Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bento Tips: Quick & Easy Fruit Leather Decorations!

Part of the love for bento is the use of decorative foods to give whimsy to the whole lunch experience. While my knowledge of turning food into art is a work in progress, I have one fall back technique that I absolutely adore. All you need is a few cookie cutters, I use mini cookie cutters for this technique, and a piece of fruit leather. This will also work with some vegetables, cheese, lunch meat, or any food that you think would easily be cut by a cookie cutter.

I recently purchased a tin of small alphabet cookie cutters. The letters allow me to spell out things and personalize lunch in a special way. I also own mini farm animals, basic shapes, and seasonal mini cookie cutters. To be quite honest I think the heart may have shown up from the playdough toys, so be creative! Use what's on hand. 

I also use a wooden spoon and a bamboo skewer to create the shapes. You'll find pressing through fruit leather needs a bit of pressure, if you just simply lay the spoon down and then press evenly on the cutter, it will be a much easier task. Our fruit leather of choice is the Stretch Island Fruit Co, but occasionally we are sent some from Trader Joe's which the girls love as well. 

I try to use the cookie cutters in a way that maximizes as much fruit leather as possible. I never throw away the remaining fruit leather strip with the cut outs, I hand it off to my daughter to enjoy during her car ride to school. 

A tip from experience, the fruit leather by nature is rather sticky. I always have a bamboo skewer out to use to help me release the fruit from the cookie cutter. 

Sometimes I place the fruit leather shapes on top of a sandwich, you could even use the fruit leather to make faces! Or other times I just use it as a decoration in another compartment of the bento, maybe on a piece of fruit or rice. 

I never consider the fruit leather as part of the lunch to replace fresh fruit. The fruit leather is a decorative bonus, which I am assuming always gets nibbled up first! A cute, quick way to add a little pizzaz to your bento lunch. 


1 comment:

  1. I love the ideas. I have been in need of inspiration. I have fallen into the sandwich rut rather fast this year.

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