Getting to be a part of every first experience with Izzy is tons of fun. Especially the holidays! Though Izzy is still too young to understand them I began thinking of all the crafts, cooking, baking, and decorating we will do.
I think my love for crafting it comes from my former profession as an elementary school teacher. I spent years drawing, stenciling, cutting, gluing, painting, and creating beautiful classroom materials and projects. And now I have a new student to craft with, my own little one. Izzy is now 6 months old and has 2 teeth, which means I now think about everything that goes in her mouth. Is it safe? Is it free of toxins? Is it nutritious? Will she like it? When starting solid foods they say not to give up on one food that may be rejected because it can take up to 15 tries before a baby or toddler likes it! I'm not sure many adults would even give a food that many tries! And, of course I think about what things we'll be able to make together.
One of my favorite snacks as a kid was fruit snacks or fruit roll ups. The ones I grew up on, I'm sure, all had high fructose corn syrup and food coloring. I didn't die, but why not have an easy and healthy homemade option. So here is a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Fruit Roll Ups. These are perfect for Holidays when you want something sweet and colorful, like Easter!
Here's a couple tips and tricks for this recipe... So, when Mimi and I first made these Fruit Roll Ups we looked up a bunch of recipes and pretty much all of them said that they bake FOR-EVER (yes, imagine Squints from the Sandlot saying it with a flashlight held up to his face, so like 4-6 hours or more and yes that is forever in the baking world). So, being at high altitude we figured ours might bake for half that time. So, Mimi set the timer for 2 hours originally and we burned the crap out of them (so yes, you can burn these, even though a lot of people say you can't). The second time around, we did 30 minutes and they weren't done, and then at 45 minutes they were done. So, this time will change drastically if you are at altitude vs. if you are not. It's always better to set the timer for less time and then if they aren't dried out yet, just set it for more. You are looking for them to be just barely dried out and still sticky to the touch. They will dry a little more once they come out of the oven. Also, most of the time you can use parchment paper or silicone mats to keep baked goods from sticking. But, with these you have to use a silicone mat because they dry and basically glue to the parchment paper while in the oven. You have to put them on parchment paper after. Once you master this, (and you should be able to now that we've done all the testing for you) these are so easy to make and you can swap out the fruits for any flavors you want!
Strawberry Lemonade Fruit Roll Ups | Makes 6-8 Roll Ups
- 12 oz. (about 2 cups) organic strawberries
- 2 T. organic lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- 57 g. (1/4 cup) organic sugar
- 1/2 tsp. organic lemon flavor
Preheat oven to 150 degrees (or as low as your oven will go).
Wash and remove the stems from the strawberries, no need to cut them.
Add all ingredients into a food processor.
Pulse until you have a smooth puree, you can also leave chunks of fruit in it if you prefer.
On a baking sheet with a silicone mat, pour the fruit puree and spread evenly. It helps to bang the tray a little to even it out.
Bake until they are dried but still sticky. This can take anywhere from 4 hours to even 6. Everyone’s oven is going to be a little different, so start at 4 hours and then keep going if they are still a puree. You will see that they will dry out but still be slightly wet. That’s when they are are done, and they will be bright red still.
Once dry (we let them sit overnight) you can transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Then you can just cut the paper and they stick to it and peel off nicely.
Baker’s Note: You can use frozen fruit if you want. Just make sure to remove from freezer, run under water and place in a strainer for at least 2 hours before starting the recipe. That way the excess moisture and water has time to strain, this will help it not take so long because you are basically baking off moisture and drying out the fruit.
High Altitude – Bake at 150 degrees for 45 minutes (go a little longer if needed, but be careful at high altitude, these bake really fast!)