Fruit Leathers Snacks
Note: Only use fresh fruits for this recipe
There are two ways to make this delicious childrens snack. The fruit can be the "too hard to eat" variety or the "too ripe and the last piece" variety. It even works on canned fruit, which is well drained. Use mashed or pureed fruit. These two methods both work very well.
1) First is the blender way. Peel and core fruit, blend until smooth and then cook 5 minutes in a saucepan over medium heat.
2) Second method is the freeze/defrost method. In advance, peel and core fruit and place it wrapped in the freezer. Remove from freezer an hour before using. Cook in a saucepan, mashing with a fork as you go. Cook 5 to 10 minutes. If very watery, drain. While cooking, add 1 tsp. of honey for each piece of fruit you are using. (Cook the different fruits separately, though you can cook one piece or a dozen of the same type at one time.)
Lay out clear wax paper or cut open small wax bags on a cookie sheet or broiling tray. Use one wax paper for each piece of fruit you have cooked. Spoon mixture onto the wax paper, staying away from its edge. Spread as thin as possible. If you spread another piece of wax paper over the mixture and press down with a wide spatula, it helps to make the fruit evenly thin. Be sure to remove this top sheet of wax paper before drying.
Place your tray in the oven (at night, we suggest), turned on to the lowest possible heat or with just the pilot light on. Leave overnight (6 to 8 hours). The wax paper should not melt. If the fruit is dry by breakfast, remove the fruit leathers from the oven (if not, cook a little longer) and roll up the wax paper (with the dried fruit) as if it were a jelly roll.
Cool, peel and eat. It will last several months this way, if your children don't discover it, that is.
For more of these fine recipes you can visit Joanne Larsen@ Ask the Dietitian www.dietitian.com/snacks.html
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