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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pineapple, Banana and Coconut Fruit Roll-Ups

Have you ever opened your freezer door or looked into your pantry and wondered how on earth it got so jam packed with food? Good intentioned ingredients for good intentioned recipes that never got made? Your local grocery store had a great sale on an item and you stocked up? Whatever the reason may be, I found myself in this exact predicament. I couldn't even fit a toothpick into my freezer if I had wanted to. 
Normally I make a grocery list every weekend for an entire weeks worth of meals, lunches, snacks, etc. and then go shopping Monday morning. This time I scoured my freezer and pantry to take inventory of what I had and instead made a list of just a few ingredients that I needed to complete a dish using what I already had. Some of our meals this week include, enchiladas, chicken quinoa fried rice, seaweed spring rolls and BBQ'd salmon with a mango salsa. Now that my freezer and pantry cabinets are definitely starting to thin out I can actually see inside them and noticed this morning that I had two large cans of crushed pineapple sitting on a shelf of which I cannot tell you for what reason I had ever bought them for? No matter, because I came up with what I think is an ingenious way to use them. I decided to make pineapple, banana and coconut dried fruit leather . 
Fruit leather has been on mind the last couple of days because amongst the array of things in my freezer were two bags of frozen mixed berries. So to finally put them to good use after almost two years I blended them up and made some fruit leather for my son. He absolutely looooves them and has been asking for roll-ups all week. Best part is I don't have to feel guilty about letting him have what he thinks is a sweet because all it is is blended frozen berries with a few tablespoons of honey. 
So since my mind was already focused on fruit leather it was a no brainer when I saw the cans of pineapple. I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them. And I knew that my son would love me forever for making these pineapple, banana, coconut fruit roll-ups!! Up until this point I thought I had tried about every combo of fruit roll-ups and I thought my favorite was any type of berry fruit leather. My world changed when I tried my first bite of this pineapple, banana, coconut fruit roll-up. I had never tasted anything like it! Good is not even the right word to describe it because it was almost magical!! In fact I stood over my cutting board and devoured what seemed like an entire pan. It's probably safe to say that I will never ever make another flavor of fruit leather again except this one!

Pineapple, Banana, Coconut Fruit Roll-Ups

2 20-ounce cans crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice
1 ripe banana
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 cup coconut flakes

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. In a blender add both cans of crushed pineapple, banana and honey. Blend until smooth and incorporated.
Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Don't pour too much onto your pan. You want a thin layer about 1/8 inch thick, with the outside edges a bit thicker than the middle since the edges will dry faster. I baked two pans at a time and was able to make three large size pans of fruit leather with this recipe. 
Place your pan(s) in the oven and bake for between 6-8 hours. About 3/4 of the way, take out your pan and sprinkle the pineapple mixture with coconut flakes. At this point the fruit leather should not be completely set, it should still be somewhat wet. Gently pat down the coconut to make sure it has set into the pineapple puree. 
Place back into the oven for the remainder of the time. Keep an eye on your fruit leather as the time starts to wind down. Once the middle of the leather is barely tacky and does not come off onto your hand when you touch it, it is time to take it out of the oven and let it rest until completely cooled. Once cooled you can remove the leather from the pan and cut it into strips and roll them up to store! But I promise...they wont last long!!

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