I know I've been misled by food marketing before and will continue to be in the future, must stay vigilant. Today I'm tackling fruit snacks. Sure, you could argue there’s some nutritional value in some fruit snacks, but let's face it. Fruit snacks are just little pieces of chewy sugar with a flavor reminiscent of fruit. They're a real close relative to gummy worms and a distant third cousin to an actual piece of fruit.
I would love to just swap out this chewy candy for real fruit, that’s logical. However, this is how the conversation would've gone with my kids: “I know I’ve been feeding you this sugar delight for years, but now we’re going to go cold turkey and eat the real deal... It’s good for you!... Fine you don’t have to eat the peel... Stop whining. I promise you, you don’t want diabetes. Why are you crying?”
There’s also the fact that while fruit snacks weren’t thought of as candy in our house, they were still thought of as a treat. Replacing them with an apple, or god forbid a banana, was not going to go over well.
Here’s our compromise! Homemade Fruit Roll-ups
They turned out really well. Still sweet, but at least it’s mostly from the fruit and a little bit of honey. They’re eating the whole fruit, which is awesome. Wait, no one’s eating banana peels or apple cores. What I mean is we’re not straining anything out or just using the juice. Fiber, it’s good for you!
I have plans for an apple harvest roll-up, pumpkin-pie roll-up, and one that might contain a vegetable… gasp. Maybe green roll-ups: Spinach or Kale with Apple and/or Kiwi (sounds good to me!) Seasonal roll-ups: Pumpin Spice (maybe), Apple Cinnamon.
We have an old dehydrator that I don't love, so I'm not even going to mention it's brand. However, it has lasted a long time and still works, it's just horribly hard to clean and the trays are starting to breakdown. I'm looking into a new one and I have my eyes on this beautiful 9 tray digital dehydrator (stainless steel trays)!
All you really need is a couple cups of fruit, pureed as best you can, honey or other sweetener to taste, maybe a little bit of lemon juice for fruits that brown. You don't even need a dehydrator. I've never tried it but supposedly you can make these in the oven. Google it. :D