Homemade Fruit roll-ups (fruit leather)

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I love fruit-roll ups, I would rather have those than chocolate any day.   Since have my son I have been on mission to eat better, so when I was at the store and passed by the fruit snack aisle I considered picking up a box of my beloved fruit-roll ups when I saw they had all natural fruit roll-ups.  The gears went to work in my head and figured I could probably make these myself in more flavors then what the store had to offer.  So I went on the internet, pursued Pinterest and took all the knowledge I had collected and went to work.

You will need

Cookie sheets
Microwave safe Cling Wrap (I used Glad because it is oven safe and does not contain BPA or PVC)
Parchment paper
Fresh or frozen fruits
All natural-no sugar added applesauce
Sugar, honey or agave nectar

Now there is really no recipe I follow more of just a technique.  It seems like a lot of instructions but it is actually very very easy, I promise!! Please do not be afraid to try this recipe because it really is so simple.

Here are some links I found helpful in making my first batch.

Fix me a snack

Our Best Bites

First line your cookie sheets with one sheet of cling wrap, making sure the whole bottom of the pan is covered and it hangs off the ends just a little.

Then in a food processor or blender puree your fruit with a touch of sweetener to taste (more or less depending on your preference, but the fruit gets sweeter as it bakes so don’t add too much).  You need to add a little water, the amount depends on the type of fruit you use, some need more, some need less.  You want your mixture to be thin enough to pour but thick enough to stay put when you spread it.  If you don’t like seeds just push the whole mess through a mesh strainer (strawberries will leave a few seeds even after straining)

Make more puree than you think you need, you want to be able to make at least 2 pans worth and whatever is left over just store in the fridge for another batch.  I just keep a jar or two going that I add leftover puree too and when I get enough I just pour it all on a sheet and it’s “fruit punch” flavor lol.  You can also clean out a ketchup bottle and add some strawberry or raspberry puree to it and dot it over a lighter colored puree to make a mixed flavored gorgeous strip.  I add any leftover strawberry or raspberry puree to an empty ketchup bottle to have on hand for dots or squiggles on my next batch.

Spread the puree on the cookie sheets in as even as a layer as you can get.  You don’t want it too thin, but not too thick either about 1/8 of an inch is good.

Now pop it in the oven set to 140-170.  If your oven doesn’t go that low, you can test it by putting a ball of cling wrap on a foil lined cookie sheet in the oven for an hour, if the wrap doesn’t melt you should be good to go.

I have to fold a pot holder and stick it in the oven door to keep it cracked to regulate the heat and release the condensation that builds up in my oven.

Now ovens differ immensely and does the thickness of your puree so you fruit leather can take anywhere from 3-12 hours.  Mine usually takes about 3 but my oven cooks hot.  So just check your fruits often.  Since it can take awhile I recommend fitting as many pans in at a time. Some people put theirs in before bed and let it cook overnight.  If your not comfortable with that or you think it would be done before you wake up, just pop them in the oven for an hour or two before bed, then turn the oven off, go to bed and in the morning turn the oven back on if it’s not done by then.  It is a very forgiving recipe.

Your fruit leather will be done when you can touch the thickest part and your finger doesn’t leave an indent and it doesn’t look wet.  It will feel dry but not hard and brittle.

Some parts will cook faster than other parts, but do not stress, just take a wet paper towel and squeeze it over the dry parts and pop back in the oven till the whole thing is cooked, just repeat the wetting of the dry parts as needed until the whole pan is dry to the touch.

Take your pans out and let them cool.  Flip the fruit leather onto a piece of parchment paper, peel off the cling wrap and using a pizza cutter, cut off the edges that are too dry or sometimes too wet and make a neat rectangle.  Then just cut into strips.

Then take a piece of parchment paper the length of the fruit leather rectangle, roll it up and cut into strips.

Just place a strip of leather on the strip of parchment and roll it up.  Tape it, put a sticker on it, tie it with a string whatever you have and then voila, home-made fruit roll-ups.

I keep mine in a mason jar, but they will also keep in the fridge for quite some time, however they don’t last very long around here lol.

After the first batch you make you will get the hang of it and know what to look for and pretty soon you’ll be cranking out tons of roll-ups.

Feel free to experiment with flavors and colors.  My favorite is apple with raspberry dots on it.  My husband loves the strawberry I made and I took those little baby food pouches, I found them at Target and they have no sugar added, just fruit, so I opened up a banana/plum one and put little drops of that on the strawberry mixture and he loves it! So look around for those little pouches and add some to your next batch.

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