Our family is really enjoying all of the seasonal produce available right now, especially the berries.
I always stock up on berries when I can find them from a fresh, local and organic source, and freeze and preserve them for the whole year.
Last week, a quart of delicious strawberries was hidden in the back of the fridge and by the time I found them, they had frozen slightly and were very ripe. They weren’t great for eating plain anymore, but were still perfectly good, so they became Strawberry Vinaigrette dressing and my strawberry fruit leather with (optional) hidden beets.
What is Fruit Leather?
Fruit leather is a naturally sweet snack made by pureeing and dehydrating fresh fruit. They are similar to a Fruit Roll-up, but without the artificial everything (plus, they taste better!).
These are a kid favorite at our house, and a perfect treat for summer because they can be packed for a snack without needing refrigeration for a few hours. They can be made with only fruit, but I like sneaking in the beets for a little bit firmer of a texture and some extra nutrients.
The beets also intensify the bright red color and beets have properties that make them great for detoxification and fighting inflammation.
You can make this easy and natural snack in an oven or food dehydrator in just a few hours. The recipe is so simple that kids of any age can help make (and enjoy) this fruit leather.
Strawberry Fruit Leather Recipe (with Beets)
Yield 16 +
Simple and nutrient-dense natural fruit leather snacks made with fresh strawberries, optional honey and sneaky extra nutrients from beets.
- 2 medium beets, peeled and steamed until soft (optional, sub 1/2 cup extra strawberries if you don't use)
- 4 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries (defrost if using frozen)
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (optional) or 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon, lime or orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (or use a dehydrator)
- Puree the cooked beets (cooled), strawberries, honey/maple syrup/dates, and citrus juice in a blender until completely smooth. If using frozen defrosted berries, the liquid will be thinner. If using fresh berries, you may have to add a couple teaspoons of water to get the mixture smooth enough to spread. The mixture should be pourable but not thin enough to run off the baking sheet.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats (safe at low temperatures).
- Pour/spread the mixture evenly onto the two lined baking sheets.
- Place in oven and cook until firm and no longer sticky to the touch (3-4 hours in most ovens).
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Cut into strips and roll up with parchment paper. Store in an air-tight container until ready to eat.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container for up to a week (fridge) or two months (freezer).
What snacks do you enjoy making with your kids?