I'm not saying this because I'm a strict, health-food type of person. Don't get me wrong. I'm the biggest fan of salty chips and buttered popcorn on the planet, possibly the universe. But...if I can substitute healthy options into my diet without upsetting the mindset I'm still having a yummy snack, it's a win-win.
After I posted about the new dehydrator I purchased and the turkey jerky snacks I made, I started to make a list of other goodies I wanted to try.
We have a road trip coming up in a few weeks from Saint Louis to Destin and back. If you are like me on a road trip, it means anything you find at a gas station or fast food stop along the highway is fair game in your diet. It's vacation right? But, I'd love to have healthy snacks for us to have on hand in the car.
In addition to the jerky, apple chips and banana chips, tonight I'm testing out fruit roll ups. They are also referred to as "Fruit Leathers" online. So if you are hunting recipes, keep that in mind.
The formula seems to be pretty simple -
liquid fruit (apple sauce) + fruit of your favorite flavor + sweetner/flavor
Some of the recipes I found say to just use apple sauce and flavored syrup or juice. But, if I'm making them why not make the fruit mixture and use all natural ingredients?
With me so far?
List of items I used -
6-7 Granny Smith Apples
1/2-1 cup of sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 quart Fresh Strawberries
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
Parchment Paper (Cling Wrap could work too)
4 Qt Sauce Pan
Knife, Cutting Board
Here is how I made my roll ups.
6-7 granny smith apples, peeled and chopped, mixed in a sauce pan with a half cup of sugar and a splash of OJ. I let them begin to simmer as I chopped a quart of fresh strawberries. I added those to the simmering apples and more sugar until I reached the desired flavor. On mine I actually tried half regular sugar and half Splenda to help reduce calories. I tried to make an apple pie once with Splenda and no sugar and it turned out dry, so I didn't go full Splenda on this for that reason.
Once the fruits have become mushy and they begin to break easily, turn off stove and tranfser a few cups at a time into a blender. Puree and pour through a strainer (if you are using pulpy or seeded fruits) into a large bowl.
When you have strained the entire batch (it should be the thickness of a smoothie, just not runny), prepare parchment paper rectangles with a lip around all four edges. Pay special attention to the corners to avoid any spills if you overfill. Ladle enough of your strained puree into the paper structures to coat the bottom about 1/8". Remember, the dehydrator will reduce the content so try to keep them even to make them look consistent.
Set in the dehydrator on the "Fruit" setting. On mine (750watt) the setting was about 135F/57C. Depending on the strength of your dehydrator, you should have a finished fruit snack in about 3-5 hours. I usually check them every hour.
Enjoy! Next week I'm planning on testing granola bars. Yummy!!
Have a great weekend everyone.
The day after updates:
On a couple of the sheets, it was thicker than a regular roll up so it did take longer than the original 3-5 hours (more like 10-12). The picture below shows how thick that piece was (about twice the thickness of normal).
Be warned. As a kid, I probably won't have liked them if I saw the real bits of strawberry fruit in the roll up (like below). If you or your kids are picky, you can try a better strainer. However, those little strawberry bits didn't change the texture of the snack (even on the ones that were the appropriate thickness), just the fact you could see it was made with real fruit. I know some kids may consider this a deal breaker.
Roll the paper, cut into strips and put into baggies. Use a sharp knife, press down on the line and just push through the whole roll. Obviously, we had to test a few while packaging. I would say a batch this size would have made about 30-36 roll ups if I would have keep them a consistent thickness. Oh well. I'm not opposed to eating my mistakes.