Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Culinary Experiment: Homemade Fruit By the Foot: Part 1

Penelope LOVES fruit snacks. I mean LOVES. She will ask for them over and over again...even if she just had some. I usually buy the Welch's ones because they're made with real fruit, but I don't really like all the added sugar they put in them. Plus, they're not exactly cheap.

So while perusing Pinterest the other day, I found a site with healthy snacks for kids, and one of those links was for homemade Fruit By The Foot, or fruit leather. What I particularly liked about this recipe was that it had no added sugar. It was just frozen fruit. It's a recipe that if she wanted to eat a whole bunch of them, I'd let her, because its just fruit. And its a fun way to eat fruit.

Here's the link to the site: Homemade Fruit By The Foot

So I tried this last night using a frozen berry mix from Kroger. It had blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Lemme tell ya, it smelled SO GOOD and I was really excited.

I cooked the berries for about 10 minutes. They broke down pretty quickly so it didn't take very long. I blended them until they were liquid and poured the juice onto my cookie sheet. I tilted the cookie sheet to get the juice to even it out and into the oven it went.

After 15 minutes at 250, I turned off the oven and put a note on the door not to open it. This was at 5pm. At midnight, I opened the oven to check it and it wasn't done. The sides were good, but the middle was still gooey. I decided to let it sit in the oven overnight and see if that helped. I opened it this morning and there was no change. We were able to peel the side pieces off and they had dried to the right consistency, but the middle was just goo.

I emailed Amy over at superhealthykids.com to see if she had any insight as to what went wrong. She gave me a couple of suggestions to try.

So I learned a couple of things on my first attempt at fruit leather:

1. It's a long process and it sucks if it fails - mainly because you have to wait even longer for good fruit leather.

2. If the leather is too thick, its not gonna set right. The recipe calls for 2 cups of fruit. I used the entire bag of fruit which has 3 cups in it. The thinner edges dried perfectly, but the center where it was thicker just didn't work.

3. Make sure that the bottom of the blender is screwed on nice and tight to prevent the juice from leaking onto your counter tops. :-)

Oops
I'm gonna give this a try again tonight. I'll post the results soon!

1 comment:

Dawn Ellen Miller said...

please do. I would like to be able to make fruit leather. When Ariel was little I'd buy her some for 50cents at Harry's Farmer's Market. Good old Harrry's.