Red, White, and Blueberry Healthy Homemade Fruit Leather Tutorial

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I have always loved fruit leather; it was my favorite treat when I was a little kid.  (And, um, it's still way up there on my list, if I'm being honest.)  And my mom used to make absolutely delicious homemade fruit roll ups.  I could eat it just about as fast as she could make it, but I've never tried making it myself.  Until now.

Rolls of homemade fruit roll up on parchment paper secured with red and white baker's twine

My girls love the commercial variety, of course, but I stumbled on an old cookbook on my shelves the other day, The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. Monster.  

Old cookbook called The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. Monster

 My mom used to make healthy snacks using these recipes when I was a kid, and when I had my first daughter, she passed the cookbook along to me.  (Hey, wow, it's still available!) I remember loving the homemade fruit leather she used to make for me, and decided I needed to try making some for my girls.

fresh strawberries and blueberries, container of honey, and bowl of applesauce on a light blue wooden surface.

Homemade Healthy Fruit Roll Ups Recipe: 

  • fruit (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • unsweetened applesauce
  • honey (optional)

Strawberries in a waring blender on a granite counter.

The 4th of July is right around the corner, so I decided to try making fun striped fruit roll ups using strawberries, blueberries, and applesauce.  

Blend up your fresh fruit into a puree.  If your blender is having trouble liquefying the fruit all on its own, add about a half a cup of unsweetened applesauce.  It's liquid enough to do the trick and get the blades whirling and chopping up the other fruit nicely, without having to add water.

Pureed strawberries being cooked on the stovetop.

Cook the pureed fruit over a medium flame for about five minutes.  If you want the fruit puree to be a little bit sweeter, add honey to taste at this stage.  

Blueberries being blended in a blender.

Wash the blender between batches of different colored fruit purees, or use a pastry chef tip of going from light to dark.  If you start with light fruit (or vanilla cake) and then do the dark (or chocolate cake, in the pastry world), you don't have to wash between batches!  

Three disposable piping bags filled with strawberry puree, applesauce, and blueberry puree.

Bag up your different colors of fruit puree.  I have strawberry puree, plain unsweetened applesauce, and blueberry puree for my patriotic fruit leather.

Fruit puree spread in baking pan ready to dehydrate into homemade fruit roll ups.

Line a pan with parchment paper or plastic cling wrap, and start squirting!  The puree was so runny, it was hard to make nice, clean lines.  It actually turned out to be easier just to use a spoon to dish it out.  If you do use the pastry bags, it works a lot better if you cut a much smaller tip than you think you'll need!

Fruit puree spread in baking pan ready to dehydrate into homemade fruit roll ups.

Use a spatula to smooth out the fruit puree into one even coating over the whole pan.

Pan of dehydrated homemade fruit leather on granite counter.

Set your oven at 130 degrees Fahrenheit--or as low as it will go, basically.  If you have a convection function, turn it on.  Pop the trays in the oven and let them dry out overnight.  By the morning, it will have transformed into fabulous homemade fruit leather.

Strawberry, apple, and blueberry striped homemade fruit leather cut into strips and peeled from parchment paper on granite counter.

Cut into strips, and peel the parchment paper backing off of the fruit roll ups.

Rectangles of red, white, and blue striped homemade fruit leather on parchment paper.

Cut into rectangles--any size you want for your snackers.

Rolls of homemade fruit roll up on parchment paper secured with red and white baker's twine

Cut a new rectangle of parchment paper (or waxed paper, or cling wrap) a bit larger than the fruit leather, and roll it up.

Rolls of homemade fruit roll up tied with a string and embellished with 4th of July stickers.

Have fun with it!  A little baker's twine, some stickers...these are easy to dress up.  I found the blue gingham waxed paper at Michaels, in the cake decorating section.  They call it waxed paper, but it actually feels a lot more like parchment paper than the waxed paper I know.

Rolls of homemade fruit roll ups on parchment paper secured with stickers.

This is totally happening in my daughters' lunches when school starts up again.  Word of advice: parchment paper is REALLY non-stick, so the wider, more horizontal stickers work a lot better than the vertical ones for keeping the roll ups actually rolled.

Rolls of homemade fruit leather on parchment paper secured with washi tape.

You can use all those irresistibly cute rolls of washi tape to secure the roll ups, too.

My girls gave these homemade fruit roll ups enthusiastic thumbs up. The book says that they will last, stored in an airtight container, for several weeks.  But they're so delicious that they didn't last to the end of the day in our house.  Time to make another batch!

Navigational image leading reader to blueberry scones recipe

Navigational image leading reader to Lady Cassandra fruit leather from the Doctor Who birthday party

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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