chewy rainbowy snack “drops” for my kiddos using nothing but fruits, veggies, coconut butter, my trusty vitamix 750 (have I mentioned it yet? No? I LOVE it.), and my fantabulous Excalibur dehydrator.

Got veggies? Got a blender? Got a dehydrator (or possibly an oven on low temp, but I haven't tried that)? You too can have Paleo Skittles and taste the (real food) rainbow.

 

Right now, Tropical Traditions is having a sale on their coconut cream concentrate (which is the coconut butter I typically use), buy one get one free! 2 quarts for the price of 1. That's a fantastic deal and it's a great time to stock up so you can make your Paleo Skittles!

Where did this idea come from? Target sells happycreamies veggie and fruit snacks, which are melt-in-your-mouth (like the yogurt melt thingies) freeze-dried “drops.” While home freeze-drying isn't really easily accessible, using a dehydrator can make similarly delicious, although differently-textured, snacks.

My friend Heather texted me one day to tell me she had “done it.” She blended up sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and some fruits and veggies. Then she dehydrated it in little blobs, and her daughter happily gobbled them all.

Inspired by Heather, I whipped up a batch a few days later. Of course they weren't just like happycreamies, but that doesn't matter.

While the melty texture of the happycreamies is novel and fun, what our kiddos really crave is good foods that will make their bodies healthy and strong. And poppable drops makes them easy to store, transport, and snack on.

Because these are dried, they can be stored at room temperature for quite some time before going bad. I have a baggie of them in my purse, one in the car, and so forth. They're as convenient as raisins, without all of the sugar (natural sugar is still sugar).

The first “skittles” I made were the orange ones. I called them “Sweet Potato Sunshines” and the kids ate them as quickly as I could make them. After a couple of batches, I decided to try a green one. I really wanted to incorporate spinach into the mix, a veggie my kids like the flavor of but don't eat in any notable quantity on a regular basis yet.

And once I had orange and green, I thought to myself, “Self, there are SO many good veggies and fruits out there… a whole rainbow of them! Wouldn't it be fun to make snacks in every color?”

Besides the fun factor, if my kids were eating a rainbow confetti of these snacks, I would know they were getting a good variety of fruits and veggies with every snack, which is more useful to our bodies in general than eating only carrots for a week, then only beets for a week, and so forth. I also made them a bit more sustaining (and gave them a chewier texture) by adding fat to each one. Most flavors have coconut cream concentrate in them, while the green ones have avocado for added fat.

So my dehydrator was pretty much running constantly for aaages. Each color batch made about 4-5 trays worth of drops, so in my 9-tray Excalibur Dehydrator, I could do two colors at a time.

I had a couple of failed batches (ugly snacks when I tried to get fancy with the shapes, or just not quite right flavor), and some days I didn't have time to get a batch in the dehydrator in the morning, so it took me a couple of weeks to get all of the colors finished.

But it was worth it all to be able to give these snacks to my kiddos AND to share them with you! The lemon-honey yellow ones are my favorites, and the kids love the beet-cherry flavor the best (those are gone first when I give them a container full). But they're all happily gobbled on a regular basis around here.

Soooo… are you ready for the recipes?

Every recipe has the same procedures.

  1. Combine all ingredients in your blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Then make little blobs on fruit leather sheets on your dehydrator trays (parchment paper works great if you don't have the commercial ones). I used a quart size ziplock freezer bag (do NOT use the regular sandwich ones… they will pop) with a Wilton piping tip in it.
  3. Place the trays back into the dehydrator and dry at 130 degrees or so for about 4 hours.
  4. Flip the skittles over and dry for an additional couple of hours until they reach the consistency you want. (Less drying = chewier. More drying = crunchier.)
  5. Let cool 10 minutes before storing.

Tip: If you bake a bunch of white and orange sweet potatoes in the oven at once, you can put them in the fridge until you're ready to make the snacks.

1 – Maroon Paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 2 cups white sweet potato, cooked
  • 1.5 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter

2 – Pink Paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 2 cups white sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter

3 – Orange Paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 2 cups orange sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (raw)
  • 2 oranges, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter

4 – Yellow paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 1 cup white sweet potato, cooked
  • 2 cups parsnips, chopped (raw)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1 lemon, peeled and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)

5 – Green Paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 2 cups white sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 cup raw spinach, packed
  • 2 pears, cored
  • 2 kiwis, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (NOT canned)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and seed removed

6 – Indigo Paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 2 cups white sweet potatoes, cooked
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter

7 – Burgundy (almost Black!) Paleo dehydrator snacks

  • 1 cup orange sweet potato, cooked
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and chopped (raw)
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter

You don't have to make all 7 colors/flavors right away. Pick a few of your favorite-sounding combinations and give them a try! You can always add more later, and make up your own combinations too.

What flavor do you think your kids will enjoy the most? Would this be a snack you think you would eat too?

 

Right now, Tropical Traditions is having a sale on their coconut cream concentrate (which is the coconut butter I typically use, though sometimes I do use the Artisana linked above), buy one get one free! 2 quarts for the price of 1. That's a fantastic deal and it's a great time to stock up so you can make your Paleo Skittles!

 





Debbie (1 comments)

Do you run the berries through a food meal?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

nope




Alison (1 comments)

Just put sweet potato, apple, pumpkin, orange, and cinnamon into the oven. Hope they turn out. The mix tastes delicious :)




MJ (1 comments)

Some of the people say they made them too small. How big should the drops be before they are dehydrated? Thanks!




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

Maybe a bit over an inch in diameter? Inch and 1/4 or so?




Corinne (1 comments)

Can I use frozen fruit or would that be too watery?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

No reason not to try it! If it ends up more watery, it’ll just take longer to dehydrate and they’ll probably be flatter, but taste fine.




Kathy (1 comments)

I just made these mine turned out really flat. Any suggestion ? They tasted awesome just flat nothing like your pictures . Any help would be appreciated




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

Maybe add a bit more potato to yours next time, so the mixture will be thicker. They’ll be flatter if your batter is more runny … mine was pretty stiff for most of the flavors.




Chris (2 comments)

Wanting to try but how do you cook the sweet potato?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

You can bake it in the oven or steam it in the microwave… if I’m doing a bunch I’ll do them in the oven. :)
If you have a toaster oven, you can use that for one or two… but we got rid of ours, so I just do them in the microwave if I’m only making a couple.




Danielle (1 comments)

I am going to try making these with Coconut Oil because I was shocked to see how many Calories the Butter has in comparison. Over 300 in just a tsp vs half as much for a TBSP of the oil. One batch will be over 3,000 calories just from the butter alone. Did anyone else try the oil route yet?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

I’m not sure what nutrition information you’re looking at… coconut butter is roughly 70-80% fat, so it’s around 90 calories per Tablespoon… not 300 per teaspoon.




jackie (1 comments)

Hey! i’m a terrible cook. but i am obsessed with skittles. is there anyway i could buy a “pack” from you? i live in philly




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

Sorry! I’m not running a commercial kitchen or anything… could you get an awesome cook friend to make them for you in exchange for something else (babysitting, cleaning, whatever)?




FRAN (1 comments)

This is genius, thanks for all the good info. Wish I had the Vitamix!
I tried to subscribe by e-mail and it says I’m missing the fields for First Name, Last Name but there is only a space to enter my e-mail address. Hope you can get that fixed, I’d love to learn more tips from you. Have a good day.




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

Oh no! That’s no good. I’ll let my web guru know. :) Hopefully she can fix it. Did you try in the sidebar or at the end of the post?




Becca (1 comments)

Are you sure the carrots/turnips/beets are meant to be raw? I have a ninja blender and I don’t know if its just a blender thing, but it doesn’t seem like the raw veggies will be blended small enough….




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

I did them raw, but I have a vitamix and it kind of pulverizes the hell out of whatever I put in there. :)




mICHELLe (1 comments)

What is the purpose of the coconut concentrate? I can’t stand coconut even a little. If it’s texture based, what would you suggest using instead?




Denise (1 comments)

Out of curiosity, is there an alternate ingredient to use in place of the coconut butter for people who are allergic to coconuts?




Heather (1 comments)

Has anyone tried them without the lemon juice? We have a citrus allergy in this house. Has anyone adjusted the recipies to because of food allergies? Can you us something other than coconut butter here it is $12+ a jar.




April (1 comments)

I can’t wait to try these. I am thinking these would be a great snack for my husband , whom is a truck driver and likes to snack while driving and of course me and my 12 yr old will enjoy them also. Thank you for sharing .




TanyA m (1 comments)

Really excited to try these out!! I am having a hard time finding coconut butter, do you think almond butter would work as well? Thanks




Lauren (1 comments)

What could I use instead of coconut butter? Applesauce? We deal with quite a few food allergies and this would be cheaper than buying puffs all the time. Feel free to email me :)




Erin (1 comments)

These are amazing! Have you found any new flavors?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

Someone tweeted to me that they made a pumpkin pie version with pureed pumpkin, sweet potato, coconut butter, and pumpkin pie spices! That sounds AWESOME.




Tracey (1 comments)

Wondering if there is a difference between coconut butter and coconut oil? Would coconut oil work in the recipe?




Nicole (1 comments)

Love this idea, thanks a bunch. Do you think for the out of season fruit/berries that frozen can be used after being thawed?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

I don’t see why not!




Christy (2 comments)

These look absolutely fabulous! One question though. Is there a fat you can recommend to substitute for the coconut? My little one can’t have anything in the tree nut/coconut/peanut categories. I’m thinking I could use avocado in the darker varieties or if I didn’t really care about getting all the colors right…any ideas to keep the colors true though?




Emily Chapelle (191 comments)

I’m not sure… could you do ghee? Try a small batch and see how it turns out?




Christy (2 comments)

These look absolutely fantastic and so fun for little ones to eat! Can anyone recommend a fat that might work other than coconut? My little one can’t have any foods in the coconut or tree nut/peanut category. Maybe butter???




Lydia (3 comments)

I love this. I am a huge “snacker” and this will be perfect on my paleo quest. I just bought the coconut butter and can’t wait to make these.
Lydia recently posted… It gets better




Shelley delayne (5 comments)

I am so hooked on these!!! My first batch turned out tiny, because I didn’t account for shrinkage in the dehydrating process, but my second and third batches turned out beautifully. These are so delicious and we have been gobbling them up as fast as I can make them!

One little piece of advice to anyone trying these: don’t do what I did the first time and make the puree the night before, planning to make them in the morning. The coconut butter gets really, really hard overnight in the fridge and softening it again changes the texture for some reason. Better to make the puree and then make them immediately!




Chris (2 comments)

Wow thanks for your comment I was just going to do that. Guess I’ll wait.




Delora (17 comments)

Do you think these would work with butternut squash instead of the sweet potato? I have a friend who follows SCD for colitis and can’t eat sweet potato, but can have squash. I think these would be a fun gift.




Bento Sam (2 comments)

These look amazing!!! I would definitely gobble up the maroon ones – blackberries and raspberries yum! And the colours are so vibrant
Bento Sam recently posted… Pancake Bento Lunch




Henni (18 comments)

Oh my goodness, these look amazing!! Gorgeous pictures, too :-)… I’m planning on trying to make some in the oven… I’ll let you know how it goes! Thank you for sharing the recipes!




Henni (18 comments)

Update: made these in the oven the other day! worked perfectly fine :-) I set it to 170 (that’s as low as our oven goes) and let them “bake” for about 5 hours. For part of the time I let the oven door open a bit so that the moisture could escape. Oh, and I should also add that my skittles were TINY… They shrink quite a bit while drying, which I didn’t take into account… but they are still delicious! Next time, I will definitely make them a little bigger – which probably means another hour or two added to the drying time… We shall see!
Henni recently posted… How I fixed the tilt mechanism in our Foscam FI8918W




Lydia (3 comments)

Oops…just saw your follow up…sorry! Thanks for the update though. I can’t wait to try!
Lydia recently posted… It gets better




Lydia (3 comments)

Did you ever try these using the oven? I don’t have a dehydrator but want to try in the oven and wondered if anyone did it and had success/failure.




mEGAN (3 comments)

I don’t have kids, but those look amazing. I think I’m going to make some for myself (I’m a snacker). I also love the pictures that you took. Fabulous woprk, girl!
mEGAN recently posted… [Virtual] Coffee Date 8.3.13




Megan (3 comments)

I meant work. And I meant to spell my name correctly, not in a weird opposite yell / caps effect. My bad!
Megan recently posted… Comment on [Virtual] Coffee Date 8.3.13 by Megan




Lori (1 comments)

Just bought the coconut butter- looking forward to trying a few this weekend! And I don’t even have kids at home!




Katrina (2 comments)

These look awesome! I haven’t been able to find white fleshed sweet potatoes where I live; could I substitute the orange fleshed for some of the other colors?




MEghan (4 comments)

The colors all combined on one plate remind me of Halloween! What a great, amazingly healthy treat they would make in place of the typical sugar overload that is typically offered.




Karen (1 comments)

Genius!! I need to buy a dehydrator ASAP! Thank you so much!!!!




This is brilliant!! Can’t wait to try it out!
Johanna @ Mama Chocolate recently posted… $75 Gymboree Gift Card Giveaway {are you drooling yet?}




RJ (17 comments)

Try adding.Great Lakes gelatin, gives it a chewier texture! Awesome work!




Rachel Duclos (1 comments)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’ve been waiting for this post!!! I love the name you chose too. Your pictures come out beautiful as well. There look amazing and I can NOT wait to try them.




Wow…you put some serious time into this! I’ve been thinking about this for a long time (along with homemade “puffs”) and I never had any time to put it into action in the kitchen, plus I don’t have a Vitamix (Although I’d give my left arm for one.) Thanks so much for all the time and effort you put into such a fabulous post. I might try to do something similar with what I have. I KNOW they’d be a big hit!






Leave a Reply



Your Comment



CommentLuv badge





social social social social social social social social


© 2014 Joyful Abode | Designed by OSN