February 24, 2012

Home Made Fruit Roll Ups

What were you doing in 1983?
I think I was in maybe 2nd grade learning place value of numbers,
simple fractions, learning the basic digestive system and learning the different continents.
Whatever you were doing- General Mills started manufacturing and distributing under
Betty Crocker's name in 1983--- the favorited Fruit Roll Ups. You know, those slightly sticky,
slightly chewy, sugary, flat fruit treats we all ate and loved as a kid and almost couldn't
get enough of.

Well, as an adult we don't eat them as much but more importantly, as we become more and more
aware of what is in our foods through the internet, tv talk shows, food shows, news, etc...
We are able to simply make our own foods but most importantly- we are able to control
what goes in it as we try to stay healthy in this crazy world!

So I've started to make my own fruit roll ups aka fruit leather or fruit strips.
It's waaay easier to make than one might think.

My first batch was simply mixed berry flavor simply because I couldn't decide which flavor to
start with.  I bought a pint of blueberries, raspberries, black berries and I threw in about 4-5 strawberries.

I washed them and threw them into a big bowl.

Most recipes tell you to add about a cup of sugar but we're trying to stay healthy right?
Let's grate in an apple or 2 instead as a sweetener rather than pouring a cup of sugar in.

Simply peel the skin off of any kind of apple, cut it in half and grate it right into the bowl.
You also want to squeeze the juice of one lemon which helps to brighten the flavor and keeps the
apple from browning as well. (There is a huge difference with and without a lemon)

Once the apples are grated in, put everything into a pan and let it start simmering
on a medium heat.  If you have it on high, it will start splattering EVER.RE.WHERE.

 12-15 minutes later it will look like this and if it doesn't... you can also use a potato masher.

Once the fruit has become a puree, you can lay it on your pan.
BUT!, make sure it is on non-stick aluminum foil. Don't put it on regular foil and make me tell you...
I told you use non stick foil... when I see you browsing in the produce department of H-Mart.
The other option is parchment paper. I highly recommend using the non-stick foil.
The non-stick is a little bit more expensive- BUT! when you are at work and snacking on a fruit
roll up that you made from scratch and as you tell your co-worker you did so-
you will feel proud and healthy and they will ask, who are you?, and that's worth it! Right?

You want to put it in the oven on- no higher  than 200 degrees until it looks like fruit leather
which is about  1.5 - 2 hours. This is great to make after dinner or on a weekend afternoon.
It takes about 30 minutes from the time you wash your fruit and then up to 2 hours in the oven-
just set a timer and continue playing those interactive cell phone games!
Once it comes out of the oven, it looks like this.
As you can see the bottom of the left side of the pan was pulled and eaten
right away from excitement of making home made fruit roll ups.

Let it cool for a few minutes, then simply pull foil off and lay it on parchment paper, followed by
cutting the fruit leather with your trusty kitchen food scissors. They are REALLY yummy and
good for you since there isn't any of those you know, yellow #5, red #40, corn syrup etc...
Almost lastly, once you cut it into strips, roll it. Fruit ROLL up.
Lastly, I dare you to eat just one roll!

I'm excited to try some more flavors, maybe mango, apple ginger, pineapple-orange
and so many endless flavors! What flavor should I try?