Did you know that most packaged fruit roll ups don’t actually contain any fruit? Well, unless you count the concentrated form that’s essentially just sugar with no nutritional value. Shocking, I know!
And while you still lose out on some nutrients when dehydrating, or drying your own fruit at home, the benefits of what you retain far outweigh the lack of nutritional value in the store bought snacks. Not to mention all the added ingredients that we all know are just not great.
Alright, I’ll get off of my soap box now and back down to reality. As much as I would love to feed my kids nothing but homemade snacks, our pantry still gets filled with store bought treats.
So if you don’t want to make your own homemade fruit roll ups for health reasons, maybe you just have an abundance of fruit you can’t decide what to do with. Or perhaps you don’t ever go through your Costco sized container of fruit before the last couple of pints get overripe. Well this is the perfect solution to your dilemma.
Added bonus, these are so easy to make that the kids can help out!
How to Make Homemade Fruit Roll Ups
You can use any combination of fruit you want, or just stick to one flavor if you only have one kind of fruit in your house. I wanted to try a little rainbow effect, so chose strawberries, blueberries, and banana (which I ended up using Trader Joe’s banana applesauce pouches). You can even just use applesauce with the same method if you don’t have any fresh fruit lying around.
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries
2 banana applesauce pouches (3.17 oz each)
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey (or 1 tablespoon per fruit)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon per fruit)
Start by preheating your oven to the lowest temperature setting it will go. Mine goes to 170°, so that is what this recipe uses. I also stuck a wooden spoon in the door to bring the temp down even more.
Blend each fruit separately in a blender.
Add 1 tablespoon of agave nectar, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per batch of fruit.
Blend the fruit until completely smooth. I found it took a couple of cycles in the “sauces, dips and dressings” mode.
Once you have a smooth texture, spread the fruit out on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Use a flat spoon to spread the fruit out.
You want the thickness to be slightly thicker than what you think of as a store-bought fruit roll up. It will thin out in the oven.
Layer the blueberry and strawberry puree on the cookie sheet, then squeeze the banana sauce pouches out.
Once all the layers are spread out, you’re ready for the dehydrating. Oh, and don’t worry about making it look pretty. The end result looks really cool regardless of how neat and tidy your lines are.
Now you put it in the oven and wait… and wait… and wait some more. It will take around six hours, but start checking it at 4 hours just to make sure it doesn’t get overdone.
When it feels like a fruit roll up to the touch, take it out of the oven and let it cool.
You can see from the picture below that I didn’t make the middle layer thick enough. But once you roll it up that doesn’t really matter. That’s the beauty of these, it’s not an exact science.
When it’s cool enough to the touch, peel the sheet of dried fruit off the parchment paper (or silicone baking mat if that’s what you used).
Cut the fruit into lengthwise strips using a pizza cutter.
Then take a clean sheet of parchment paper, and cut strips the same size as your fruit strips. I just put the fruit on top of the parchment and used scissors, eyeballing the cut. Not very precise, but they still turned out looking really cute and more importantly tasting great!
Now roll them up, tie them closed (tape did not want to stick to the parchment paper), and feel good about your snack.
I was really happy with how these turned out, and the kids and grown-ups alike were really happy with how they taste!
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