No Need for a Billion Ingredients!
Written by Gayle
I wasn't one to indulge my kids' pleas for fake fruit since we have such an abundance of the real stuff. But you have to admit, fruit in creative shapes is just plain fun. And delightfully, it is almost as fun to make it in your own kitchen as it is to eat!
So with some of the beautiful and sweet fruit that is in season, I made some fruit roll-ups that are convenient to pack anywhere and a delicious and fun snack! I made two batches--one strawberry, and one mango. I think I'll try apricot and peach tomorrow!
Fruit Leather, Roll-up, By-the-Foot
- 2 cups of chopped organic fruit. I used strawberries and mangoes, but any ripe and sweet fruit, or combination, will do. The moister the fruit, the longer it takes to dehydrate. (I would not try watermelon, for example!)
- The juice of 1/2 of an organic lemon (this helps to hold the color)
- Organic agave nectar, to taste. I only used about 2 TBP, since my fruit was already sweet and delicious!
- Pre-heat the oven to the lowest setting--140-150 degrees is best. This can be done in a dehydrator, if you have one, or even in the hot sun (cover with a net that doesn't touch the fruit to keep the bugs away.)
- Cut the fruit.
- Place in a saucepan, and add the lemon juice and the agave nectar
- Heat until just barely bubbly. If the fruit is firm (like a mango) add 2 TBSP of water, but with softer fruits (strawberries) don't add any water.
- Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Don't over blend--you don't want to whip air into the fruit.
- Prepare the pan
- Form a rectangle with foil that has walls that are smaller than a strip of plastic wrap. Mine was about 8 inches wide and 14 inches long.
- Top with plastic wrap
- Spray the plastic wrap with non-stick spray
- Pour the fruit puree carefully on top of the plastic wrap and spread it to be as even and smooth as possible.
- Place the pan in the warm oven. If your oven doesn't have a setting lower than about 170 degrees, prop the oven door open to lower the temp a little and circulate the air.
- Let the fruit dry for about 4 hours, then check it. If it is very thin, it may be dry enough to handle at this point. My mango was ready in about 8 hours, but the strawberry took about 16 (lots more water in those berries!) You don't want it too dry, and it will harden a little more when it cools, so bring it out of the oven when it still seems a little sticky.
- When the fruit holds together when you lift a corner, bring it out of the oven and roll the fruit, keeping the plastic wrap with the sheet of fruit.
- Cut into rolls using a sharp serrated knife
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy!
I'm keeping these in the fridge to throw into my beach bag the next time we hit the beach!