Homemade Natural Strawberry Fruit Leather


A couple weeks ago I tried to put a newly bought pound of butter in the freezer only to realize I had absolutely NO ROOM.  We pride ourselves on keeping waste to a minimum, freezing summer produce, making batches of homemade bone broth, soups & sauces to bag & freeze for winter months.  But it had come to the point where we had too much.  So the last two weeks, I've been trying to use a ton of the food we had hoarded in there.  I've had to get creative with a few things, especially with the 3 pounds of frozen strawberries we had in there.  We don't eat jam, so that was out of the picture & I wasn't feeling a dessert dish.  Hence, the idea of fruit leather.

There are many recipes for fruit leather out there, but most of the ones I saw required sugar.  Wanting to make something that stayed healthy, I came up with this super simple, 3 ingredient way to make it.  Be warned: it won't last long in your house! Our first batch didn't even survive the afternoon, & we're already on the fourth batch...but at least we're getting our daily fruit intake so I'm not complaining.

A few notes:
  • I use raw honey in my recipe which can be found at your local farmer's market or sometimes in the produce section of the grocery store.  Raw honey IS different than the typical jars that line your market shelves, & has health benefits that pasteurized/filtered honey doesn't.  You don't HAVE to use raw honey, but if you would like to add another healthy boost to your fruit leather, I do suggest picking up some (plus you'll be supporting your local farmers by purchasing raw). 
  • You can absolutely use fresh strawberries or frozen ones that have been thawed.  Both are delicious & I frequently use both.

Recipe is as follows:

Tools:
  • Food processor or blender
  • 2 Jelly roll pans
  • Parchment paper
Ingredients:
  1. 4 cups hulled strawberries, fresh or thawed (about 2 pounds)
  2. 1/4 cup raw honey
  3. 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange or plain ol' OJ
  • Set oven temperature to 170 F. Line both pans with parchment paper.
  • Simply combine everything into a blender or food processor & purée. Strain seeds if preferred, although I like the texture they give.
  • Spread purée evenly over the two pans while smoothing with a spatula.  Be sure the edges are of even thickness as the middle otherwise you'll risk burning them.
  • Pop them into the oven for 3 hours, rotating them halfway through.
That's it! 3 ingredients, low & slow for 3 hours. Let me know how you like this recipe! It's definitely a new favorite of ours & I can't wait to try new flavor combinations.


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