Let me tell you something about my kids. They can eat. And eat and eat. It’s not stop.
Can I have a snack?
I eat snack?
Can I have dessert now?
Fruit snacks are always quite popular, but…well, take a peak at the ingredients in General Mills Fruit Roll ups.
Pears from concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, citric acid, sodium citrate, acetylated monoglycerides, fruit pectin, dextrose, maltic acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavor and the following food coloring: blue 1, red 40 and yellows 5 and 6.
Hmm…not something I want my kids pumping their bodies full of. So, while perusing Pinterest, I found (insert triumphant trumpeting here) gobs of recipes for homemade fruit leathers, fruit snacks, and fruit leathers. Jackpot.
I’ve only done fruit leather at this point. They only have fruit in them. No added sugar, pectin or gelatin. Just fruit.
Thus far, I’ve only made two flavors: raspberry/strawberry/banana and blueberry. They are tasty. The first batch didn’t last 12 hours before they were devoured. Batch number two is working on 24 hours, but at the moment, I am down to one kiddo in the house until tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure if they were both home, the fruit snacks would be gone already.
Onto the how to.
These were truthfully very easy, but they are by no means a quick project. We’re talking about a five hour project, just with minimal effort of your part.
1. Warm the fruit in a pot on the stove and mix it into a puree. I really didn’t pay attention to how long this took. I would stir, walk away, stir, play with my kids, etc. The second batch I made, I ended up tossing the puree in the blender for a nice smooth texture.
2. Spread the puree on a stick proof baking mat thingie or parchment paper. 1 1/2 cup of fruit puree is enough for 1 baking sheet, and put in the oven on 140°F (or as low as your oven can go. my stove’s lowest temperature is 170). The original recipe suggested leaving the oven open a bit to help get the temperature down. I have small children. I’m not leaving my oven open. So mine baked at 170 four close to four hours. The outside edge was a tad bit crispier without being super crispy, if that makes sense.
3. They are done when the puree isn’t sticky anymore, you normally need between 4-8 hours depending on the oven and your fruit choices.
4. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut. Enjoy.
Again, super easy, very tasty. I have a recipe for cocoa banana rollups (thank you, Pinterest) that I can’t wait to make.
5 ripe bananas, 1/2 cup almonds, 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, 4 tbsp splenda*, 3 tbsp milled flax seed, all pureed together and baked at 135 for 4-5 hours.