5 Ingredients: Fruit Leather

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, July 26, 2010
Dana's Homemade Fruit Leather
Dana's Homemade Fruit Leather

We’re celebrating food preserving this week on Healthy Eats. Today: Make homemade fruit leather! Check the labels on many of those packaged fruit leathers and you’ll find upwards of 15 ingredients including corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fats) preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors. Our homemade version has only three ingredients (okay, four if you count water), and fresh, satisfying flavor.

Strawberry Fruit Leather
Makes: 16 pieces

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh strawberries, halved
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Fruit Leather Ingredients: Strawberries, Sugar and Honey
Fruit Leather Ingredients: Strawberries, Sugar and Honey

Strawberries
We chose strawberries because the season is over so quickly. Fruit leather will stay fresh in an air-tight container for up to 4 weeks, so you can hold on to that strawberry goodness a little bit longer. We use organic or local strawberries, because they’re on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce to buy organic. Instead of strawberries, you can follow the same method to make leather using peaches, apricots, mango, figs, cherries, or another type of berry.

Sugar
Sugar brings out the sweetness of the fruit and gives the leather that signature chew. This recipe uses a minimal amount — 2 tablespoons per batch.

Honey
Honey adds a little more natural sweetness, a hint of flavor, and a silky texture. If you have access to local honey, take advantage of the unique flavor found where you live. Read more about the wonders of honey.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet, set aside.

Place strawberries and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes until berries being to soften. Puree berries using an immersion blender or food processor. Return puree to saucepan, stir in sugar and honey. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until thick and syrupy. Pour the hot fruit mixture on to prepared pan and spread out into an even layer. Place in the oven to dry for 3 hours. Turn off the oven and allow to sit overnight to dry completely. Cut into 1-inch strips with a pizza cutter and peel away from paper or Silpat sheet. Roll up strips and store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

Nutrition Info (per serving)
Calories: 28 calories
Total Fat: 0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 7 grams
Protein: 0 grams
Sodium: 0 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (45)

  1. kamilla Kirch says:

    sounds like fun to do and delicious to taste

  2. Karen Kralovic says:

    hmm..I might actually try that! Most recipes call for lower temps than 170 – an impossibility with newer digital ovens.

  3. joaniek says:

    This is delicious!!!! My whole family just loved it!!!!! It beats the 3 for 1$ at Trader Joe's.

    • Samara says:

      was it still sticky in the middle? Mine has been in for over 8 hours and the middle is still sticky. I tried turning the oven up 100 degrees and then I shut it off and left it in there. I hope it works, because I was really looking forward to it.

  4. Melissa says:

    Tastes good but I ruined it by using wax paper. I cant get it off the wax paper. Bummer. Better luck next time.

    • danawhite says:

      Hey Melissa – I've made this recipe many times and a silicone baking sheet seems to work best. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Dawn says:

    happy to see this recipe, but why is the sugar necessary/why can't it be all honey or agave syrup?

    • Dawn says:

      also, wondering if they can be frozen?

    • Fruit Forager says:

      You can use all honey, or any type of sweetener you choose (Splenda, fruit juice, corn syrup, honey). Sugar makes the fruit roll just a little bit brittle so the more sugar, the more brittle it will be. Using all honey should only change the flavor and texture a tad.

  6. wow, this looks so easy! this is definitely on my to do list for 2011.

  7. Karen says:

    We made these as kids for years with our grandparents but used karo syrup instead of sugar and honey – I know, it's worse, but they were freezable and we layed them outside to dry overnight on a cooking sheet. They are still my all-time favourite snack year round.

  8. Michelle says:

    What other seasonal fruit could be used? Peaches, apricots, etc?

  9. Deborah says:

    I've got peaches, so will be trying those too.

  10. Kirsten says:

    my mom uses spices and plums she sends some for Christmas every year

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