How to Make SCOBY Fruit Leather

How to make SCOBY fruit leather from extra kombucha scoby

We’ve been brewing Kombucha on our kitchen counter for years, long before it was available in grocery stores and even some gas stations.

Baby SCOBYs Everywhere!

If you’ve brewed kombucha, you know that with each new batch, the brewing culture (called a SCOBY, which stands for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast”) creates a “baby” or daughter culture that can be used to brew its own batch. While this is an awesome way to continue the procreation of the Kombucha species, these baby SCOBYs can add up and a new kombucha brewer can wonder what to do with them all!

When I first started getting into making kombucha, I tried to pass on these baby SCOBYs to friends and family so they could brew their own Kombucha as well, but I only had a few friends who were interested in trying it, so I eventually ended up composting most of my SCOBYs because I didn’t have another use for them.

Fast forward a few years and I met Hannah and Alex (who my kids call “The Kombuchas) at a health conference. They own Kombucha Kamp and are the authors of the fantastic new book The Big Book of Kombucha, which is a gorgeous and informative encyclopedia of everything Kombucha.

Hannah and Alex gave me a sample of a delicious treat that they make: Fruit Leather with leftover SCOBYs! I thought it was a brilliant way to use excess SCOBYs and get the benefits of the enzymes and probiotic cultures it contains.

SCOBY Fruit Leather Recipe

This recipe is similar to my original fruit leather recipe but has the added benefits of the kombucha cultures. It is so simple to make and my kids love these as snacks or an after dinner treat.

You can easily make this in a dehydrator or oven and it is the perfect way to use up extra Kombucha SCOBYs. If you brew Kombucha, give these a try!

If you don’t… what are you waiting for? Use this simple tutorial to get started (or this one for a continuous brew) and save your extra baby cultures for this recipe.

How to make SCOBY fruit leather from extra kombucha scoby

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How to Make SCOBY Fruit Leather

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 10 -12

Our family loves this healthy probiotic-rich treat. When dehydrated at a low temperature, the SCOBY maintains its healthy acids and bacterial activity, secretly making this leather a terrific probiotic-rich snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced fruit (strawberries, peaches, pears)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 cups pureed SCOBY
  • 1–2 teaspoons spices or herbs (optional, but some of our favorites are basil, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and thyme)

Instructions

  1. Combine the fruit and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fruit and sugar are thoroughly broken down and combined, about 10 minutes. Add the fruit mixture and SCOBY puree to a blender, along with the spices, and pulse until the mixture has the texture of applesauce and all the ingredients are combined.
  2. Spread the mixture onto wax paper or silicone dehydrator sheets in a layer about ¼ inch thick. Dehydrate for 12 to 36 hours. If you’re using a dehydrator, use the lowest setting (95–110 deg. F [35– 43 deg. C]). If you’re dehydrating in an oven, set it to its lowest temperature and prop the door open.
  3. Once the mixture is dried and no longer sticky, gently remove from the wax paper. If the leather is difficult to remove from the wax paper, stick it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; then peel off. Cut the leather into strips. These can be rolled up or cut into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature; they will keep indefinitely but might dry out over time.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Do you brew Kombucha? Will you start?

Recipe and photo Excerpted from The Big Book of Kombucha © Hannah Crum © Alex LaGory. Photographs by © Matt Armendariz. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

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Reader Comments

  1. Do you have to include the sugar? Seems like a no-no in fruit leather…

    • I am wondering the same. We have very ripe tropical fruits and never have to add sweetener khoney or sugar), so I’m also wondering the purpose it serves in this recipe other than sweetening. Which now that I’m thinking about it, when stuff is dehydrated or dried, it would concentrate the sweet or salty flavour. It just seems a bit excessive.

  2. Could you add protein powder to the mix to make it a protein-rich snack as well?

  3. Won’t the heat kill all of the beneficial prebiotic? We’re instructed to let the tea come to room temperature before adding the scoby so it doesn’t die

    • Wellness Mama instructed us to dehydrate it at lowest setting or use the oven with the door propped open. That will leave the temperature below 105F, which keeps all enzymes alive.

  4. What a great idea. I was brewing Kombucha about 20+ years ago for a while and couldn’t figure out what to do with all the babies. I gave some away, blended some up in smoothies wondering if they were healthy or not. Most of them got composted. There wasn’t too much info back then about kombucha. I thought scientists should maybe make artificial skin for burn victims with it or dollmakers or dry it for lampshades.

    • Hahaha!!! Or perhaps used for art canvas, or processed into a sustainable form of plastic…or is anyone up for a game of slippery frisbee??

  5. Really,really good idea. I hate to throw scobys out which feels like I’m throwing my own children away. I have a dehydrator and will try this although I think I may omit the extra sugar and see how it turns out.

  6. Katie,
    I think this is a wonderful idea. I’ve been drying fruit for years and appreciate this recipe. One question: Do you have any idea of what remains in the prepared leather of probiotic culture? Does it at all survive the drying? I have found that drying at a fairly low temperature for a longer period preserves the enzymes, but I suspect the probiotics won’t survive. Any thoughts?

    • At this low of a temperature, a good amount should survive, though I haven’t tested it to be sure.

  7. We neglected our Kombucha for a long time this winter and we ended up with a totally healthy, but gigantic 8 pound scoby. It was almost 5 inches thick and as large as a dinner plate. OOPS! Totally wish I had seen this article before we composted it!!!!

    • I so hear you!

      Wish I’d seen this ealier. Mine was like something out of a hippy horror movie. Eventually, we went out of town, and the fruit flies got to it. I put it outside in the garden. It was like burying a beloved pet!

  8. I just found out about this wounderful tea from your new book. I’m getting my first SCOBY from a health food store here. Can’t wait to try making my first batch. Love your new book and thank you for sharing your gift with others.
    Lucy

  9. Is the sugar necessary to “feed” the SCOBY or do I have the option to omit this? I noticed a few people have asked, but I don’t see an answer yet.

    • This recipe isn’t fermenting, but the sugar helps it hold together. It will work without the sugar though.

  10. Could you use scobys from water kefir to make this?

    • water kefir technically has “grains” not a leathery SCOBY like Kombucha so I’m not sure if this would work.

  11. I heard that I shouldn’t use Kombucha if I’ve had Candida problems. Can you share anything about that, Katie. Plus, thank you for all the helpful information. I’m listening to the Truth about Cancer episodes and they are incrediblely helpful!

    • I’m curious about that as well, since she listed ‘kills candida’ as one of the benefits. I’ve only seen candida diets suggest to avoid kombucha because of the airborne yeast but I’m interested in learning more. What is the source for that benefit @Wellness Mama?

  12. I’m curious if you can substitute honey for the sugar in this recipe?

  13. Brilliant! Thank you so much for this. It’s time to clean out my kombucha crock and I didn’t know what to do with all the SCOBYs. This is perfect..

  14. Could you substitute honey for the sugar?

  15. I definitely want to try this!!! Can you use parchment paper in the dehydrator instead of waxed paper?

  16. I’m surprised that sugar is in the mix as well. Especially in a day when we are all trying to get off sugar…

  17. I’m curious, too, could you use stevia or honey instead of sugar. I’d be glad to hear from anybody that has used no sugar. Also, I have 2 gal jars with SCOBYs that I haven’t add any new kombucha in over a year to feed them, they look great, nice & thick & creamy white…but are thy still good to use , being that I haven’t fed them in so long? I’ll look for an answer from you good people!! 🙂

  18. I don’t understand if the sugar is necessary to continue to feed the SCOBY, or if I can omit the sugar because the SCOBY is dried.

    Does anyone have an answer to this question?

    • The scoby won’t need the sugar unless its fermenting which obviously this isn’t.
      Just finished making a batch using pears for the fruit and omitted the sugar. It turned out sweet and very tasty although a little different in texture than plain fruit leather.

  19. This is amazing! I’ve given away so many scobys and feel bad about booting the extras out of the hotels, but I’ve run out of room. Now I’m going to try this recipe, it’ll be a great treat for camping trips, along with homemade venison jerky! With this being strawberry season, what better purpose to use fresh fruit? Thanks so much for posting! I never would’ve thought that you can eat the scoby!

  20. I’m curious about the sugar too is it for the SCOBY? I make fruit leathers with out all the time.

  21. Still intimidated about making Kombucha. Anyone know of a really good “Kombucha for Dummies” recipe or video? Where is best place to get 1st SCOBY and other supplies? Anyone in Land O’Lakes/Tampa area with any SCOBY’s they want to give away???

    • This Facebook group is full of shares for all kinds of grains. They have people all over the world in the group and people offer local pick up or mail to you (and you pay the postage). All, you have to do is request to join, takes a day or so and they’ll add you. Then look at the pinned post for information on finding/requesting items your looking for (Kombucha, water kefir grains, milk kefi grains, Jun, etc) https://www.facebook.com/groups/181445115312844/

    • I just bought a bottle of GT’s Kombucha at a Whole Foods and put the whole thing in a mason jar covered with a piece of cheese cloth and a rubber band around it. And that’s it. No extra sugar, nor extra tea.
      I left it in a cupboard for about 2 weeks (should’ve have warned my husband ahead of time!) and got the most beautiful and healthy Scoby. If you don’t want to wait that long, Wellness Mama posts links to stores she trusts.
      By the way, I’m on the other side of the state. If you ever make it to Miami Beach I’ll be glad to share a Scoby with you.

  22. Kombucha helps get rid of candida, as do all flora filled substances, such as real fermented sauerkraut, pickles, etc. do. I would not add sugar or heat this recipe though, or it can be harmful to candida sufferers. Good idea though.

  23. After a week of brewing… How take the tea?? Can I add up honey to it?? It tastes acidic and bitter… Can it cause complication with Hyper Tension medicine like Norvasc?

  24. Would like to know about the sugar as well.

  25. Just made my first batch! SO tasty. I used papaya and dried apricots (re-hydrated) and a pinch of salt. Doesn’t need the sugar at all.

  26. If your fruit is glued like mine to the wax paper and the freezer doesn’t work I ran the wax paper under warm water, let it set paper side up for a little bit, and then peeled the paper off. I then tossed the leather back in the oven for a little while to dry all the way out. A bit of work-not bad-but a whole lot better than tossing it in the bin! I’ve read parchment paper is better for this than wax paper.

    Thanks for helping me use up my scobys!

    • Try silicone baking sheets…it peels rightoffonceyou get the edges up.

  27. I had the same problem as Dusty! Leather was glued to the waxed paper! Ran it under water to remove the paper! Delicious treat! Great idea! Thanks!

  28. We say “of” bacteria and yeast
    We don’t say “ove” bacterial and yeast
    SCOBY is pronounced “scubby”
    Pls help us all gain credibility