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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Homemade Fruit Leather

Today I experimented with making homemade fruit leather. I made 2 flavors - Strawberry and Mixed Berry. They came out a little too thin and and dry, so I am going to try again tonight and make a banana-strawberry and an apple.*

Before drying:

Puree frozen, canned or fresh fruit in the blender (maybe adding a tiny bit of water or juice to get things moving) making about a 1 & 1/2 - 2 cups. You can add sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses, etc. if you want to make it sweeter, but I think it tastes great without anything added. Pour it out onto a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap (you may want to tape the edges down). Then you just spread it out evenly, about 1/8 - 1/4 of an inch thick or so, and put it in the oven for about 2-3 hours at 175 degrees, leaving the door open a bit. Once the puree feels slightly tacky, it should be finished! If you get the result I got and it is too dry, you can still use it for fruit chips, ice cream topping, oatmeal stir-in...etc. Be creative!

Some suggested Add-ins:
Spices such as cinnamon (in the apple flavor..mmm!), vanilla extract, mint, allspice, ginger...
Chopped nuts, raisins, dates, granola, seeds...
Wheat germ
Maybe spread some peanut butter between 2 pieces of strawberry, grape or banana leather and roll it up...yumm!!! (Have I mentioned I LOVE peanut butter??)

Have fun with this and please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions or come up with any Super Delicious Flavor Combos!

*I messed up by making it too thin and I dried it for about 2 hours without checking it. Tonight I will make it thicker and check it more often through the drying time.

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