Some call it fruit leather, fruit squares, roll ups, fruit chews, fruity fruit...
My kids love a good snack. And they’re programmed.
Now, they’re not free to snack as they please all day long. If I let them?
Well, let’s just say I’d have to roll them out of the house, trying not to bruise their delicate fleshy skin, to get them to school.
It’s just...they have snack time - or times.
And, it just so happens that snack times are precisely at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, daily. And they have learned to tell time because they’re internal snack clock has taught them. Umm...pretty cool, right?
What can I say? I started this madness.
So, since I am the “programmer” - I must ensure that snack is not sugar centric the very large majority of the time.
Here’s a totally simple way to give healthy dried fruit in a form more conducive to my sensibilities. I mean...the children’s sensibilities.
You’ll need 8 ounces of your favorite dried fruit. (Whatever floats your boat, rocks your world and makes your knees wiggly.) I chose dried apricots and a sprinkling of dried cranberries. Water and a small sauce pan. Also, prepare a cookie sheet by covering in foil and coating foil with lots of non-stick spray.
Put fruit and water in pan and simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes most of the water will have evaporated and your fruit will be very soft and squishy.
If you have any excess water, pour it off and put fruit in a processor or blender. Blend until smoooooooooth.
Spread your pureed fruit onto the cookie sheet.
Make a nice thin layer, with no holes, that covers the majority of your sheet.
Bake on 250℉ for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed. Do not open the door. Really, don’t do it - I’m very serious. Well, not very serious. A tiny bit serious. Just don’t open the door - ‘kay? Don’t open the door for 8 hours - or overnight, which was the case for me.
*Yawn* Good morning fruit roll up, leather goodness.
Now, cover the fruit with parchment or wax paper. Flip the cookie sheet over.
Carefully peel off the foil layer.
Slice into strips. I used a pizza cutter to slice the fruit but then needed a pair of scissors to cut the paper.
Fold over edge of paper onto fruit...
and start to roll.
Healthy goodness for snack time...or times. Holy Toledo, it’s 2:55pm...I’ve got to roll.
Here's the recipe:
Homemade Apricot Fruit Roll-Ups
1 cup dried apricots*
1 1/2 cups water
Preheat oven to 250℉. Prepare a 9x13 cookie sheet by lining with foil. Generously spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small sauce pan combine apricots and water. Turn heat to medium and simmer (don’t boil) fruit for 30 minutes or until fruit is very soft.
When fruit is ready, drain off the excess water and puree the apricots in a food processor or blender until very smooth.
Spread the pureed fruit onto the prepared cookie sheet. The layer should be thin and coat most of the cookie sheet. Make sure there are no holes.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes turn off the oven - don’t open the door. Leave the cookie sheet alone and in the oven for at least 8 hours.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and cover the dried fruit with wax or parchment paper. Invert the cookie sheet and slowly peel the foil off of the dried fruit. Cut into strips and roll up using the parchment paper as the wrapper.
*You can use whatever type of dried fruit you love. I like to add some dried cranberries to the apricots. Delicious - and a great healthy snack for the kids!