Last week my daughter came home from school raving about this great snack she had during her after school program. Of course I asked what it was and when she ecstatically replied, “A rainbow fruit roll up!” my heart sank. I don’t buy these “snacks” but I don’t forbid them either, I know there is a chance my kids are going to be offered these snacks when away from home. However, when she asked if she could start having them in her lunch I had to explain why I couldn’t buy them.
What I heard in my head was:
“Did you know there are no real strawberries in that fruit roll up? The only mention of fruit is pear concentrate and I am not exactly sure what that is…and if plain old sugar itself isn’t enough there are two kinds of sugars for you to enjoy…corn syrup AND dried corn syrup. Have you seen the ingredients?”
Instead I told her that while that treat was sweet and tasted good, it wasn’t actually fruit it was more like candy and that we could make some fruit roll ups at home that were a healthy choice. When she asked if we could make them rainbow-colored I could tell she was disappointed when I said that they would be the same color as the fruit we chose but she was still willing to give them a try.
I have to say, the first batch was a total fail. I made blueberry-cherry fruit roll ups and baked them too long so they were more crunchy than chewy and the kids HATED them. I didn’t mind them but I like blueberries and cherries more than they do and they weren’t for me. I should have known to ask them first what flavor to make (duh!). For batch two, the kids requested strawberry and I packed one in my daughters lunch today. When I picked her up from school the first thing she said to me was, “My fruit roll up was AWESOME!” With that kind of enthusiasm I knew I had to share this simple treat with you.
- Immersion blender
- Jelly Roll pan
- Silpat baking mat
- Wax paper
- 20 oz organic frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup honey (next time I am going to omit this and see how they taste, I don’t think the strawberries needed it but tart berries might)
- Thaw the berries, I left mine in a bowl on the counter for an hour.
- Place in a sauce pot, add the honey and heat just until warm.
- Puree until smooth using the immersion blender, no chunks allowed!
- Place the Silpat baking mat in the jelly roll pan and pour the strawberry purée evenly over the mat. If necessary use a spatula to evenly spread out the purée.
- Bake in the oven at 150 degrees for 8-10 hours. (I used the convection bake setting).
- You aren’t actually baking the purée but rather dehydrating it so the low setting is important.
- The fruit roll up is done when it is no longer tacky to the touch.
- I let mine sit for an hour or two after I took it out of the oven just to make sure it was set.
- I placed the wax paper over the top and peeled the Silpat mat off the jelly roll.
- I coaxed the Silpat mat off the fruit, leaving the wax paper on the bottom side.
- Then using my kitchen shears I cut them into strips and rolled them up.
- Be patient. I kept wanting to open the oven and touch them to see if they were done but they really did take 10 hours.
- This would be a great thing to make overnight if you are okay with leaving your oven on all night long.
- If you have a dehydrator you are probably already doing this and don’t need me! 🙂 I now want a dehydrator.
I can’t wait to make these again and am already thinking of other flavors; apple, tropical (mango, papaya, pineapple) and raspberry. I am also now shopping for a dehydrator, any suggestions?