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Friday, August 20, 2010

Healthy Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

These are so very easy to make, and my kids excitement over them made me feel like "Mother Of The Year!"  I've seen a few recipes and methods across blog land and have wanted to make them for some time now. The easy tutorial and beautiful photos over at "The Little Red House," plus a bowl of apricots quickly becoming past their prime in my refrigerator, was enough to get me to do it.  I don't know why I didn't do it sooner!
I have been appalled by how expensive 100% natural fruit roll ups and fruit leathers are at the store.  When we visit our local health food co-op, my girls beg me to buy them a fruit leather.  I cringe if they are not on sale, and even on sale they are outrageous.  One 2"x 5" strip of fruit leather costs anywhere from a $1.00-$1.29 at our store. The cheapest I have found them is on Amazon for about 50 cents each. I buy them occasionally, because at least it is not candy, but I buy it with a "grr" on my brain! 

The regular fruit roll ups at the grocery store are not 100% fruit have artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup--all things I try to avoid. (click here to read why high fructose corn syrup and I are not very good friends). 


  I love that instead of wasting fruit that is getting mushy, I can just mush it up more and turn it into fruit leather!

Ingredients:
4 cups Apricots 
Squeeze Of Lemon Juice
2-3 Tbls Sweetener of choice (agave nectar, sugar, sucanant)

*I'm sure other types of fruit can be used, I will let you know what other fruit I have success with.


How I Made Healthy, Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

~I started with 9 apricots (they cost me $1.69!)

~Washed them

~Took out the pits

~Cut them into fourths

~Put them in a pan on the stove

~Squeezed the juice of one lemon over apricots

~Add sweetener, if desired. (depends on the sweetness of your fruit.  I added 3 Tbs of pure cane sugar)

~Cooked on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, smashing them and stirring once in awhile. 

~Put cooked apricots into my food processor (I'm sure you could use a blender)

~Pureed them until smooth- it looks like baby food

~Spread them out on freezer paper on top of a cookie sheet (can use waxed paper) (**see below for thickness comment)

~Put them in the oven for about *4-5 hours (150 degrees is recommended, the lowest my oven went was 170 degrees)

~Took them out, let them cool 

~Cut them into strips and rolled em' up

~Stored in a mason jar.  (or Ziplock bag or any airtight container)

*I put them in the oven after dinner and took them out right before I went to bed.  I let them sit out on the counter all night, then cut and rolled in the morning.  


**The only thing I would do different is spread my pureed apricots just a tad bit thicker next time.  I think it would work better for me since my oven's lowest temperature is 170 degrees.  It was harder to get the paper off at the thin edges, which is where you need it to be the easiest!  Other than the thinner edges, these turned out perfect, I just had to cut about an inch off all around where it was too thin--such a waste!

I am eager to experiment with with these.  I want to try a batch with no added sugar and see what it does.  I'm sure the amount of sweetener will depend on personal tastes and how sweet your fruit is. I personally liked that our apricot fruit roll ups were a bit tart, so I will avoid the sugar as much as possible. I can't wait to use different kinds of fruits, I have a ton of pureed strawberries (thanks to this fun day) in my freezer, so next will be strawberry fruit roll ups!  I let you know how it goes.. 
*** I Am Pleased To Be Linking Up To These Wonderful Blog Parties. *** 
 


43 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this cool idea! I was wondering how to do this!

    Have a blessed weekend!

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  2. Yum! I tried making fruit leather a couple weeks ago and it was so much fun...and delicious! I'm anxious to try again - this recipe looks great. Thanks! Oh, and I have been thinking a lot about your charts/lists for morning and evening...as a naturally unorganized person myself, I think something like that might help a lot!!

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  3. Yay! I'm going to do this will all plums taking up space across my kitchen :)

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  4. This brougt back a fond memory. . in 6th grade we had to do a how to speech and I did mine on making homemade fruit roll ups. Totally forgot about them. . .gonna have to try them with the kids.

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  5. Yes! I love homemade fruit roll-ups! We NEVER buy the artificial ones from the store, so this is a huge treat for my kiddos. We've made strawberry before...so good. We've also made peach. They are delicious, too. I keep the skins on, like you did for the apricots. I also had the same thing happen with the edges the first time, and after making it thicker in other batches, it was perfect. And the bonus...don't you kinda feel like a kid when you eat them? :)

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  6. Cool...I haven't tried using freezer paper. Sounds like a good idea.

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  7. Wow, you just made me drool :P I love fruit roll ups and from where I live, it's really hard to find high quality fruit leather. And the cheap ones here are synthetic so... yuck. :P But thanks to your recipe, I think I'll try to make a batch at home. Thank you Amy! :)

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  8. Martha Stewart would be proud! :)

    I'm trying this!

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  9. Do you have a dehydrator? We started making fruit roll-ups before our children while living in Nebraska. We just throw fruit into a blender, pour the unsweetened fruit on a drying tray, and dry at 150 for a few hours. Often times we use more exotic/expensive fruits but keep it inexpensive by using applesauce as part of our base. We would always head down to Nebraska City to pick apples in the fall and make our own applesauce. This way we could have raspberry fruit leather, pineapple/coconut, mango, etc.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy the "fruits" of your labor!! (I'm off to puree peaches to put in the freezer for later fruit leather/smoothie making sessions!)

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  10. THIS is EXACTLY why I read blogs. I never would have even thought that you could make these yourself. It's a great idea, and a great recipe--and I can't wait to make some!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

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  11. I am adding this to my Yummy Recipes tomorrow morning post.

    Cheri from ItsSoVeryCheri

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  12. This I gotta try. Thanks for sharing.
    Monica

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  13. This is so GREAT!! I cannot wait to try it!

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  14. glad you liked them!! they are so easy...our new favorite treat!

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  15. @michelle-you bet! who new it would be so easy??
    @Page-it really is good, huh? Not just for kids..lol. Let me know if you try the chart thing.
    @Lacey-oh man, plums would be so tart and yummy!
    @gabe-that is awesome, love the memory. What a fun thing to write a speech on!
    @Marie-Hi ya, lady. Peach would be amazing, I'm making strawberry today or tomorrow. Yes, I felt like I was sneaking in the "fruit roll up jar"
    @Damsel-I liked how freezer paper worked...it is what I had on hand.
    @Hi Issa-it is so great to know there is nothing artificial in them. Love that.

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  16. @Kelly-haha. the ultimate compliment..
    @Peggy-I used to have one, but threw it out before we had kids. Bummer. I love the idea of mixing up flavors like coconut mango! Nebraska City is great, I have spent much time writing and journaling at Arbor Day Lodge. Makes me ready for fall!
    @Shannon-I hear you! I would not have heard of it without my blogland friends. What did we do before blogs??
    @Cheri-I'm honored. Thank you.
    @Happy Nester -you are welcome, hope you like..
    @lemonadegal-thanks!
    @Sheena-so fun to have you in my comments box. thank you for all your inspiration and great posts...your photography just makes me so happy..

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  17. I don't know what freezer paper is. Hmm... Is it like parchment paper? Could I use parchment instead? I've not seen this before.

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  18. I read this with total interest. I have severe Fibro and Chronic Fatigue, allergies out the ying/yang! This is such a super idea, that I will share with my Specialists group.
    Very healthy and easy.
    Thanks so very much,

    Brenda in Oshawa

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  19. Oh boy! Oh Boy! I can't wait to try and make these! My kids love fruit roll-ups, but I too, cringe at the price of them.....yet they're healthier than candy. Thank you so much for the tutorial!!! I'm so gonna do these!

    Stephanie @ My Frugal Lifestyle
    my-frugal-lifestyle.com

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  20. mmmmm...I'm thinking that when I made this, I might have to eat it all myself!

    I have featured this post on my "5 Great Finds" http://jugglingmotherhood.com/2010/08/24/5-great-finds-moon-sand-thank-you-cards-necktie-companion-fruit-roll-ups-and-fathers-day-certificate/

    Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

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  21. Sounds delish I never thought about cooking them first great idea!

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  22. I just thought I would let you know what I tried recently... Okay, I will totally admit to being a sneaky mom. But I will preface it by saying we have teenage boys who just don't eat right when they are not at home... i.e. at school, sporting events, etc.

    Now the sneakiness... I've been adding peeled, seeded squash to the fruits which I steam until tender. Then I stick the whole thing in the blender (a food processer works too) and puree it. The key is to not add too much squash or they will catch on. I have also started adding a bit of steamed greens to a strawberry/blueberry puree. The key is the stronger flavor of the fruit the more veggies you can add. Spinach is pretty strong flavored so I've been using swiss chard which is usually very mild with just a few leaves of spinach. So far no one is the wiser... I also freeze the same mixture into ice cubes and make smoothies (our breakfast staple w/ a bit of ground flax seed and toast w/ pb!)

    (maybe I should actually post this some time.. what a thought, ha ha!)

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  23. I just added this to my recipe file...thanks!

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  24. My kids will love these! Thanks so much for sharing your fruit roll-up recipe with us at Anything Related!
    {Rebekah}

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  25. @anonymous-it is like butcher paper. Paper with a shiney, smooth side. I think waxed or parchment paper may do the trip. My freezer paper is by reynolds and was by the foil, etc.
    @brenda-so sorry to hear about your health issues. I have a close family member with Fibro, I know it can be super rough. Thanks so much for sharing it with your group!
    @Stephanie-your excitement is fun. thanks for commenting and reading
    @meeks-yes, i snuck in the jar of roll-ups a couple times...
    @amber-they really are so easy, even with cooking them. the cooking really brings out the natural sugars..
    @peggy-love your sneakyness. I do the same with spinach. I will try the squash as I have it coming out my ears right now thanks to garden success..
    @1bellastger-you are welcome!!!

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  26. i tried this earlier this summer and need to try again. yours look yummy!

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  27. I am so excited to try these out! You're a genius! :) How do you think tomato roll ups would be?! LOL Just kidding!!!

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  28. I've never made them in the oven before, but we have made fruit roll ups in our food dehydrator with apple sauce. They are so good & last a really long time in the fridge.

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  29. YUM. I wonder how this would work with raspberries. I have a ton of raspberries frozen!!!!
    I'm your newest follower!

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  30. I stopping by from Trendy Treehouse Creative Share. I am now following. I love to make fruit roll-ups....it is so much fun. Thanks for sharing.

    http://spottedsmiles.blogspot.com

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  31. Thanks so much for linking up! I want to try making this for sure!!!

    Jody

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  32. Im so excited to have found your blog and this post. We are trying to live a healthier life, and get rid of the preservatives and additives from our diet. You make these look very easy. I have a freezer full of strawberries too. Going to have to try these this weekend.

    New Follower from the Wednesday linkup.

    Carole
    http://frogbellysoup.blogspot.com

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  33. Thanks for spreading the word about HFCS too! There is much to be alarmed about from this substance and people need to learn more about it and JUST SAY NO TO HFCS!

    One study found that the body metabolizes HFCS in the same way it does alcohol and doctors are now seeing cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in pre-adolescent's. Children as young as 9-11 have been seen with liver disease resembling middle aged alcoholics! Can you imagine the health care costs we are facing in the next generation if people continue to consume HFCS at the present rate?

    I think adding fresh apples with other fruits is a great sweetening alternative and apples are coming into season so it's a good time to try these out with some Colorado peaches! We never buy fruit roll ups so the kids might think we are spoiling them!

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  34. SO making these! for me & my hubby, no kids! haha :D
    we buy fruit leather all the time from the stores, but making yourself would be even better. thanks for sharing!

    *come check out my blog too if you'd like :)

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  35. WOW this is such a great how to recipe!!! Pretty impressed :)

    -Lindsay
    Delighted Momma

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  36. Try using honey or stevia, honey acts as a natural preservative, and stevia (natural) is sweeter than sugar but without the calories. I made Autumn olive fruit rollups last fall using honey and stevia together and they came out great. If your not familiar with autumn olives, you should research them...extremely healthy berry that grows in abundance.

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  37. Such a great information and I've been looking for this..

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  38. I appreciate the write and the real insight of the writer on the subject. well done

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  39. i had leftover dried apricots and all i did was simmer about 10 of them, emersion blended them w/ the leftover water, spread, bake on parchment paper and voila! they turned out really well!!! thanks for the recipe!

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  40. Homemade food is liked by everybody.When it come about fruit roll ups it make kids crazy to have it.You will surely feel proud if you are a mom and your kid like those food made by you.

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  41. Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is update and quite informative,thanks for sharing............

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  42. I am totally agree with your oppinion.this post is very encouraging to people who want to know these topics.

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  43. Fruits roll-ups can be saved for per month at 70 degrees, several months in the fridge and up to a year if effectively freezing in the fridge.

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Thank you so much for your lovely words to me! Due to the number of comments I receive, I cannot respond to all of them - but know that I read and love every word. If you have a question in need of a response, please e-mail sponsornewnostalgia@gmail.com and either Robyn or I will get back to you.