Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

Earlier this year I did a major stock-up on applesauce.  I love stockpiling things that we use often!  Basically, when something is free after using a coupon (or cheap if it's something we use regularly) I will stock up on it as much as I can.  The benefits to this are always having on hand what we need, having plenty to share or donate, and not having to spend money on this again (ever, or for a long time).

So, we had tons of applesauce (I mean tons and tons, like tons and tons of actual cases with many boxes of 4-pack cartons of applesauce).  TONS.  Despite giving a lot away, eating a lot, feeding a lot to my daughter, putting a cup in my husband's lunch each day, and constantly making recipes using applesauce, I still had some leftover that was close to expiration.  The timing of this coincided with using our last box of fruit snacks (also a staple in my husband's lunches) and my lack of enthusiasm over current fruit snack sales.  So, it was time to come up with a new plan.

I researched homemade fruit roll up recipes for a while before settling on this one and giving it a shot.  I was not disappointed.  I took tips from these two recipes - Easy and Fun Fruit Leather and How to Make Homemade Fruit-Rolls Ups.

Here's what to do:
  • Wake up early in the morning
  • Combine 6 cups of applesauce with 1 box of Jell-O (I used strawberry sugar free)
  • Line baking sheets with plastic wrap (loose on the edges because they kind of curl up in the oven)
  • Cover with applesauce mixture (thin but covered and not too see-through), leaving some space on the plastic around the edges
  • Put in the oven on the absolute lowest setting (170 degrees for our oven)
  • Bake until dry and not sticky to touch on the top or the bottom.  The thinner it is, the faster it will be done, but by fast, I mean more than 6 hours most likely so plan this on a day that you don't need your oven for anything else!  I put my trays in at about 7:00 in the morning and took the last one out at about 7:00 in the evening.
  • If you have a dehydrator, that's even better.  We have one however it only has one fruit roll tray (apparently you can buy more separately but I haven't done it yet).  I made one tray in the dehydrator which took about 5 hours.
  • When mine were done, I peeled them off the plastic wrap while still warm and put them on wax paper, cutting them into strips with scissors and rolling them up to store.  We've been storing them in the fridge.  I would not recommend using wax paper because it is really a pain to peel off.  I do it every morning so that my husband doesn't have to deal with it at lunchtime and I will never do it again!  All the recipes I saw called for parchment paper but I didn't have any.  Lesson learned.  I will either use parchment paper next time or just keep it on the plastic, or leave it with no lining at all.

This stuff is the real deal.  It tastes just like the real thing and is cheaper and probably healthier too!  The price of fruit snacks can be high when you figure you probably get less than two weeks worth of pouches per box.  I know I'm kind of cheap, but I don't like to pay more than 50 cents per box if I can help it!  If you can stock up on jello and applesauce and spend a little extra time (but very minimal effort) you can have these on hand instead.

Ignore the old, dirty oven, k?


  1. have you made this with real fruit??? I've been wanting to do that

    1. I have not yet, but you definitely could! I have seen recipes out there and I think if you just substituted pureed fruit for the applesauce here, it would work! If you try something, let me know how it works!


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