Kids love fruit roll-ups and fruit snacks, yup, even mine. However, do you know what’s in fruit roll-ups?
Betty Crocker Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups contain the following: Pears From Concentrate, Corn Syrup, Dried Corn Syrup, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Acetylated Mono and Diglycerides, Pectin, Malic Acid, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Natural Flavor, Color (Yellow 5&6, Red 40, Blue 1). Ick right. Artificial colors and lots of stuff you can’t pronounce.
We don’t buy the mainstream brand fruit snacks. In the past we’ve bought Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks or Stretch Island Fruit Leather, which have better ingredients, but still come with a lot of excess packaging. Still, sometimes I get the natural versions, because Cedar likes them.
I’ve made homemade fruit snacks, but I’ve never made fruit roll-up type treats because I don’t have a food dehydrator, which I assumed you needed. However I just got a new cookbook to review that proves me wrong.
The Organic Family Cookbook is an awesome book, coming out very soon that has a recipe for yummy fruit roll-ups and all you need is an oven. Before I post my review of this cookbook, I figured I’d test out some recipes and this one is so amazing, I’m going to share it with you.
Not only is this recipe for Organic Cran-Strawberry Roll-Ups a snap to make, but they contain zero icky added colors or chemicals and are packed with fruit goodness. In fact, you can even get creative and use veggies and other fruits to make any taste sensation you like. Plus, these snacks aren’t packed in plastic, in another box.
Organic Cran-Strawberry Roll-Ups ingredients
- Juice of 1/4 of one organic lemon.
- 3 cups organic cranberries – these can be hard to find year round. I had some frozen in my freezer, so I used those.
- 3 cups organic strawberries.
- 2 tablespoons organic honey or 2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar.
- 1/4 cup of water left over from when you steam your fruit.
How to make your Organic Cran-Strawberry Roll-Ups
- Steam your fruit until soft (about 10 minutes). My steamer is tiny, so I used a big colander to steam my berries.
- Once berries are soft, put them, plus all the other ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend to a fine puree.
- Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and lightly coat with olive oil – or another spray if you like. I use Green Seal Certified Unbleached Parchment Paper.
- Spread puree on your parchment paper. Make sure it’s VERY thin. The recipe says to spread it about 1/4 inch thick. More on this later, but mine was a little thick.
- Set your oven to 120 degrees, or the lowest setting available (mine is 170). Place your pan in your oven with the oven door a bit ajar for three hours.
- Once the fruit has dried, cut into shapes with cookie cutter or long strips with a pizza cutter.
- Store in an airtight BPA-free container.
That’s it. Easy as really easy pie. Organic fruit roll-ups that aren’t full of fake colors or flavors.
Cedar LOVED them. He thought they tasted “awesome” and was super impressed that we made them from scratch. He immediately started thinking up all sorts of flavors he’d like to try making. Dave (the boyfriend) liked them too, but thought they were a little tart and not sweet enough. However, since Cedar thought they tasted just right, I’m not too concerned. Dave’s more of a sweet eater than Cedar. You could always add more honey or fewer cranberries + more strawberries.
I even liked them, and I’m not a fan of fruit stuff that’s not the real thing. Example – I like fruit, but not fruit candy or fruit snacks or even smooshed fruit on ice cream. I like whole raw fruit. However, these had an amazingly fresh taste and great texture. Plus these made the whole house smell like berry heaven.
Tips and other issues:
- Spread your fruit THIN. I should have made two pans, or at least one and 1/2, because ours were a bit thick and some was still a little sticky in the middle. You want it all to be nicely dry and leathery.
- This recipe, had I spread them right, would have made enough fruit roll-ups for two or three weeks of snacks for one kid. I felt like it took a lot of fresh fruit to make them, so I likely would not make them all the time. More like if I have leftover fruit that I don’t make ice pops with or I get a good Farmers’ Market deal on a ton of some fruit. If you’ve got a kid who won’t eat fruit or veggies, these rock. Luckily, my kid like fruit and veggies, and will eat them just fine whole, so these are more a treat, not an everyday thing.
- The issue of having the oven on so long bothered me a bit. However, what I’d likely do is make more batches at once to justify the heat use. Because this was an experiment, I just made the one batch – not good use of my oven.
- You can use fresh or frozen fruit. The recipe called for fresh, and all I had was frozen. It worked fine.
- Don’t stick to these fruits. You could use veggies even – like sweet potatoes and apples or carrots. You can try other berries or just get creative and use what you’ve got around. We’re going to try mango and pineapple and blueberry next.
- If you have a baby, blend the fruit first, with just the lemon and saved steamer water, and save some of the puree for your baby. DO NOT add the honey. Babies cannot have honey.
I’ll be posting a full review of The Organic Family Cookbook very soon, but I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek recipe. This cookbook is packed with tons of other cool kid-friendly organic recipes just like this one!
All images (minus lead) ©Jennifer Chait