Let your kids enjoy a fun treat made from their favorite fruits! Ditch store bought fruit roll ups and eliminate artificial and unknown ingredients by making your own. This is the ultimate snack food for kids. Great for lunch boxes, too!
Original recipe posted: September 2013 | Recipe updated: September 2019
Commence the time of year when Dan is wrapping up his crazy summer work while I begin my crazy fall work. This year we can stack onto that having a six-year-old who is adjusting to full-time school.
Have I told you what his favorite part of the school day is? That would be lunch. He is over-the-moon about eating lunch at school. He adores his Angry Birds lunch box, and he swoons over the notes I tuck under his cheese sticks and apple sauce. For now, most days he is eating out of his lunch box and that’s the way I like it. CONTROL FREAK.
One of the fun treats we have been adding to Elijah’s lunch box has been homemade fruit and veggie roll-ups. MOMS! I’m telling you! Ditch the preservatives, sugar and artificial junk! Make these for your kids. I have to tell you up front – they are super easy to make! BUT when you commit to making them you will need a solid chunk of time in the vicinity of your oven since they require a decent amount of baking time. As long as you are able to monitor your oven, it will do ALL of the work for you.
HOW TO MAKE FRUIT ROLL UPS
Stop buying fruit leather rolled for your kids – learn to make it yourself. All you will need is pureed fruit!
STEP 1 – SELECT FLAVORS
Start out with approximately 4 cups of any kind of chopped fresh fruit mixture. The sweeter the fruit, the less you will be inclined to add sugar and the tastier the roll-ups will be.
Some good options for fruit that add natural sweetness: mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapple, blueberries, apples, blackberries, pears and grapes.
STEP 2 – PREPARE THE BAKING PANS
Line 2 to 3 small, rimmed baking sheets or 9×13 pans with either parchment paper or plastic wrap. Ensure the parchment/plastic wrap is as smooth as possible in the pan and that there is a little bit of overhang on all sides of the pan. *If using parchment, spray generously with cooking spray.
WHY I USE PLASTIC WRAP
I prefer plastic wrap because it does not melt at such a low temp; it also does not require cooking spray. The dried fruit comes out of the oven grease-free which allows it to adhere to the wax paper nicely in the end. It will peel right off the dried fruit nicely.
If you are using plastic wrap, here’s a little trick: wrap a small dish towel or cloth around your pointer finger while pressing down into the corners and edges of the pan so it doesn’t stick to you.
STEP 3 – MAKE THE FRUIT LEATHER
Preheat oven temperature to 170 degrees F.
Place ingredients into a food processor or blender.
Pureé until smooth. Do a taste test! Check if it needs more flavor or sweetness. Pureé again until thoroughly mixed.
Optional add-ins: add a touch of honey, agave nectar, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange extract, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, apple juice or maple syrup.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pans until you have reached a thickness of about an eighth of an inch thick. Spread with an offset spatula or just a plain ol’ regular spatula until it is smooth and even. The more even it is, the smoother the baking process will go.
Bake in the preheated oven for 4 to 8 hours. Starting at the 4-hour mark, check your pans every 30 minutes. You should be able to lightly touch the dried fruit and not come away with a gooey finger. If it still is still sticky, place the pan back into the oven until the fruit is firm and totally dry. Once the fruit is no longer sticky to the touch, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Place wax paper onto cutting boards or a flat work surface.
Starting at a corner, carefully peel the fruit away from the wrap/parchment and place it onto the prepped wax paper.
Pat down on the dried fruit evenly and firmly so that it adheres to the wax paper.
Trim the edges of the rectangles with a scissors.
Cut the dried fruit into 1- to 1.5-inch strips.
Roll those cute little strips right up into cute little rolls. Feed to hungry little mouths. Or your own.
HOW TO STORE FRUIT ROLLUPS
Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
BASIC ROLL-UP RECIPE COMBINATIONS
Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups with Mango (makes ~16-20 roll-ups)
2 cups chopped mango
2 cups chopped strawberries
Drizzle of honey
Tomato Peach Strawberry Grape Fruit Roll Ups (makes ~24 roll-ups)
2 large tomatoes
1 large peach
1 cup grapes
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup honey
Raspberry Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups (makes ~16-20 roll-ups)
2 cups raspberries
2 cups strawberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Most batches will produce 2 pans of roll-ups, but some will produce more.
Silicone baking mats will work great for this recipe, too.
Frozen fruit will work! Be sure to thaw the fruit first for the best consistency.
If you are seeking creativity for your kids to get their veggies, try adding some veggie power! Many veggies will alter the flavor of the finished product, so I recommend adding vegetables in small increments. The only vegetable that I’ve been able to use without limitation is the good ol’ tomato. You get the vitamin A and antioxidants and sweetness. Spinach is another powerhouse option that doesn’t overpower, but should be used moderately when thrown into these.
HEALTHY FOODS FOR PICKY KIDS
Knowing you can help your kids get the nutrients they need in more than one form is what we want to help you accomplish! We’ve put together a list of delicious foods that our kids don’t see as healthy but allow them to enjoy eating their fruits and/or vegetables in a snack or breakfast item. You’ll be happy they’re eating better choices and they are happy to be blissfully unaware.
Healthy Breakfast Cookies – These cookies aren’t just for breakfast and they are deceptively delicious. Kids will never know how healthy they are!
Healthy Breakfast Muffins – Enjoy breakfast the healthy way! Whip up a batch of these muffins as a perfect on-the-go meal or a snack to stay on track with healthy eating. These breakfast muffins are beyond delicious plus they’re packed with good stuff.
No Bake Granola Bars – These Healthy No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars are the perfect snack for little ones. Filled with dried fruit and chocolate, peanut butter and honey, you will satisfy your sweet tooth with a snack you can feel good about eating. There is something comforting about knowing EXACTLY what goes into your kids’ bodies!
Healthy Fruit Dip – This Fruit and Veggie Dip is creamy, healthy and ADDICTING. Kids LOVE this stuff! Great healthy after-school snack option.
Healthy Snack Bites – These healthy snack bites take less than TEN minutes to make and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry. My boys adore them! Great after-school or anytime snack with no preservatives or added sugar!
Easy Zucchini Brownies – These are the BEST Zucchini Brownies you’ll ever make! Super moist, flavorful and chocolatey and topped with a creamy-dreamy frosting. This is the best way to use up zucchini from the garden!
Instant Pot Applesauce – Make your next batch of applesauce in your Instant Pot for an added touch of delicious flavor! This recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and takes just a few minutes to make. It is a great way to use up apples, it is the perfect snack for kids and it never lasts long in my house.
Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups
- 4 cups fresh fruit chopped (any mixture of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, pears, apples, pineapple, mango)
- 1/2 cup fresh vegetables chopped (spinach, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini)
- natural sweeteners if desired (honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange extract, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, apple juice)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees F. Line 2 small, rimmed baking sheets or 9×13 pans with plastic wrap and set aside. Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pureé until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and smooth out with a spatula so that the mixture is a uniform 1/8th of an inch thick.
- Bake in preheated oven for 4 to 8 hours, or until fruit is thoroughly dried. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from plastic wrap and place firmly on pieces of plastic wrap on a flat work surface. Using a scissors, trim the edges and cut into 1- to 1.5-inch strips. Roll strips up and store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.