Impulse buys at the farmers market, yup I’m sure we’ve all done that. Usually it’s with some unique veggies that I’ve never cooked with before, but this time I went a bit overboard with the strawberries, the deal was too good to not pass up. I know I know, you are probably thinking, having a copious amount of strawberry is not a bad thing because they can be incorporated into pretty much anything. Well I had to leave town for a few days and our freezer had reached its maximum storage capacity, so what was a girl to do? Then I saw this kid eating fruit roll-ups when I was out running errand, ding the light bulb went off. It’s a portable healthy snack and can also keep in an air-tight container for up to one month in room temperature.
I added some apples and banana to pair with the strawberries, you can play around with the fruit combination with blueberries, raspberries, peaches, mangoes, oranges…etc. The whole purpose of this is to make a healthy snack so there is no sugar added. If you must, a small squeeze of honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup is fine. I also like the idea of adding herbs and spices like mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, thyme, basil…etc.
This can also be made using a dehydrator, which I’d probably prefer using since it means I wouldn’t have to keep my oven on for hours, but I don’t own one so here we are, the oven worked great though. If you have to leave your house during the long hours of baking, just turn the oven off as the residual heat will continue to dry.
Strawberry Fruit Leather Rolls
- ~2 cups of strawberries, hulled
- 1 banana
- 2 apples, cored and cut
- Preheat the oven to 175F.
- Puree the fruit in a food processor or blender. Add water if the mixture is too thick, a tablespoon or two should suffice. The addition of the water is to help with spreading and pouring the fruit mixture to the baking pan, although too much water will yield a much longer time in the oven.
- Line a baking pan with silicon baking mat or parchment paper. Pour the fruit puree onto the baking pan, spread it out evenly and dry in the oven for 4-6 hours, every oven varies, but start checking every 30 minutes after 4 hours. The edges will dry faster, just brush it with some water and it’ll be fine. The fruit leather is done when it doesn’t stick to your finger.
- Once it’s done, remove from oven and let it cool down.
- Once cooled, peel the fruit leather from the parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Note: If it’s too crisp and starts to crumble, brush it with enough water until it softens up, wait a few minutes to see if it can be rolled without tearing. Inversely if you put too much water and the fruit leather becomes too mushy and wet, pop it back into the oven to let it dry up a bit, no need to turn the oven back on as the residual heat will be enough.
- Cut the fruit leather into strips the size of your choice and roll them up. The fruit leather shouldn’t stick to each other, but you may roll with a strip of parchment underneath to protect from sticking. Tie the rolls with twine and they will make a cute gift/party favors. Store in room temperature for up to one month, but ours was gone within a couple of days.
From my first batch – the fruit puree was too thick and I had to use an offset spatula to spread it around. The uneven surface also lead to uneven drying, some parts dried faster and turned to crisp while the other parts remained watery. All of this was salvaged by brushing some water onto the crisp parts, but add a tiny little bit of water prior to pouring onto the pan and it will save you a ton of trouble.
Gorgeous dark pink color.
Cut into strips, scissors or pizza cutter is perfect for this job.