Roll Up! Roll UP!
Fruit Leather Roll Ups
While most brightly coloured, commercially produced Fruit Roll Ups are actually little more than cleverly disguised confectionery, home made fruit leather can be a great lunchbox snack or on-the-go treat.
What's more, they don't have to only contain fruit. Making "fruit leather" from berries with the addition of beetroot or spinach plus a pinch of spice such as cinnamon, or ginger reduces the sugar load and adds beneficial nutrients to this delicious snack.
Basic Berry Leather Recipe:
3 cups of mixed berries or just one type of berry if you prefer (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey/rice syrup/maple syrup (to taste), optional.
Preheat oven to 70C (160F)
Line a 30cm x 20 cm baking tray with a baking sheet (or silicon mat or baking paper, just be sure to have the shiny side up)
Put all berries, lemon juice and optional extras into a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth and liquid.
Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and spread it out in a thin, smooth, even layer.
Put the tray in the oven and cook for 4-5 hours. The cooking time will vary between ovens and also depending on how thick your layer of puree is.
The leather is done when it is firm, dry and no longer sticky to touch.
Turn the fruit leather out onto a clean chopping board and, starting from a corner, slowly peel the baking sheet away from the leather.
Allow the leather to cool, then roll from the long edge, slice. You can roll the strips up with parchment paper to stop it from sticking.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Beetroot: replace 1 cup of berries with 1 cup of steamed, chopped beetroot. Add 1 cm grated fresh ginger or a pinch of dried ginger for an extra flavour. Lemon juice will help to lighten the earthy flavour of the beetroot and also help absorb iron from it.
Spinach : replace 2 cups of berries with kiwi fruit and 1 cup of baby spinach leaves and add a pinch of cinnamon.