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Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups

March 25, 2013

I am straight up addicted to the whole genre of fruit leathers. Fruit Roll Ups used to be my all time favorite food growing  up (maybe it was because the roll ups were as close to junk food as it got in my house). I would wad them up and put the whole thing in my mouth and just suck on it like a ball of candy. Omigosh delicious. I was a bit of a whore, you could say, when it came to fruit snacks. It didn’t matter what kind- Fruit Roll Ups, Fruit by the Foot, Gushers, Hippie Fruit Leathers, I didn’t care, I ate it. My parents tended towards the first two, but it’s probably just because having the word ‘fruit’ in the title made them feel a little  bit better about what they were feeding their kids. (Side note: This is a funny comment because my parents were very good about feeding us healthy foods) Fast forward to adult-hood and fruit snacks still hold part of my culinary heart. Several years ago, my husband bought me a dehydrator to make raw foods with. I am very, very shamed to say that I never tried making fruit leathers in the dehydrator until now. This was seriously, the easiest thing to do ever! Follow along and see:

STEP 1:

Cut greens off strawberries and put in blender (I used a food processor). I used strawberries, but you can use any fruit or fruit combination that you want. Try to get the best strawberries (not necessarily the biggest!) you can find. Sometimes it’s better to have smaller, juicier ones, than big water filled ones. If your puree is more watery and less like puree, you may need to heat the fruit on the stove and get rid of some of the excess water.

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Make sure it is super pureed. You might have to do it in a couple batches as shown above (I’ve added new strawberries to the already pureed ones)

STEP 2:

Grease a cookie sheet and spread out the puree until it is thin, but not too transparent. (Remember, the water is going to leave so you don’t want it too thin or you’ll have holes)

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I made a couple different batches. One was on a medium sized round cookie sheet (shown) and one was on the bottom of a cheesecake pan thing. I needed something smaller to fit in my dehydrator. I really liked using something with a slight lip so I could spread the puree out all the way to the edge.

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It’s important to get the puree as even as possible so it all dries at the same rate.

STEP 3:

Dehydrate on 135 degrees for a couple of hours. If this is your first batch, check it every 30 minutes after the first two hours to make sure it doesn’t over dry. It should be flexible when finished and be able to peel off like this:

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STEP 4:

Roll up and store. Roll up the fruit leather and cut with a serrated knife to the lengths you want. You can then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat! 

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I was using my fruit leather as a small gift for a friend, so I cut up small pieces and put them in a little jar: 055

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I wanted to use a mason jar (what a great hostess gift, right?) but I could only find these small guys. They are still very cute and actually store a good amount. In hind sight– I may just write fruit leather on the tag. I don’t really want Betty Crocker coming after me with some sort of weird law suit.

Now, I know exactly what you are thinking: “But I don’t have a dehydrator. I want to make fruit leather too! This isn’t fair!!” Don’t worry friends, there’s an alternative in case you are part of the 95% of the population that doesn’t own a blessed dehydrator. Basically, the whole idea of the dehydrator is that it ‘cooks’ things at very low temperatures with lots of air flow. If you live in the Southwest, you can just air dry things outside. Anywhere else you can just do this: Set your oven temp as low as possible, cook the fruit leather as described above, and leave the door to the oven slightly open!  Leaving the oven door open will allow the moisture to leave. It will also help keep the temperature down, because your oven probably doesn’t go all the way down to 135.

Everyone does things a little different, so here are some more resources:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4869170_make-fruit-leather-oven.html

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_fruit_leather/

http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2011/03/step-by-step-homemade-fruit-leather/

Enjoy snacking away!

xoxo Bucky

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