Friday, January 22, 2016

Making Fruit Leather and Home Made Roll-Ups

A few weeks back, I posted about how I make fruit smoothies all at one time and then freeze them in containers and when I want a smoothie, I can just pull it out and leave it on the counter for an hour or two and I have a slushy fruit smoothie. 

If you want to make it into a green smoothie, you can just throw the frozen container into a VitaMix and throw in a handful of fresh greens and having made the smoothie base earlier, it saves pulling out all the container of fruit and makes for a VERY fast smoothie. 

Here is a link to that post showing how I made the smoothie base. 

I also made a video on how I use that smoothie base to make fruit leather and fruit "roll-ups" for eating later. It is a great way to get kids to eat fruits they may not eat raw. 

To make the fruit leather, I called a friend. My daughter said that in the past, her friend has shared some great home made fruit roll-ups with her. 

I have never had any luck as they always stick to the trays, even the "non-stick" trays so upon advice from Princess Five, I called my friend (the mother of her friend) and asked about how she makes the roll-ups. 

I was surprised to hear that she makes them in her oven with a cookie sheet. She lines the cookie sheet with saran wrap and then pours on her mix of fruits all blended smooth and adds about 1/2 cup of honey to the mix. 

She spreads it evenly onto the sheet lined with the wrap and then puts it in the over for about 24 hours on the lowest heat setting for the oven.

I adapted the recipe to fit my dehydrator. I made a few trays using only fruit and no honey. I thought they tasted great but Princess Five said she would like it sweeter. 

I added honey to the next batch and she said she just really wasn't into it. However, she is a Jr. in high school and I don't know any that age that are into fruit roll-ups. I gave some to my grand-daughter and she loved it. So, I think it is an age thing. 

They honey did make it a stickier roll-up and I liked it without the honey so I would suggest that you try a batch without before adding any as you may like it without and could avoid anything sticky.   

Basically, you can juice anything, or blend anything and make it smooth and put it on a dehydrator tray. I just taped saran wrap onto the non-stick trays I had and poked a hole in the middle so the air could circulate. 

I dried them on 130 degrees for just over 21 hours and they rolled up and were dried well. I did rotate the top and bottom trays about halfway through the dry time. 

Lastly, I put some of the dried mix in my nut chopper and blended it smooth and added a tablespoon to my rice in my rice cooker and it gave it a nice color and some sweetness. I am always trying to use dried fruits and veggies in new ways. I think with some coconut milk added, it would be really good in the rice making it both sweet and creamy. 

It is a great way to use up fruit you have in the freezer that may be getting older and also frees up some freezer space by drying the frozen fruit into a usable form. I think you could add some frozen or fresh veggies and the fruit could cover the taste and it would help you get the kids to eat those "hard to eat" veggies. 
Remember to keep these in an airtight container such as Tupperware to keep any moths or other creeping things out of them. Fruit and nut moths love dried fruits!  

Thanks Elizabeth for your fruit roll-up recipe. 

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