Chewy and Cheap: Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather
For a quick and nonperishable snack| fruit leathers are perfect for keeping in your gym bag or purse. But costing almost a dollar each| these snacks can quickly add up in price. With a food processor| an oven| and a lazy afternoon| it’s easy to whip up a batch of fresh-tasting fruit leathers for a fraction of the cost. And bonus u2014 these homemade fruit leathers contain 15 calories instead of the 45 in most store-bought brands.
| Prep the Pan
Preheat your oven to 150u00b0F (or as low as your oven will go). Line an 11-by-17 cookie sheet with a Silpat baking mat. If you don’t have one| use parchment paper| although a Silpat will offer better results.
| Prep the Fruit
Wash| dry| and cut up four cups of strawberries (or other in-season fruit of your choice| such as peaches| bananas| or raspberries; frozen fruit works| too). Place in a food processor or blender.
Puree the fruit until completely smooth| about 30 seconds.
| Pour and Bake
Slowly pour the pureed fruit onto the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it out evenly. Carefully slide the pan into the oven| and bake for eight hours (or six to seven hours if your oven is at a slightly higher temperature).
| Cut and Store
Remove the pan once the fruit is set and still slightly tacky. Be careful not to overcook| as you’ll end up with fruit chips instead of fruit leather. Once the fruit has cooled to room temperature| slowly peel it off the mat or parchment paper. Lay it on a cutting board| and use a knife to cut out 12 portions; store in an airtight container.
Depending on the cost of the strawberries| each fruit leather averages around 40 cents to make.