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Gluten-Free Family Favorites: Fruit Strips

With just three ingredients, these homemade fruit strips are as simple as can be. They are chewy and fun, just like the store-bought varieties, but without all of the additional, hard-to-pronounce ingredients. This recipe is easily doubled.

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RECIPE: Fruit Strips

Makes five 2 x 8-inch (5 x 20 cm) strips

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about 300 grams) cut-up fruit (e.g., about 3 peaches, 2 mangos or ⅔ quart strawberries)
  • Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Agave nectar, honey or sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°F (75°C). Line a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan with parchment paper cut to fit just to the edges, or with a silicone baking mat.
  2. Puree the fruit and lemon juice in the food processor until smooth. Taste to see how sweet the puree is and, if desired, add a sweetener, bearing in mind that the flavor intensifies as the fruit dries. Using an offset spatula or similar utensil, spread the pureed fruit into a thin layer to cover the entire pan.
  3. Bake the fruit puree for five to six hours, rotating every hour or so to dry evenly. When the fruit is nearly completely set, and just slightly sticky, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. When the fruit is cool, remove from the pan and, if desired, transfer to a clean sheet of parchment paper that is the same size as the fruit. Using sharp kitchen scissors or a knife, trim the edges to make them completely straight. Cut the fruit and parchment paper together into 2-inch (5 cm) strips, then cut each strip into desired length. Roll up the strips, including the parchment, and store in an airtight container for up to one month.

Notes: If you happen to over-bake the fruit (it gets dry and cracks when you try to roll it, instead of leathery and pliable), simply spritz it with water or brush lightly with a wet pastry brush to partially rehydrate. Let sit for a few minutes before handling.

To double the recipe, increase the fruit from 2 to 4 cups and use an 11 x 16-inch pan with a lip.

Kids can ...

  • Collect ingredients from the pantry and refrigerator
  • Cut up fruit with an age-appropriate knife
  • Measure ingredients
  • Use citrus reamer to juice lemon over strainer to catch seeds
  • Dump ingredients into food processor
  • Press the food processor buttons
  • Roll up the cut strips

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To make this recipe ...

Refined-sugar-free

· If you decide to sweeten the fruit puree, use honey or agave nectar and not sugar

Vegan

· If you decide to sweeten the fruit puree, use agave nectar or sugar and not honey.

Recipe from "Gluten-Free Family Favorites: The 75 Go-To Recipes You Need to Feed Kids and Adults All Day Every Day," copyright © Kelli and Peter Bronski, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

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