Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

My all-time favorite snack as a child was fruit roll-ups. Over the years, this snack has proven itself to be a lunch box favorite among kids of all ages.

When purchasing fruit roll ups from commercial grocery stores, I am always concerned with the unnecessary additions of  ingredients such as dyes and corn syrup. Not to mention the price tag is another issue I have. Fruit rolls should only contain fruit puree, water and perhaps some sweetener (if that). Partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, corn syrup and artificial flavorings should not be present.

What if I told you that you make fruit roll-ups easily and frugally? All you need to make your favorite fruit roll ups is fruit, a blender and a a heat source such as a dehydrator, oven or even the sun.

Alternatively, for an off-grid solution to making dehydrated fruits and vegetables, I have read where on hot days, people dehydrate fruits andvegetables in the back of their cars, used covered bbq pit (not in use of course), or the most traditional way of making fruit leather was just to tent the tray with some cheesecloth and leave it outside in the sun on a hot day.

If you have a lot of fruits on hand that are not being eaten, you can quickly turn them into fruit roll ups. Some of my family’s favorite fruits are:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Plums

How to Make Fruit Leather:

4 c. of fresh fruit
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Sugar or sweetener (if needed)
* Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Oven Method Instructions:

  1. Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. If working with grapes, de-stem them.
  2. Do a taste test to see how sweet the fruit is. If very sweet you will not need to add any sugar.
  3. Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is soft and cooked through.
  4. Use a blender or food mill to puree the fruit. The purée should be very smooth.
  5. Add sugar in small amounts to desired level of sweetness. Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).
  6. To brighten the flavor, adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg to augment the flavor.
  7. Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Brush a small amount of vegetable or olive oil on the plastic wrap to ensure the fruit puree does not stick. Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn’t folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won’t dry out. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the purée. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours.
  9. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface. When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap or use a cookie cutter to cut into fun shapes.
  10. Store fruit roll ups in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Food Dehydrator Method Instructions

  1. Follow the above steps 1-7.
  2. Line food dehydrator trays with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined trays to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Set dehydrator to 135 degrees and allow to dehydrate between 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface and can easily be peeled.
  4. Roll it in its plastic wrap or use a cookie cutter to cut into fun shapes.

 Once the fruit puree is dehydrated, roll up the leathers into the plastic wrap.

 

 

 

 

Using scissors, cut into small strips and store in a cool, dry space or in the refrigerator or the freezer.

 

 

 

Making your own fruit roll ups is a cost effective solution to ensuring that your children are eating a healthy snack. Bon Appetit!

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 24th, 2012
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  • mike

    i live in phoenix and its been in the 100′s lately,  if i dry these in the sun for the day, will this dry them to the point that i can store them in can for long times or will they still rot or go bad?  is there a way to make this work, vacuum seaL?
    thanks

    • http://www.readynutrition.com Tess Pennington

      Hi Mike,

      I bet you could with that kind of heat! Place your cookie sheet with the fruit puree on a card table or picnic table in the hot sun to dry. If the plastic wrap is bigger than the cookie sheet and extends up the sides, anchor it with clip clothespins so it will not flop down and cover the edges of the leather. Puree should dry in the sun in six to eight hours. (The heat of the sun and the humidity make drying time variable.)

      While fruit is still warm from the sun, ease it up around the edges and peel off the plastic. If it has cooled, place it in the oven and turn the indicator to the lowest heat possible, 150° F. (Too high heat will disintegrate the plastic.)

      If the fruit roll up or fruit leather is not sufficiently dried at the end of the day’s heat, finish it in the oven set at the lowest possible temperature, or set it out again the next day. Leave the oven door ajar so moisture can escape.

      Best of luck!

      Tess

  • Sherry

    How about parchment paper instead of plastic wrap. I hate plastic, it is usually full of chemicals.

    • http://www.readynutrition.com Tess Pennington

      Hi Sherry,

      Yes, you can use parchment paper. Sorry, I forgot to mention that.

      Tess

  • KMR

    Great stuff!  Any idea on shelf life frozen or other wise?

    • http://www.readynutrition.com Tess Pennington

      The fruit roll ups should last around 12 months if left in a pantry and should probably be eaten within 12 months if frozen, as well. Otherwise, the taste could diminish.

      Tess

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