Tuesday, March 9, 2010

fruit leather fun!

The fruit leather I use most often is Stretch Island Fruit Leather. I really like the wide variety of flavors they offer.
Here I have autumn apple, orchard cherry, abundant apricot, mango sunrise, summer strawberry, and ripened raspberry. I used to also buy grape until my son told me one day "this tastes just like raisins". That was a big "Duh!" moment for me and I stopped buying grape since then. Don't let that stop you, but I figure we already have raisins and there's no need to repeat that flavor! :)

I sometimes will buy the Trader Joe's fruit leather too. I think all their flavors are apple blends though, like apple-strawberry, apple-raspberry and I think one that's apple- mixed berry blend.
I only have one of these on hand at the moment -

I most often will cut these large strips into smaller pieces. I like to use mini sized cookie cutters to make cute shapes, but if I'm in a rush I'll just use a knife or kitchen shears to cut into smaller pieces. My daughter can manage to eat a full piece of fruit leather straight from the package (I keep one in my purse and another in the diaper bag for emergency snack purposes), but she makes a big drooly sticky mess of herself with it which I prefer to avoid. :)

To cut the fruit leather into cute shapes is easy - just place the mini cutter on top of the fruit leather piece and press firmly. The pressing firmly part can be painful to fingers so I will usually fold a clean dishtowel over the top of the cutter to push on. Metal cookie cutters work best.




The positive part of the cut-out image is what you will most often see in my bento pictures.

The negative part of the image I keep in a sealed snack-sized zip-top baggie to keep for later. I've tried using just a sealed container, like a small Lock & Lock box or Tupperware, but I was finding the fruit leather would dry out pretty quickly (like in just a day or two!), but in a zip-loc type bag with all the air pushed out they keep for a long time. Sometimes I'll grab my snack bag of these pieces when I'm headed out for some quick errands to keep her occupied and content at the grocery store or I'll add these pieces to her home snacks and meals.

Nothing goes to waste! :)

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The Planet Pink said... [Reply to comment]

great idea about the leftovers! I also hate to give an entire strip to my 2 year old. She'd eat it all, but make a huge mess in the process.

Jenn @ BentoForKidlet said... [Reply to comment]

I love the idea of fruit leather shapes! Very nice :D

Alie said... [Reply to comment]

I buy those Stretch Island fruit leather strips too. I get a really good deal on them at Costco (though of course you'd end up with the grape flavor then..) I find them quite hard to cut with cookie cutters. You must be strong! I often put a rolling pin on top of the cutter to put enough pressure on it to cut it without cutting up my fingers. :)

I always have a few in my purse too.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I haven't seen them at Costco! I'll definitely be taking a closer look next time I go. I don't have too much trouble finding them locally at our grocery stores, but they are often out of some flavors.

Alie said... [Reply to comment]

Oh do check COSTCO! You have to buy a variety pack and it comes to something like $0.22 each which is MUCH cheaper than my grocery store.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, that's awesome. I think they are .59 cents each here, sometimes on sale for .49 cents.

Crossing my fingers my Costco has them! :)

Shannon said... [Reply to comment]

Our Costco doesn't have them, but I noticed Target has an Archer Farms organic version. They are $2.99 for a box of 10. My kids love them :)

mrs. fuzz said... [Reply to comment]

We get ours at Costco too. Hopefully you can find them there! That's a great idea about the leftover scraps. I have pondered that, not really sure what to do with them other than eat them. :)

Lisa said... [Reply to comment]

You'll find them in the candy/snack section at Costco. Near the packages nuts, usually.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Unfortunately, I don't think my Costco has them afterall. I searched high and low in the candy aisle, which is also the granola bar aisle...and then the nut aisle. And then the dried fruit aisle and still nothing. I'll double check asking customer service next time I go in (ran out of time this trip, had to pick up daughter from preschool), but it doesn't look promising. I did pick up a box of the organic Archer Farms ones from Target to try out.

Incidentally, I just realized that the Island Fruit Leather starts off with apple puree in all of their flavors too. So they are apple blends also, just like Trader Joe's. It's just Trader Joe's is more open and labels it as such right there in the open. LOL :)

I'm happy that my oldest son has decided he really likes the strawberry and cherry flavors. It takes him a long time to warm up to new foods, and I'm glad he's finally given these his seal of approval.

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