Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

How to Make Homemade Fruit Rolls {VIDEO}

June 20th, 2012 · 24 Comments · Do It Yourself, Frugality, Recipes

dried strawberry fruit rolls dehydrator

My 7-year-old helped me demonstrate how to make homemade strawberry fruit rolls (also called fruit leather) in our dehydrator in this simple video:

If you can’t view the video, click How to Make Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups to see it at YouTube.

I know not everyone has time or means to watch videos, so here’s some text to give you an overview of what’s inside.

The method:

  • Wash fruit.
  • Puree.
  • Pour onto dehydrator sheets or parchment paper* about 1/8-1/4-inch thick. (Never waxed paper!)
  • Dehydrate at about 135F for 6-12 hours.

Some highlights and tips:

  • I don’t hull my strawberries.
  • You rarely need to add water while pureeing fruit for fruit rolls, but if you do, add slowly.
  • You don’t need sweetener, but if you want to add it, use sparingly.
  • Use any kind of fruit.
  • Add cinnamon to apple rolls – cooked or raw applesauce.
  • The fruit rolls/fruit leather should last fine at room temperature for over a year.
  • *Huge important note on parchment paper – cheap stuff won’t work. It sticks to the fruit leather. I use If You Care unbleached paper, and you really can reuse and reuse. Once strawberries stain it, I still use it for baking messy things or whatever. The color stays, but the flavor doesn’t. It’s coated with a bit of silicone, which is why the fruit rolls release farrrr differently than cheap parchment. I wonder if freezer paper would work as well – please let me know if you ever try it!
  • If you don’t tear your paper, you can reuse it multiple times.
  • You can fill the entire dehydrator – and should to be eco-friendly and frugal.
  • You can also put other things, like crispy nuts, in the dehydrator at the same time if you don’t have enough fruit to fill all your trays.
  • Experiment with mixing fruits and spices – yum.
  • If your dehydrator is in the basement like mine is, carry the blender to the machine, then pour. Don’t try to carry trays – even one at a time – full of poured fruit puree anywhere, but especially down lightly-colored carpeted stairs. Especially after you’ve sold the house but haven’t moved out yet. Ask me how I know this. (If you goof up this instruction, Biokleen Bac-Out plus panicky adrenaline does an amazing job of getting pureed strawberries out of lightly-colored carpet. Trust me on that one.)

How to know when it’s “done”:

  • You can peel the fruit roll off the parchment paper without any stickiness.
  • Check the very center – if your finger gets any fruit at all on it, dehydrate longer.
  • Tear the fruit leather and squeeze – if you see any moisture droplets, dehydrate longer.
  • If there’s any condensation on the inside of your storage bags in the first few hours, they’re not all the way dry.
  • If you overdry, it just becomes a bit crunchy, but the fruit rolls will never “burn” or compromise in quality. Crunchy is still tasty!

How to dehydrate yogurt
how to dehydrate yogurt

I think it’s cool that you can also dehydrate yogurt and fruit for a protein-packed, probiotic on the go snack (above)!

Make fruit rolls in the oven:

applesauce and strawberry rolls (sm)

  • Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (pictured above with strawberry and applesauce).
  • Set oven at lowest temp, no higher than 200F.
  • Fill the oven, top and bottom racks, rotating them regularly.
  • Check often, flip as necessary if possible.
  • Should take about 3-6 hours to be fully dry.
  • CAN burn in the oven, so watch closely at the end. Burnt-on-the-edges fruit rolls taste awful.
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What about Plastic?

Many people have asked me about the safety of the plastic trays (and Paraflexx sheets) for the Excalibur dehydrator (I posted a thorough Excalibur dehydrator review a few years ago). They do not contain BPA, but if you’re really concerned about plastic, I recently found a stainless steel dehydrator from Radiant Life, one of KS’s current sponsors. You can also shop there for high quality gelatin for your homemade raw yogurt (how to dehydrate yogurt rolls coming later this week!).

Read more here on how to dehydrate fruit, including apples, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, bananas, and pineapple. It’s easy to preserve and have on-the-go snacks with a dehydrator!

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Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: Radiant Life is receiving their complementary mention as part of advertising, but I don’t earn any money if you purchase using these links. I am an affiliate of Amazon and earn commissions there.  See my full disclosure statement here.

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I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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