Did you know that about 25% of the fresh fruit we purchase is typically wasted? If you have some extra fruit that’s close to its expiration date (and you’re hanging around the house for a bunch of hours), skip the trash and transform would-be waste into a two-ingredient snack that’s crazy fun and tasty. This recipe is kid-friendly (they can help make it … and devour it) as well as environmentally friendly (no spoiled fruit to toss). It’s the perfect rainy-day snacktivity because it takes a long time to dehydrate in the oven (but I promise the prep is a total breeze). The finished product is reminiscent of those packaged rolled fruit snacks you enjoyed as a kid — and you can feel good about indulging in this version because it’s packed with only nutrient-rich fruit and a dash of honey. Who’s ready to roll?
Swap options: You can use frozen fruit, but make sure it’s completely defrosted. For larger fruit, like mango, whole strawberries, etc. the measurements should be made with smaller cut-up pieces. Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are already small enough.
Preheat oven to 150 F to 175 F (must be under 200 F). Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or a very flat piece of parchment paper. If you plan to roll up your fruit leather when it’s done, use parchment paper as noted in the directions below.
Using a blender or food processor, puree the fruit and honey until completely smooth. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out to form a thin rectangle using a spatula. Try to make it as even as possible; it can be a bit thicker on the edges since they’ll dry out first. You may want to tap it on the counter a few times to even it out.
Place in the oven for 6 to 8 hours, rotating the pan every hour or so. Remove from oven, when the center is no longer wet, sticky or tacky. It takes a long time to get there! Let it cool completely, then slice it into fruit leather strips using a knife or pizza cutter. This will keep in a sealed container for up to a week.
To create fruit leather roll-ups: Use a pair of scissors to cut the parchment paper and fruit leather (together at the same time) into 8 long strips. Then roll each of them up. Transfer the entire fruit leather rectangle onto a large fitted piece of parchment paper or wax paper, cut (the fruit leather and paper) into strips and roll each of them up. The parchment paper will prevent the fruit leather from sticking to itself as you unravel and enjoy.