Recipes

Easy Strawberry Fruit Leather

The other day, a sweet friend dropped by with a sweet treat for the family…An entire large tray of strawberries (and raspberries)!  Now, the kids could have eaten that whole tray of berries in one day (and it was a lot of berries), but the timing of these strawberries was perfect for a tea party with a strawberry food theme.  I gave the kids a few carton of berries and got to work using the rest for fun party food.

Strawberry Fruit Leather
I immediately set aside some fruit for the weekend’s festivities.

One of the things I needed for the tea party was strawberry juice.  The end result of strawberry juice is strawberry pulp.  Not wanting to waste any part of the food, we fed the strawberry greens to the chickens and used the pulp to make some super simple, easy to make strawberry fruit leather.

To make the strawberry juice, I just ran lots of berries through our juicer.  I didn’t bother to hull the strawberries prior to juicing, but I did remove the greens simply by plucking them off.

Strawberry Fruit Leather
Strawberries with greens removed.

After everything went through the juicer, I scraped the pulp out of the reservoir and dumped it into our food mill to help strain out the hulls and finish crushing the fruit.

From there, Pumpkin took over.  He lined one of our solar dehydrator trays with some aluminum foil (it was all we had on hand, but you could us waxed paper or the shiny side of freezer paper), and spread the pulp out on the tray in a nice, somewhat thick, even layer.

Then it was out to the solar dehydrator to put the tray in.  This was our first time using the dehydrator since last fall, but I’m glad I could finally pull it out again!  We were late in putting the pulp in the dehydrator for the day, but it could sit out overnight, so we decided to just let it be.

Strawberry Fruit Leather
Day 1 in the dehydrator. We didn’t put this outside until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon…definitely not enough time for it to dry completely!

It ended up being humid, so we didn’t actually take the leather out until the third day (less than two days time in the dehydrator).

I love it when making a snack for the kids is fast (well…not the drying, but making it) and easy!  The kids all loved it, but Doodles especially enjoyed the fruit leather.

Strawberry Fruit Leather
This is the fruit leather on the morning of day 3. Honestly, I probably could have took it out of the dehydrator at the end of the second day, but I forgot! You can tell this is completely dry by the nice dark color. Pumpkin suggested that we try drying out some more another time, even further, and then blend it to make a powder for strawberry milk…I think we just might try that!

You could certainly play around with this a little bit, maybe add a tiny bit of vanilla to your pulp or a tiny bit of honey…but I like keeping it really simple.  the kids like it without anything added, and that works well for me!

I’ll be sharing more about what I used the strawberry juice for in tomorrow’s post!

Love~Danielle

 

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