School is almost out. I can hardly believe it. Seems like I was just buying school supplies and signing all the ‘back to school’ forms. The boys are excited, to be honest, I think they’ve been checked out since last week. Their poor (wonderful!) teachers.
This time of year I start making lists and brainstorming. Trying to think of all the things I can do with them to keep them busy and happy…trying my best to avoid those little words that make me cringe…”Mommm, I’m bored.”
Not only am I making lists of what we’ll do, but what we’ll eat. Like the garden, grass and everything else, my boys grow in the summertime and growing boys mean HUNGRY boys. It seems every time I walk into the kitchen our pantry door is open and someone is rummaging around for something to eat. To manage this I try to keep plenty of healthy, filling snacks on hand, but sometimes they get tired of the old standbys and I have to shake things up a bit.
About a month ago I came across a few blog posts about making your own fruit rollups. My kids aren’t huge fans of the box variety, complaining they taste too sweet (weird, I know). I decided to give the homemade version a try. It takes some planning ahead as the baking/dehydrating takes a few hours. I started mine after supper one evening when the kitchen was “closed” and I knew I’d be around. I used strawberries, but any fruit would work. I even had someone tell me they used applesauce. I haven’t tried it yet, but with a little cinnamon mixed in I can imagine it would be pretty good.
Homemade Fruit Leather
various web sources, mostly ‘the little red house’
*makes about a pan and a half of fruit leather
5 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. In a medium saucepan, on low heat, cook the strawberries until they are soft and juices are released. Add honey and stir until combined. Pour berries into food processor and puree. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pour berry mixture onto parchment lined pan.
Put in oven and bake for 4-6 hours, until leather peels away easily from the parchment. Using scissors cut into rectangles and roll them up, parchment and all.
A few things I’ve learned making these…
Don’t pour too thin of a layer or you’ll have fruit crisps instead of fruit leather.
Start checking it after 4 hours. If you leave it in too long again…fruit crisps.
Today, Henry and I are spending a little time with our favorite four year old. Our plans include sidewalk chalk, a walk or two and popsicles.
Hope you have a great Tuesday!