Do you remember those days, back in school, when you would be excited to open your lunch box in hopes of seeing a tasty snack? Well if you grew up with a health conscious mom like I did, the chances of seeing that Rice Krispie Square or Fruit Gushers were slim. However, while other kids were indulging in chemical filled, store bought snacks, my mom made sure I didn’t feel left out by making me her homemade munchies. One of my favorites were her Fruit Roll-Ups!
Yes, you heard me correctly, I said Fruit Roll-Ups! They are easy to make and are packed with vitamins. This is an incredible recipe that will help you maintain that a healthy lifestyle while you are on the go. Just bring a couple homemade Fruit Roll-Ups with you to work and don’t forget to throw some into your kid’s lunch box!
Homemade Fruit Snacks
This five step recipe is a breeze and it can be made with just about any fruits you have lying around. The most important ingredient here is gelatin. No, not Jell-O! Don’t even think about reaching for that Jell-O packet! That is definitely not good for you. However, gelatin from grass-fed cows is actually very beneficial to your health. According to Nourishing Traditions and Weston A. Price foundation, gelatin has various health benefits such as:
- Supports skin, nail and hair growth
- Good for joints and can help joint recovery
- Can help tighten loose skin
- Can improve digestion
- Great source of dietary collagen
- Source of protein
Gelatin is primarily made up of the amino acids glycine and proline. They can be found in the bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals. These amino acids are not only necessary for good skin, hair and nail development, but are also needed for proper immune system function and weight regulation!
Glycine is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that makes up 1/3 of the amino acids in gelatin. There is also significant evidence that glycine can help speed up wound recovery and improve sleep quality.
- Washed Fruit (get creative and mix and match different fruits to get different flavors!)
- 2 tablespoons of grass-fed gelatin per 4 cups of fruit (you can purchase this ingredient from any health food store)
- Dehydrator (if you don’t have one, don’t panic! You can use your oven!)
- Non-stick dehydrator sheets or parchment paper
To make the best impact on your health, try adding beneficial ingredients such as ginger. Ginger has been used as a natural medicine for years, and it is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, and is often used to treat joint pain. Ginger has also been used to reduce nausea and assist in weight loss.
- Add your fruit. This step is very straightforward, just add your fruits along with any additional ingredients to the blender and blend away! This is where you can get creative. Use whatever fruits you want, don’t be afraid to mix! I personally love using blueberries, pineapples and bananas. Blueberries are filled with ingredients that are beneficial to the nervous system and proper brain function, while pineapple and banana are rich in vitamin C and copper.
- Add gelatin. Once your fruits are blended into a puree, turn off your blender and add two tablespoons of that grass-fed gelatin that we spoke of earlier. Go ahead and continue blending until the mixture is well combined.
- Pour. For this step you will need your dehydrator and dehydrator tray or parchment paper. Lay the paper or tray flat on top of the mesh for your dehydrator and pour a cup of puree on top on the sheet. You will see some air bubble from blending, but don’t panic it’s all good! Spread the puree around by tilting the tray. Add one cup at a time, until your mixture is done. You should leave the puree about 1/4 inch thick. Remember if it’s too thin it will be difficult to remove. This step takes some practice, but don’t worry you will get a hang of it!
- Dry. You are almost done! Turn your dehydrator on low and let it dry for 6 to 10 hours. You can even leave it overnight if that works better for you. If you don’t have a dehydrator, use your oven on the lowest temperature.
- Peel. Done! Bend the sheet of parchment paper and peel off you fruit leather. Lay your fruit on a new, clean sheet of parchment paper and cut into strips. At this point it doesn’t matter what size the strips are, it is all up to personal preference. Now, roll them up! This snack can last for months in an airtight container, but I’m sure it won’t be around for too long.