Hunting for healthier options within the supermarket snack aisle can sometimes get tricky to navigate. Although the brightly coloured boxes and clever marketing terms ("made with real fruit!") seem harmless enough, inspection of the nutritional information panel on the back of packets often tell a different story. Many are heavily processed and refined, and have ingredient sections miles long, featuring artificial-this/artificial-that on the list. Snacks, though small in size compared to main meals, still offer a source of valuable nutrients and energy, and opting for more natural wholefood options wherever possible is great for satisfying hunger in between main meals, while still providing nourishment to the body.
I was thinking up some kiddie-friendly healthy snacks the other day that would still get the pickiest of kids interested and excited, and was really excited with how easy these raspberry and banana fruit roll-ups were to make! You simply blend together fruit (I also added a touch of honey as raspberries can be a little tart), spread the mixture on a baking tray and bake in the oven at a low temperature until the center is dry and no longer tacky. Yes that's right, no dehydrator needed! The drying part takes a while (6-8 hours), but you can just leave the tray in the oven to do it's thing and go about your day. Depending on how thick you pour the mixture you may create more of a fruit leather verses fruit roll-up consistency. If it's thick consider it a leather, while if its thin it's a roll-up. Keep in mind the thickness will also affect the cooking time, with thicker mixtures taking longer to dry then thinner ones.
Raspberry and Banana Fruit Roll-ups
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 tbsp honey
optional: 1/4 cup coconut cream
1. Preheat oven to bake 50 degrees celsius or the lowest temperature your oven will go down to. Line two baking trays with baking paper or an alternative non-stick surface.
2. Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Taste test and add a a little extra sweetener if preferred .
3. Divide the mixture between the two trays and then evenly spread the mixture across the tray using a spatula or the back of a spoon. This will take time, don't rush it! You want the mixture to be spread as evenly and flat as possible.
4. Place the trays in the oven and bake for 6-8 hours, or until the center of the tray is no longer tacky.
5. Remove from oven, leave to cool, and then peel off the fruit roll-up gently, starting from the edges of the pan - it should come away easily. Using kitchen scissors cut the roll-up into strips. Enjoy!
- The baking time of your fruit roll up will be affected by a few factors - how thick you spread the mixture, as well as the temperature of your oven. If your fruit leather is not done in the time stated in the method then simply leave it in for a bit longer, until it's evenly cooked.
- Aim to spread the mixture evenly onto the baking tray - if it's spread too irregular you'll get some areas finished before others, which may then turn crispy. You can spritz water over the crispy parts or use a thin pastry brush dipped in water to rehydrate, but best to avoid in the first place.
- These will keep well in the fridge for a few weeks (but they taste too good to last that long).
- If you've got a wee one who is picky with the texture of foods then you can strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer after blending to remove the small seeds.