Fruit Roll Ups
One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting in front of the TV with my brother on Friday nights. Our mom would pop popcorn and open up two packs of fruit snacks and toss them in. My brother was a notorious for digging to the bottom to eat as many as he could, which was often the source of our scuffles.
Every once and a while Tyler will sneak Charlie some fruit snacks, but I keep junk food pretty limited in our house. I still want them to experience sweet treats, but if they are going to eat them on a weekly basis, I want them to also be nourishing. These fruit roll ups are made with natural, organic ingredients and sweetened with honey or cane sugar. I don’t mind letting Charlie indulge in one every week because I know what they are filled with!
1.5 pounds of strawberries (or desired fruit)
⅓ cup of honey or cane sugar
1 drop of wild orange essential oil (optional)
2 tbsp. Water
Wash your fruit and cut off any stems or leaves. On medium-low heat place strawberries into a pot with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook the strawberries down until they are soft, but do not look like purée. Add in the honey and squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pot, stir until well combined. You want your mixture to become thick, so you will need to cook it down for about a half hour while stirring often. When your mixture is thick, take it off the burner, allow to cool and add in a drop of wild orange essential oil (any citrus oil tastes really good mixed in, in my opinion). Spoon your mixture onto parchment prepared pan or onto your dehydrator leather tray.
There are three different ways you can dry out your fruit roll ups. You can set your oven to the lowest temperature possible (145 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect if it will go down that low) and allow it to dry until it is no longer sticky (a little tack is okay as long as you are able to cut through the roll up without residue on your knife). Dry for about two hours, but check on them every half hour and make sure they are drying evenly, rotate pan if needed.
You can also allow your fruit roll ups to dry outside in the hot sun. Prepare your mixture the same way, spoon onto a parchment prepared cookie sheet. Place cheesecloth, flour sack, towel or a picnic food tent over your pan and place in the hot sun. Allow to dry until it’s no longer sticky.
The last method is the one I use. I use a food dehydrator with a special fruit leather tray. You will prepare the mixture the same way, but instead of using a cookie sheet, you will spoon the mixture onto the fruit leather tray without parchment. The only downside is your fruit strips will be a bit shorter and a little bit thicker. Turn the dehydrator on medium and leave on overnight.
Once the leather is dried, cut into long strips and wrap in parchment or wax paper! Tie up with some twine and keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat (although I can guarantee that won’t last too long)!