Ironically, the packaged lunch box staple, fruit roll-ups don’t contain much fruit. Instead they’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and artificial dyes. And even though the European government found that food dyes were dangerous enough to warrant a warning label, the US wasn’t phased and decided no warning was necessary. (source)
If you want to avoid the junk found in store bought fruit snacks, it’s easy to make your own. These are perfect to throw in the little ones lunch box, but you won’t feel guilty about having some yourself.
This recipe is super versatile, so you can use whatever fruit or berries are in season. Right now we’ve been enjoying fresh strawberries. You can even use frozen fruit for this, just be sure to cook it longer on the stovetop to remove the excess juice. You won’t believe how easy it to make homemade fruit roll ups!
Homemade Fruit Roll-ups
What you will need:
- Food dehydrator or oven
- 4 cups Fruit or berries
- 1-2 Tbsp Honey
- Parchment paper
- Coconut oil
- Strainer (optional)
- Baking sheet (if using the oven)
- Place the fruit in your blender and puree until smooth. Use the strainer to remove any seeds if desired.
- Pour the puree into your saucepan and gently simmer for 10 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce, but stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.
- Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and add 1 Tbsp honey. If you’re using tart fruit, like raspberries, you can add another tablespoon of honey to taste. Keep in mind though that the flavors and sweetness will intensify once dried. Also, too much sweetener can make the finished fruit leather sticky.
- Spread the fruit puree onto a lightly greased parchment lined baking sheet or dehydrator tray. Your dehydrator may have even come with liners to use. This should be about 1/4 inch thick, with a slightly thicker edge, since the edges will cook faster.
- If using an oven, bake at 175 degrees, or as low as your oven will allow. If the lowest setting on the oven is 200, you can leave the oven door open very slightly.
- If using a dehydrator, set the temperature to 140 degrees
- Cook the puree for several hours, or until the fruit leather is tacky, but no longer wet and gooey. Flip the fruit leather over and continue to dry until it’s no longer wet, but still pliable.
- Allow the fruit leather to cool completely before removing it from the parchment paper.
- Cut the fruit leather into strips. For easy storage, cut the parchment paper along with the fruit leather and roll them up.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a month at room temperature. These can also be refrigerated or frozen for longer storage. If you notice any moisture in the container, then the fruit wasn’t dry enough and will mold if not eaten or refrigerated immediately. (source)