When I was a kid, my mom used to buy us fruit leather from the produce section of the grocery store. It was healthy, and fun, and I’m sure she felt good about buying it for us.
Then Fruit Roll-ups came out. Those were not so healthy. They were followed by a torrent of all things fruit snacky, and I can’t go through the aisle now without pleas for something with gushing insides, crazy lengths, or tattoos.
Whenever I buy them, I feel like I’m just handing over candy disguised as “part of a balanced meal.” Usually I try to convince them to opt for the non-sugar health food store variety. Our favorites are the Clif Twisted Fruit (those are amazing), but they are a tad expensive—between 50 cents and a dollar each.
I thought it was time to return to the roots of fruit leather, and make my own. Mangoes are looking good lately, and I love the lime and mango flavor together, so that’s what I created. The secret to my recipe is 100% fruit juice concentrate. It makes the snacks sweet without adding refined sugar. You can get creative and use any fruit you want. I also like to make sure to squeeze in either fresh lemon or lime juice to make it more tart—my kids love anything sour.
Oh, and my kids loved these especially today. They said they looked like diplomas for their last day of school.
Mango Lime Fruit Leather
2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and cut in chunks
zest and juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup 100% white grape juice concentrate
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper in a baking sheet. Place all ingredients in a food processor or a good blender. Pulse until smooth.
2. Spread mixture over parchment paper and bake for 1-3 hours, or until fruit leather is dry (cooking times will vary, depending on how thick you spread the mixture, and how much water is in the fruit). Allow to cool completely.
3. Cut into even portions with clean kitchen scissors. Roll up and tie with ribbon.