Who doesn’t remember eating fruit by the foot as a kid?? They were a snack time favorite. Along with all the wacky, wonky little things you could do with them. You couldn’t tell us not to play with our food. Well, at least not our fruit by the foot. Fast forward twenty years, and now I’m in total Mom mode trying to foist heaping helpings of real fruit on my kids on the daily. But guess what? Now my kids want fruit roll ups for snack. I mean I get it, it’s a lot harder to ‘play’ with mom-approved fruit, other than the infamous banana- turned imaginary gun. Fruit roll ups are fun, sure, but they’re not everyday snack food. They’re just not. Or are they? Look out y’all, it’s a snack time stick up!! Hands up in the air and eyes open for this revolutionary idea. HOMEMADE fruit roll ups! Using as little as ONE ingredient. FRUIT! Fruit that You, Mom, will have a blast saying yes too. It only took me 20 years to find my way onto this train. Better late than never, right? 🙂
I still can’t believe I never knew how easy these were to make! Now, I just can’t stop. The flavor combinations are endless. You can add in a bit of sugar for flavoring, a bit of lemon juice for color retention or keep it simple with just plain, old fruit.
We went with two of our favorite flavor combos for these, peach mango and an antioxidant mixed berry blend that included cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate arils. The hubs liked them so much, he’s even begun putting in requests. Specifically for apple. And the sons involved in sports? We’ve got banana roll ups waiting on them that are fun and full of potassium!
Baking these is a teensy bit of a guessing game. They should be done dehydrating in 3-4 hours, but you’ll want to keep an eye on them regardless. They’re done when they no longer feel sticky, just a bit tacky. I had to feel it a few different times, at a few different stages, but by feel it’s pretty easy to judge. Also, watch out for over baking! Otherwise you’ll have a crispy fruit ‘chip’ on your hands.
Homemade Fruit Rollups, with 3 Ingredients or LESS
2 cups of fruit (fresh or frozen, but thawed if frozen)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp sugar or honey, optional
1. Place the prepared fruit (i.e. bananas, peeled and sliced, strawberries, washed and hulled, etc) in a blender or food processor and puree until the fruit mixture is smooth without an chunks remaining. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Cook the fruit puree over medium to medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning, until the mixture has thickened and the excess moisture cooked out. You’re looking for a jammy consistency.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, or as low as your oven will go, making sure it’s less than 200 degrees at the highest. Our oven goes from the ‘warm’ setting to 200, and we found setting it in between those two worked out perfectly.
3. Spread the puree/jam into a rectangle shape on a baking pan lined with a silpat or with a sheet of parchment paper. Use a spatula to gently help ‘spread’ the fruit puree as evenly as possible, until the rectangle-ish shape is about 1/8 inch thick. Also, as it cooks/dehydrates bear in mind that it will get even thinner, so just try to make sure that none of the jam is so thin that you can see through it as you spread. If using lighter fruits, like peach and mango ours was still see through in a few spots so we tried more to eye ball the thickness and tried to stick close to the 1/8″ mark.
4. Cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, until the fruit mixture no longer feels sticky, but just a bit tacky. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Gently remove the cooked, and now completely cooled, sheet of fruit by peeling it away from the silpat or paper and transfer it to a wax paper lined cutting board. Use a sharp, metal pizza cutter to cut it into long strips. Roll them up into the fruit roll ups, and enjoy!
recipe adapted from 15 Spatulas