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Healthy Living: Homemade Fruit Leathers


When we were growing up, mom made our school lunches: one sandwich, one piece of fruit, one cookie or small dessert.

Then, dad took over the job of packing lunches.

Imagine our glee when we opened our lunch boxes at school to discover a sandwich, a fruit roll-up and a cookie. Two desserts! We’d hit the jackpot!

I think this newfound nirvana lasted maybe a week before someone slipped and ratted dad out. He honestly didn’t know that a commercially prepared fruit roll up did not count as a serving of fruits or vegetables. Bless his heart.

However, fruit roll-ups or fruit leathers are super easy to make at home, taste a lot better and don’t leave red dye No. 40 all over your hands.

And best of all, they probably do count as a serving of fruit.

Homemade Fruit Leathers
Serves 10

Ingredients:
3 cups ripe, chopped fruit (Strawberries and peaches are my favorite. I can’t get bananas to work right, but we also love raspberries.)
Sweetener, to taste (I use about 3 Tbs honey. You could also use granulated sugar).

Directions:
Preheat oven to 150° F or the lowest temperature your oven will go. Line a 11 x 17 baking sheet with a Silpat nonstick baking mat or parchment paper.

Purée the fruit and sweetener in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour fruit mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread to about a 1/8″ thick. Tilt the sheet back and forth to evenly distribute the fruit mixture.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 6 to 8 hours, until fruit mixture is set and the center is not sticky. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Gently peel off the fruit leather from the Silpat mat or parchment paper. Cut into squares or strips (I’ve found a pizza cutter is great for this). If you want to make fruit roll-ups, roll the strips in parchment paper. Store in an airtight container.

Calories per serving: 34 g, Calories from fat: 0 g, Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 0 mg, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein:0 g


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