It’s that time of year again. Time to break out those nicely sharpened pencils, fresh unbroken crayons, clean lunch boxes and brand-spankin’ new book bags. It’s back to school time! Oh, the excitement of it all! When I ran into Staples the other day, I saw the hustle and bustle of back to school shopping in action. There were kids running around the store with lists in their hands throwing all kinds of things in their carts. I’m not sure where you all live but around my area kids are heading back to school within the next two weeks. It’s back to learning, schedules, carpooling, homework and packing lunches. I know when my boys were little and I packed them lunch I always tried to add something fun. I usually packed Casey something chocolate. Sean, my older son doesn’t like chocolate, as crazy as that sounds, so I always packed him something fruity. Fruit leather or fruit roll-ups were always a favorite.
Surprisingly, fruit leather is incredibly easy to make. It does take a few hours to cook, but I guarantee your kiddos will love you for it! You only need a few ingredients and some parchment paper. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar, but you can start off with less, and then test for sweetness. If you think it needs more, then add up to 1/2 cup. Just puree fresh strawberries with sugar and some lemon juice in a blender, then spread the mixture onto two baking sheets lined with parchment and place in the oven for a few hours. After it’s done cooking I like to leave mine out to dry for a few more hours before I slice it up and wrap it with parchment.
Show your kids how special they are by adding this yummy treat to their lunch boxes this year. They are going to love them, just like my good friend Mason⇓, who gave them the thumbs up as my taste tester! I guarantee they’ll be the hit of the lunch table!
Recipe adapted from Baked by Rachel.
- 4 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees,
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Puree strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
- Divide mixture between the two prepared baking sheets and spread with an offset spatula if you have one or a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 3-3 1/2 hours or until the mixture is no longer sticky. (mine took 3 1/2 hours) Rotate the trays and turn 180 degrees after 1 1/2 hours.
- I let mine dry for a few hours before I sliced into strips and wrapped with parchment.
- Store the fruit roll-ups in an airtight container.