Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DIY Fruit Leather

I realize I've been posting about strawberries a lot, please forgive me. I just can't get enough of the little things. I promise I'll throw something savory in here soon, Friday, stay tuned for a fun Mexican manicotti dish that all family members will enjoy.

Back to the fruit leather though. These have been on my DIY list for awhile now and something I thought the kids would enjoy. I'm sure everyone has had a fruit roll-up at least one point in their lifetime. I honestly refuse  to buy them for the kids mainly because they are filled with way too much sugar but also because of all the unnecessary preservatives added in.

These on the other hand, I wouldn't care if they devoured the whole pan in one sitting! I added a little bit of agave nectar for sweetener, you could use granulated sugar if you wanted. Whether you choose honey, agave or sugar; start with a small amount and increase as needed. The girls thought they were a little on the sour side, I didn't think so. Next time we'll add just a bit more, I've made that change in the recipe below.

I was really surprised at how easy the fruit leather was to make, but it does take a long time in the oven. It's not a quick process or probably something that you'll make very often. But it's fun and that's what's important! Feel free to experiment with different combinations of fruit, I stuck with plain strawberry, although I was tempted to throw some peaches in there as well...yum!

DIY Fruit Leather

3 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
2 tbsp agave nectar
splash of fresh lemon or lime juice

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 170 degrees or lowest setting. In a food processor or blender, puree strawberries. Add in agave and lemon/lime juice, pulse just to combine.

Pour strawberry mixture oven lined baking sheet and smooth into an even, thin layer with a spatula. Place in oven for at least 6 hours or until fruit leather is set. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Then remove the parchment paper from pan, cut with kitchen shears into strips. Roll the strips up and enjoy!

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