Did you know that we should eat fruit every day? Some kids have no trouble with this, some eat it all before you can buy more, some forget that it’s there and it goes bad. Stocking up on one of kids’ favorites–fruit leather–is a fun way to add variety and keep enough fruit on hand, without the risk of it going bad. There are some great commercial fruit leathers that you can buy in the store. Look at the ingredients to see that they contain real fruit and minimal, if any, added sugar.
If you’re feeling motivated and possess a dehydrator, you can make your own! This is an earth-friendly and budget-friendly option. By preparing this tasty treat at home, you cut out all the food miles that commercial products travel to get to the store and reduce waste by packaging it yourself in reusable containers. I like to take advantage of summer bargains, stocking up on berries, mango, melons, pineapple and stone fruits. Are you lucky enough to have fruit trees? Making fruit leather is one of the many ways you can preserve your bounty. Another advantage is you can get creative! I had fun swirling different fruits together and sprinkling dried coconut and chia seeds over the fruit to create new varieties. No need to get fancy, though, plain, simple fruit is delicious on its own!
- Wash the fruit. Peel and de-stem it if necessary. Cut it into large pieces.
- If adding sugar (I only do this with tart fruits, like apricots and berries), cook fruit and sugar 5-10 minutes until starts to break down.
- Put it in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Spread on parchment paper, place in dehydrator on lowest setting for 8-12 hours or until it isn’t sticky anymore.
- Peel off parchment, cut into strips and store in an airtight container.