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Fruit Roll-Ups Made Healthy and Delicious

 

Yes. I made those. How professional do these look? And yes it is incredibly simple to make your very own healthy and delicious fruit roll-ups from scratch.

I am a child of the '80s and fruit roll-ups were all the rage back in my day. My personal preference were the apricot and the apple. I had been known to eat strawberry too, but that was where I drew the line. I could make a single fruit roll-up last forever. I would wrap it around my finger and make the most revolting mess of sticky fruit.

I have no idea what was in the original fruit roll-ups that I ate as a kid, but I'm guessing they weren't half as bad as what they're passing off as fruit roll-ups now. Today they are fluorescent in colour - from blue to green to purple to pink. They stain children inside and out and are predominantly made of... Wait? What are they made of these days?

Let's start with those day-glow flavours.

The current flavour options of Fruit Roll Ups:

  • Blastin' Berry Hot Colors: Blastin Blue/Green & Sizzlin' Red/Yellow
  • Tropical Tie-Dye
  • Strawberry
  • Carnival: Cotton Candy/Carmel Apple & Berry Lemonade/Cherry Slushie
  • Crazy Pix Cool Chix Berry Wave
  • Crazy Pix Wild Ones Blastin' Berry
  • Electric Blue Raspberry
  • Flavor Wave
  • Rainbow
  • Little Banana
  • Strawberry Kiwi Kick
  • Amazing Cherry
  • Sunberry Burst
  • Electric Yellow
  • Screamin' Green
  • Lemon Lime
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Tropical Punch

With names like these, you might not be surprised to learn that the main ingredient in "Screamin' Green" is not a green coloured vegetable but food colouring. "Little Banana" is not just a mean nickname, but a Fruit Roll-Up flavour that does not contain any banana, big or little.

The main ingredient in Fruit Roll-Ups is sugar. And you really get your bang for your sugar buck because you get not one sugar, but five different kinds of sugar including: sugar from pear juice concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, and dextrose. They also contain partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, citric acid, sodium citrate, acetylated monoglycerides, fruit pectin, malic acid, ascorbic acid, natural flavors and artificial colours.

Companies can no longer claim healthy and natural without paying the price. In recent years both Nutella and Johnson & Johnson learned that lesson. Well, so has General Mills, the distributor of Fruit Roll-Ups. In 2011 General Mills faced a class action law suit over their misleading nutritional claims of Fruit Roll-Ups.

Ingredients In Strawberry Fruit Rollups

Corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, pear puree concentrate, palm oil, Contains less than 2%: Citric acid, sodium citrate, fruit pectin, monoglycerides, malic acid, dextrose, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), acetylated monoglycerides, natural flavor, colour (red 40, yellows 5&6, blue 1).

If you're thinking Fruit Roll-Ups are all sugar and palm oil!, you'd be correct. If you're thinking, but at least there's pear puree concentrate, that's fruit, right? then you'd be incorrect. Fruit juice or fruit purees from concentrate are essentially mostly fructose. They take fruit juice or purees and dehydrate out the liquid so what you're left with is fruit sugar. The main difference between a fruit juice from concentrate and a fruit puree from concentrate is that the puree would still have some of the fruit's fibre.

Let's move this show along.

Fruit Roll-Ups

About the time fruit roll-ups started being made into Sponge Bob Square Pants shapes and came in a host of unnatural colours and flavours was about the time my obsession with infomercials reach its peak. Anyone remember Ron Popeil? I used to watch his food dehydrator infomercial over and over and was amazed at the idea that I could make my own turkey jerky, fruit rolls ups and potpourri from scratch. I used to hope and pray that my mother would understand the value of such a device.

My life would not be complete without the ability to make my own turkey jerky and potpourri. There was nothing I wanted more than a food dehydrator.

Fruit Roll-Ups

Alas, that was not to be and instead I waited until I could actually afford the goods. The king of dehydrators! The almighty Excalibur and I love her to bits and pieces. I use my dehydrator to make apple chips, flax tortillas, corn chips, dried cranberries, and the king of dehydrated snacks (sound the trumpets) - kale chips.

But of course, I have to be true to my infomercial-loving roots and fruit roll-ups are also a steady item passing through my dehydrator.
Plum Fruit Roll-Ups

The method to make fruit roll-ups is very simple.

Basic Homemade Fruit Roll-Up Directions

  1. Choose fruit, or combination of fruit and vegetables.
  2. Blend in food processor or high speed blender until smooth.
  3. Spread out evenly over parchment lined or ParaFlexx covered dehydrator tray with a flat spatula.
  4. Place tray in dehydrator and turn to 130-150 degrees* for about 3 hours (may vary depending on thickness of fruit rolls ups).
  5. Once sufficiently dry to peel off sheet, peel it off, set sheet aside and lay out on porous dehydrator tray to complete the process.
  6. Replace in dehydrator and dry for an additional 2-3 hours.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

* To keep your fruit roll-ups raw by official raw standards, you'll want to dehydrate them between 115-118. The reason I do them a little higher is that fruit is more inclined to form mold if it's taking too long to dry out.

Oven Method

Process as outlined above and then spread out on parchment paper and dry in oven at its lowest setting. Times will vary and you may want to keep your oven door open slightly.

Homemade fruit roll-up recipesFruit roll-up recipesFruit roll-ups
Here are some of my favourite fruit roll-up combinations.

MANGO MAGIC

2 ripe mangoes, peeled
1 apple, cored
2 cups strawberries
1 banana
3/4 cups hemp seeds

APPLE GINGER

8 apples, cored
2 tsp fresh grated ginger

BANANA COCONUT

6 banana
1 cup coconut cream

PEACHY PASSION

12 peaches
1/4 cup hemp seeds

STRAWBERRY FIELDS

Strawberries, lots.

The ones in the photos on this post are Balsamic Plum flavour, a grown up fruit roll-ups inspired by the genius of Well Preserved in their must-have cookbook Batch.

Balsamic Plum Fruit Roll Ups

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 12 servings

A kid and adult friendly snack that uses only whole fruits to make the ever popular fruit roll-ups

Ingredients
  • 10 cups or about 18 plums (any variety)
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • honey (optional if you are still transitioning off the sugar train)

Make It Like So
  1. Blend in food processor or high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Spread out evenly over parchment lined or ParaFlexx covered dehydrator tray with a flat spatula.
  3. Place tray in dehydrator and turn to 130-150 degrees* for about 3 hours (may vary depending on thickness).
  4. Once sufficiently dry enough to peel off sheet, peel it off, set sheet aside and lay fruit roll up out on porous dehydrator tray (about 3 hours).
  5. Replace in dehydrator and dry for an additional 2-3 hours.
  6. Peel off, cut to size, roll up and store in an airtight container.

Don't be afraid to experiment and play around with the fruits and choice of hemp seeds, almonds or whatever you want to mix in.

Extra Tips for Making Fruit Roll-Ups

There is a lot you can do with your fruit roll-ups to hide nutrition into the power snack. Some great things to mix in that may help reduce effects on blood sugar include:

    • Hemp seeds
    • Coconut cream
    • Tahini
    • Almond Butter

8 Responses to “Fruit Roll-Ups Made Healthy and Delicious”

  1. Cathy Hancock said…
    I love your recipes! Thanks! Happy Birthday!
  2. Erin Cruz said…
    This looks like so much fun to make and experiment with. Thanks for the alternative method with the oven as I don't have a dehydrator. Hopefully one day :) Happy Birthday and thanks for all your inspiration.
  3. Marysia said…
    thank you for the recipes and also a Happy Birthday!!
  4. Lois said…
    I love fruit roll-ups. I am diabetic and as long as I make my own using only fruit and eat a small piece at a time, it does not affect my blood sugar too much. I will definitely try some of your hints and recipes. HAVE A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  5. Cherie said…
    Fun recipe. I hope you're enjoying an amazing birthday Meghan! Happy birthday!!!!

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