FitFitBanner Images

Audio Archive Audio Archive

Take that fruit and roll it!

August 26th, 2011 - By Therese Madden

Share on Tumblr

That’s what Fair Food Farmstand employee Yvonne Jones did when apricots came into season. She challenged herself to learn to love this fruit that she had never really cared for. Now a self-proclaimed “fruit leather enthusiast,” Jones has plans to start a business making and selling these healthy, portable snacks; while preserving the season’s bounty. We visit her at her home to see how it’s done.


-Grape Leather »
-Peach or Nectarine Leather »

Yvonne Jones

‘Tis the season for ripe fruit. So, why not make some fruit leathers? Not familiar? Fruit leather’s are basically the homemade, more natural version of the popular lunch room snack, Fruit Roll Ups. I did buy a box of this brand name, it’s strawberry flavored, but in the list of ingredients there are no strawberries. There was some pear concentrate and plenty of corn syrup. Homemade fruit leathers on the other hand? You have control of the ingredients. “I’m Yvonne Jones and I am a relatively new fruit leather enthusiast.”

Yvonne Jones is in her small studio apartment beginning a new batch of fruit leathers. All summer she’s been taking advantage of whatever’s in season; strawberry, apricots, today it’s nectarines. And judging from the smell, they are super ripe. Yvonne cuts the fruit into pieces, keeping the skin on, “fruit leathers are really good for people who buy fruit and forget it, which is completely foreign to me.” Yvonne doesn’t have a problem eating her fruit before it goes bad, she does however have another reason for wanting healthy portable snacks. “I’m a little bit border line hypoglycemic, like I’m somebody who my sugar will dip and it’s not good, and carrying some kind of emergency snack food is an issue for me.” Pre-packaged snacks do help in a pinch, but she’d rather have something more natural, and fruit doesn’t always travel well.

Plus, as with anything homemade, you can experiment with flavors. Yvonne adds honey and lime to the bowl of nectarines, “I’m going to squeeze one of these beautiful limes all over the nectarines.” She sets the mixture aside for 10 minutes to marinate and then purées the ingredients with a hand held immersion blender. Next she pours the orange and red flecked purée onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, turns the oven to 175° and lets it cook for between 4 to 6 hours. “So, if this were cooking show I would take this and put in the oven and pull out a perfect nectarine honey lime fruit leather.” “And then I would taste it and say hmmm delicious.” “And then you would say something like it’s just a few ingredients that’s crazy, and I would say, yep! It’s just that easy Therese…”

1 Response to Take that fruit and roll it!

Photo by Flicker user Chiot's Run / CC BY-NC 2.0

Move Over, Kale Chips! Kale Buds Are Here

By Lari Robling - April 18th, 2012

High Tunnel farming caught my eye because its extended growing season adds to the amount of local produce we get. While farm manager Aviva Asher was tidying up the winter crop to make way for spring, I discovered another benefit of local growing: use what you’ve got.

More wisdom »

December 2014
« Jun    

Got a question for Fit? Want to submit your own "fit and fresh" recipe? Have a good story idea for us?

Contact us at

Get Healthy Philly is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a federal effort to: prevent and delay chronic disease, reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide positive sustainable health change in our communities.

Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program that works to reduce and prevent obesity and related chronic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) by increasing access to healthy foods that people can afford.

Your body needs help when it's time to quit. SmokeFree Philly is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that offers support and tools to help smokers quit. The goal of SmokeFree Philly is to: help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting to use tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.

Philly Food Bucks!
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help ACCESS/food stamp customers save money on fruits and vegetables. Philly Food Bucks can be redeemed for $2 worth of fruits and vegetables for every $5 spent in ACCESS/food stamps at a participating farmers' market. Learn more about Philly Food Bucks at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's recently expanded web site Food Fit Now also accepted at the West Oak Lane Weaver's Way Food Coop.