Have you ever made your own fruit snacks?
Oh, you have? Well, um…
Well, I never have.
Up until yesterday, that is!
This is seriously the easiest thing I might have ever successfully pulled off in that great, scary, unknown bailiwick (a.k.a. the kitchen). Click on “Read More” to read how shockingly simple but greatly rewarding and yummy this little task turned out to be.
When I was a kid, fruit rolls were the BOMB! Portable and sweet, what could be better? We didn’t get them all the time, but when we did they didn’t last long. My parental units usually made us eat the ‘health food’ versions of them, but they were still awesome!
Not having a food dehydrator, I don’t really wander into this culinary corner. If I have a hankering for fruit leather – which only really occurred when I was pregnant – I do what is easy: I buy it at Trader Joe’s.
I recently came across this post from JustATaste.com and Kelly Senyei opened my eyes to just how easy this is!
Stay with me here, it’s kind of tricky:
Step 1: puree fruit & slather it onto a baking sheet (about 1/8 of an inch thick)
Step 2: bake it at 175 degrees (F) for about 3.5 hours
Step 3: there is no step 3, steps 1 and 2 just looked lonely.
Now, not having 3 large mangoes on hand as called for in her recipe (I mean, who does?), I improvised. I used 1/2 of an organic mango and 5 large organic strawberries.
Tangent: Why do all the strawberries grow 5 times their normal size only in the month of February? Why can’t I get these behemoth organic suckers the rest of the year? Are they just overflowing with love during this month and no other? Haha get it?
I crack myself up sometimes!
Back to the yumminess…
Elise was able to be in kitchen while I did this and even helped wash the strawberries with the vegetable scrubber. She needed some hugs when I stuck all of it in the food processor… Okay, being honest here, I actually first incorrectly stuck it in the food chopper.
Yep, I am REALLY not good in the kitchen. I thought, “they do the same thing, right?”
Um, just in case you didn’t know, they do not do the same thing.
So after I saw the error of my ways and actually pureed the fruit instead of just hacking away at it, it became a nice little fruit sludge that was easily dumped onto a baking sheet.
Elise liked trying to use the offset spatula to move the fruit around and yes, some of the fruit sludge made its escape up the sides of the baking sheet, but it was great fun.
I did use a Silpat mat because my newest and bestest friend Kelly from JustATaste.com did.
Having only used a small amount of fruit, this yielded only 6 toddler-sized rolls, but they were well-received by both the 2 year old foodie and I.
And no, I didn’t horde them away from Jeff. He’s not a fan of strawberries ‘cuz strawberry pickin’ was his first job to earn his own money.
That is most definitely not a job for me – I’d get sacked for eating my weight (and then some) in strawberries.
I think I messed up a bit and either cooked them too long or made them too thin because I didn’t need wax paper to keep them from sticking to themselves. I rolled those suckers up and they unrolled just fine. Maybe it’s because I used mostly strawberries instead of mangoes, but I am going to be trying more fruit soon.
Having a habit of sneaking greens (spinach, kale, anything I can find) into everything I give to Elise, I will be experimenting quite a bit with this easy snack idea.
Use the comments section to let me know of other great and easy snack ideas for toddlers. Or, just let us know you stopped by, we love hearing from you!