What are Paleo Skittles anyway? Well, 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 yet (it’s only 2013 – hopefully soon!), 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 paleo Skittles 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 paleo “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 paleo skittles! 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 paleo skittles, 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 Paleo Skittles recipes?
Every recipe has the same procedures.
- Combine all ingredients in your blender and puree until smooth.
- 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.
- Place the trays back into the dehydrator and dry at 130 degrees or so for about 4 hours.
- Flip the paleo skittles over and dry for an additional couple of hours until they reach the consistency you want. (Less drying = chewier. More drying = crunchier.)
- 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