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!
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!)
~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..
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