Easy homemade fruit leather

Well I was going to wait until I did this again and took some better pictures, but life seems to be getting in the way, so I figured that I shouldn't let the lack of good photos get in the way of me sharing this with you.

My kids love those little fruit leathers from the store. I refuse to buy the cheap ones that are filled with artificial stuff, but the better quality ones get expensive - especially when they want to eat 2 or 3 at a time! So having a quick and easy way to make my own seemed like a great idea.

Yes, I know you can do this totally from scratch - puree your fruit, yada, yada. But that's not quick and easy, therefore, it doesn't get done. 

I think this method is a perfect compromise.

It's much less expensive than buying fruit leather, but it's almost no work.

All you need is a jar of applesauce, a cookie sheet, and some parchment paper. You can use whatever flavor of applesauce you like. 

All you do is line a cookie sheet with a layer of parchment paper, pour out the applesauce and spread it a little so it's even. Put it in your oven at its lowest setting, and walk away. Leave it in the oven until the top is no longer wet and sticky. My oven has a convection setting, and the lowest temp is 175. It took about 4 hours to dry. If you don't have a convection oven then you will probably need 6-8 hours or more, depending on the temp and how dry your air is and how thick it is. 

After it's done, take it out of the oven and let cool. Then use a clean pair of scissors to cut it up. You can cut in small rectangles like some of the store bought ones come in. I cut mine in longer strips which I then rolled up with the parchment - sort of like some of those 'fruit by the foot' things you can buy.

And that's it! My kids loved it!

These are great for snacks or for a little something extra to throw in a lunch box. I can't wait to try it with other flavors of applesauce.