Having a toddler at home in itself consumes a lot of you (both energy and time) and if you have a picky eater like mine, then God bless you! I have memories of my childhood where my mom used to run after me with a glass of milk all around the house and now when I have to do the same with my little monster, I know what a pain it can be! At this age the last thing they want to do is sit at a dining table and waste their time having a hearty meal when they can have so much fun running all over during that time!
A lot of my friends both from the blog world and my real world, who are in my shoes right now, have asked me to share some foolproof recipes which I use for my little one. So today I thought I'll come to you with a quick post where I wanted to share an easy recipe of something which I always stuff my refrigerator with and that is a Fruit Leather. I'm almost obsessed with fruit leathers now and make them out of all kinds of fruit from apples to pear, to berries! You just roll it up and hand it over to your toddler and they are good to go and best part is that they are so easy to make. So obviously its both my and my little monster's favorite.
You can make fruit leather with any kind of fruit. Nectarines, apples, pears, all kind of berries whatever you want. I had tons of apples at home so I used that. So here's what you will need:
Sugar (optional) - Since I don't want to give the little one unnecessary sugar, I don't add any extra sugar into my fruit leather but you sure can add if you want.
If you are using fruits like apples or pears, peel and core them and dice into smaller chunks. If using berries clean them and cut into small chunks.
Place it in a big pot and add water. To every 4 cups of fruit add 1/2 a cup of water or if the fruit is really juicy you can even try adding a little less or no water.
Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add sugar and lemon juice. To every 4 cups of fruit add 1- 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of lemon juice.
Let it simmer until the fruits are cooked. Now comes out every mom's best friend.... a hand blender! Blend the fruits into a smooth puree. Almost like baby food.
For the last time, if you want to taste and add some more sugar or lemon or even some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg you can do that now.
I skip this part to give a texture to my fruit leather but if you want you can strain the liquid through a strainer to get rid of any seeds.
Now line a cookie sheet with oven proof plastic wrap. Transfer the mixture into the sheet. Spread it all over the sheet and the mixture should be about 1/4 inch thick. Try to keep the plastic wrap from falling over the liquid on the sides and covering it because then that part would not dry.
Preheat the oven to the minimum temperature that your oven can go into. Mine goes somewhere between 145-160 deg. F
Place the fruit puree into the oven for 8-10 hours. I put it inside the oven before going to bed and when I'm up my fruit leather is usually ready (you can even use a dehydrator if you don't or can't use an oven).
To test if its ready, touch it with a finger and if its not sticking to your finger and you can peel the leather off the plastic that's when you know you can take it out.
Let it cool and then roll it up along with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. You can even cut it into smaller pieces and then roll and store but I'm just too lazy to do that!
Hope your little one enjoys eating fruits after this!
This recipe goes to the fall fest event going on at Margaret's blog.
P.S:- Some of my lovely readers were not sure if using a plastic wrap would be safe since plastic might have BPA in it. I did a little research and it was confirmed my one of the blog readers that Glad Clingwraps which I recommended in my comments below is safe to use since they are BPA free.