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Homemade Fruit By The Foot

Recently, I got this email from Shelly:

Hi Amy,homemade-fruit-rolls 2.jpg

My son loves fruit snacks, but I'm trying to find a healthy alternative. Do you have any suggestions? Everything I have found is sticky and messy.

Thanks,

Shelly :)=

Kids love their fruit snacks, don't they?  The best thing I did with my kids was to replace the fruit snacks with raisins. It wasn't an easy transition, but once they realized the gummy snacks weren't coming back, they slowly became accustomed to their "new" fruit snacks.

I also have a recipe you might like to try!  This is Homemade Fruit Leather, or "fruit by the foot".  This process is much easier than you might think it is.

tj eating homemade fruit leather.jpg

homemade fruit by the foot.jpg

Instructions for homemade tropical fruit leather (without a dehydrator)

  1. 2 cups frozen mixed fruit (I used a mix bag of tropical fruit. It had frozen pineapples, mangoes, papaya, and strawberries)
  2. Place frozen berries in sauce pan.
  3. Turn on the heat, and mix for about 15 minutes, or until fruit begins to break down.
  4. Pour fruit in blender and blend with add 1/4 cup of water. Mix until VERY SMOOTH!!
  5. Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray the foil with cooking spray.
  6. Pour blended, smooth fruit onto foil lined cookie sheet.  Tip cookie sheet around to spread to your desired thickness (the thicker it is, the longer it takes to set up, but too thin, and it's not as tasty!)
  7. Place cookie sheet in oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, turn off heat and let it sit for 4-8 hours.   Mine took four yesterday, but our leather was a little too thin.
  8. Once fruit leather isn't sticky anymore, and you can tell it is dried throughout, remove pan from oven.
  9. With a knife, and while the fruit leather is still on the foil, cut into long strips.
  10. Slowly peel away the fruit leather from the foil.
  11. Optional step: I sliced wax paper into long strips and rolled up the fruit strips, securing the end with a piece of tape to keep it rolled.  I also placed a dab of water on each end to make the fruit leather stick to the wax paper.

homemade fruit leatherNeed more help?  I've posted pictures of the steps on this post from our healthy meal plan site!

A great way to teach simple healthy eating principles to your kids is by using our new free placemat!   If you haven't purchased a Healthy Kids Plate, this is the next best thing!
Print it and have it laminated!

ChooseMyPlate-placemat.gif 

Start the discussion with your kids today about balanced meals!

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Comments

06/17/2011 5:50am
Thank you! This is now on my list of recipes to try this summer. I really hate those packaged "fruit" roll ups. I hardly ever buy them, but with all 3 of my kids with me the other day at Walmart, I broke down and said "okay" to them. Yuck. I'd feel much better about the homemade.
06/17/2011 6:24am
Wow! I was actually just thinking the other day that I wanted to figure out how to make my own fruit roll ups and such...without all the added junk and die like the store does!
Alex
06/17/2011 6:50am
Thank you sooo much for this recipe! I made it this morning and it turned out great! My mom used to make us this when we were kids but she used a dehydrator...so I was so pleased to see I could make this without buying one.
Nic
06/17/2011 6:56am
How do you store your fruit leather? And how long does it keep? Thanks for the recipe!
06/17/2011 7:22am
Hey, thanx! Can't wait to try this! Do you think it would work in my dehydrator?
06/17/2011 3:09pm
[...] Healthy Meals and food for Healthy Kids [...]
06/17/2011 5:53pm
What a great idea! My son loves fruit snacks as well, and I have been wanting to cut them out of our family's diet. This seems like a great alternative!
Catherine
06/20/2011 3:31am
when you say 'place the cookie sheet in the oven at 250 degrees' is that Fahrenheit?
06/22/2011 3:34pm
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing the recipe. The kids do love those fruit roll ups, and this would be a healthier but yummy alternative.
07/12/2011 5:11pm
We made these this week for our upcoming road trip! We used a bag of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries). I added a touch of home-grown honey for more sweetness. Soooo yummy! My whole family is super excited to eat them on the trip (I actually had to hide the rolls from my family because they kept sneaking them). Thanx for sharing the recipe. (and we did ours in my dehydrator, like I asked previously--they turned out great!)
11/05/2011 2:19pm
[...] Food Group: Fruit / no comments   Drying your own fruit to make fruit leather is a great way for kids to get their servings of [...]
01/12/2012 7:11am
I absolutely love this and totally going to try it this weekend!
02/01/2012 7:56am
I tried this last night with no luck. I followed the recipe exactly. I put it in the oven at 5pm (after turning the oven off) and finally opened the oven at midnight to check it. The edges were ok but the middle was still gooey. I decided to leave it in the oven overnight and this morning, it was still the same. Any ideas as to what I did wrong? Could it be because I have a gas oven?
02/01/2012 8:15am
The only thing I can think is that it wasn't spread thin enough? I'm going to make these this weekend, and I'll let you know if I notice anything that might do that for you. One difference is I'm in Utah and the air is super dry- but I don't think your gas stove is a problem.
Christina
03/09/2012 5:12pm
It didn't work for me either...I am bummed!
Pam
04/15/2012 7:51am
I have an abundance of loquat fruit this year. Do you think this would work? How ling will this stuff keep?
04/15/2012 8:00am
Pam, I've never heard of that fruit before! I'm sure it would work great. You can store dried fruit for a very long time. As long as it's totally dry. If it's a little wet, it would get moldy. Good luck!
Valerie
05/26/2012 3:14pm
can you use parchment paper instead of the foil?
05/30/2012 9:14am
Yes, I actually think that would be even easier! The foil rips pretty easily.
Kathy
07/20/2014 10:49am
What about Wax paper? I am out of parchment right now :(
08/01/2014 9:56am
Yes Kathy- anything to keep it from sticking together will work.
Jenny D
05/31/2012 2:26pm
I used 100% juice in place of the water. I too was having trouble getting the fruit to dry out (gas stove) I turned my oven on the lowest setting, 170 Fahrenheit, left it on and it took about an hour but this was after turning the oven off and leaving it for about 5 hours first. Next time I will just leave the oven on then check every 2 hours or so. Thanks for the recipe!
06/01/2012 6:52am
Juice would be a great idea to try! So many people have trouble with getting their fruit to dry!! Let me know how it goes.
07/07/2012 7:13am
[...] love fruit snacks - but they are packed full of sugar.  Our homemade fruit leather is all-natural, no-added sugar, and so fast to whip up a [...]
Brenda
07/12/2012 8:53am
I keep hearing how aluminum is toxic to the body so using unbleached parchment paper would be better. I think using the whole fruit would be healthier than juice. Leaving the fiber in would slow down the digestion of the sugar for one thing.
Lindy
07/12/2012 10:41am
using parchment would eliminate the need for cooking spray too I would think, and then just pull the whole sheet of fruit onto a cutting board and slice with a pizza cutter and roll up in the parchment vs wax paper for less waste?
07/13/2012 8:25am
Great idea Lindy! We'll try it!
farha
01/23/2013 2:17pm
i had made them and they taste so delicious thank you amy.
rose
04/22/2014 2:31am
Is mango fruit leather good in pregnancy
04/25/2014 7:08am
I don't see why it wouldn't be Rose! I ate it :)
Kasie
06/16/2014 6:40pm
I know you said that you have never had these last longer than a week, but do you think they would be ok after a month (give or take)? my husband is deployed and I know he would like these and the mail takes forever to get to him.
06/18/2014 3:23pm
Absolutely! once dry Kasie they should be fine for a very long time.
kasie
07/08/2014 12:50pm
Ok thank you, I'm going to give them a try again. I made earlier but they were too think so they didn't get to dry out.
Janice Fisher
07/07/2014 12:57pm
Can I use fesh fruit instead of frozen? We just went strawberry picking a few days ago and I am looking for more things to do with them to use them up!
07/07/2014 12:59pm
Definitely!! Around here, it's usually cheaper to use frozen, but if you picked some and got a great deal, it will be sooo much better!
Sharon
07/07/2014 6:40pm
250 degrees is Fahrenheit or Celsius?
07/15/2014 3:33pm
@Sharon- Fahrenheit!
Belinda
07/16/2014 2:26pm
Guess I made them too thick....only the ends have set & its been 24 hours (but the ends are delicious!).
07/18/2014 9:32am
Sometimes weather is a factor- If you have a humid climate right now, it might not work. I live in the desert- works every time.
Belinda
07/21/2014 11:34am
Mine grew mold before it ever dried....guess I'll try again when it's a bit cooler....and make them thinner. Love the idea & wish it had worked!
07/23/2014 1:31pm
Oh man Belinda- We're trying this again today, so I'll let you know how it goes for us.

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