Fruit Snacks That Are Easy to Make and Fun for Kids
Fruit roll-ups, also called fruit leather strips, are sweet and chewy treats that kids typically love. They’re ideal for snacks and a perfect fit for lunch boxes. Making them at home is a snap and ensures that they contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives – just fruit and the amount of sweetener you like.
Total Time: 4 hours | Prep Time: 45 minutes | Serves: 12
- 1 pound fruit of your choice
- 3/4 cup sugar (or other sweetener equivalent)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- In a food processor, puree 1 pound of your chosen fruit.
- Add sugar or sweetener to taste. Depending on the fruit you choose, you might need none at all, but using a few tablespoons to 3/4 cup is typical.
- Add the lemon juice. If you're using light-colored fruit, such as apples or bananas, add about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to prevent browning. If you're using fruit that isn't prone to browning, use less lemon juice.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper, making sure to overlap the edges of the tray slightly. You could also use a silicone mat to line the tray.
- Pour the fruit mixture into the baking tray.
- Using a spatula, spread the mixture to form a thin, even layer. Leave a small amount of space between the fruit mixture and the edges of the paper.
- Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. The fruit leather is done when it is almost completely dehydrated and has a firm texture. To test, press the center of the leather gently with your finger. If it dimples, it needs more time.
- Remove the leather from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Remove the leather from the parchment paper. It should have a smooth, flat underside. Place it flat side down on a sheet of wax paper. Using kitchen shears, or a pizza cutter, slice it into individual serving strips.
- Roll the strips, together with their paper backings. Store in a sealed jar or plastic bag up to several weeks.
- You don’t have to use just one type of fruit—just about any fruit combination will work.
- While fruit roll-ups are a perfect way to utilize ripened fresh fruit, you can also use frozen fruit, or even fruit you’ve canned.
Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.