Thursday, November 19, 2009

Homemade fruit leather

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I have been shelling out almost $5 a box for fancy Clif fruit twists or Fruitabu fruit roll-ups for a while. After chasing the kids away whenever they try to sneak one, I decided it was time to try to make our own. I enlisted my 5-year old to help.

First we lined 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and sprayed them with canola oil. We wanted to try a few different kinds, so we mashed the following in the food processor until they were pureed smooth:

1)Peeled apple mixed with the juice from ½ a lemon and 1 Tbsp. raspberry jam
2)1 cup frozen mango chunks, thawed in the microwave
3)1 small container of pink applesauce (no need to puree!)
4)½ cup of canned pumpkin mixed with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

We spread the purees smooth with a spatula (about ¼ inch thick) and put them in the oven at 150 degrees. I put them in for 2 hours and then we had to leave the house so I shut the oven off. I came back in about an hour and put them in for another 2 hours until they looked dry. Now for the taste test:

1)The peeled pureed apple tasted delicious but the texture was lumpy. If I try this flavor again I would cook the chopped apple in a little bit of water so it could puree a little smoother.
2)The mango was perfect! It had the perfect sweet and tart flavor and the texture was very smooth. In fact, I sent this to school my son's lunchbox the next day and he was so excited. He was telling all his friends how we made fruit roll-ups.
3)The applesauce was perfect as well, sweet and tart and smooth. It is going in his lunch tomorrow.
4)The pumpkin was not sweet enough. Apparently there is a reason that no one is selling a commercial pumpkin fruit roll-up. :)

The only problem we had was that it was difficult to remove the fruit leather from the foil. I tried parchment paper on Tuesday and it worked much better. I can't wait to try out some more!

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