The Process of Eating Less Processed

Weaning My Family Off of Processed Foods – While Sneaking in Some Hidden Fruits and Veggies

Fruit Roll Ups Success and Recipe for Apple, Zucchini and Carrot Fruit Snacks (Rolls)


I posted quite awhile back about trying to make homemade fruit snacks with gelatin. While I’ve given this a couple of additional tries, I admit I’ve given up on making passable gewey little fruit snacks like the ones your kids enjoy out of the little bags. I have not, however, completely given up on fruit snacks and have actually done quite a few successful batches of fruit “roll ups” – or fruit leathers. (I’m sticking with calling them roll ups for my kids as leather just doesn’t sound appetizing).

A couple of notes on this one… I’ve read that it is possible to do these in the oven (on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap or a silicone mat at your oven’s lowest setting for 6-8 hours). I haven’t done this though. I use a food dehydrator – which works pretty well. If you don’t have a food dehydrator, I see them all the time at charity resale shops. In fact, I got mine for $3 a couple months ago. You’ll probably also need the fruit roll accessory, which in the case of my dehydrator are these little donut shaped flat sheets that I found on Amazon for $5. So for an investment of $8 I got a perfectly usable food dehydrator.

Second note… I’ve tried a bunch of different fruit combinations and have thought all of them were yummy. However, my six year old won’t eat any of them that have seeds. So the really yummy berry ones are out for him (although the 4 year old will eat them up). I may try making a batch and straining it through cheese cloth or something to get the little berry seeds out, but for now I make the berry ones for myself and the younger boys and an apple based, seedless one for my oldest.

Third note… I add veggies to my fruit roll ups whenever possible. Zucchini seems to work really well for this (as I’ve written it’s becoming one of my go-to veggies). I stumbled upon adding carrots as well when I decided to use up the little bag of baby carrots in the fridge that was starting to dry out.

Fourth note… You can use frozen or fresh fruit for these, as well as fruit that is just a little overripe. In fact, it’s a great use for fruit that is a little past its prime.

To make the fruit rolls, add all your fruits (and veggies) to a saucepan (peeled, cored and roughly cut up if necessary) along with a little sugar and lemon juice. Cook, covered until everything is nice and soft. Then use your blender or food processor and mush the crap out of it until it’s as smooth as possible. Taste your puree and add more sugar or lemon juice if necessary. Keep in mind that dehydrating will concentrate the flavors. Then add to your pan or dehydrator (brushed lightly with vegetable oil to prevent sticking) and evenly spread to between 1/8 and 1/4″ thick. Dry until they are no longer wet, or until they do not indent when you touch them and don’t stick to your finger. If the edges get too dry, you can brush them with water. You can also do this if you accidentally let the whole thing get too dry. Once dry, cut into whatever shape you would like. Many people also wrap them up in little paper rolls like the packaged ones. I just store them in a ziplock bag.

Berry, Apple and Zucchini Fruit Rolls

Each of the below recipes makes two trays in my dehydrator, it may be more or less depending on your machine or if you use the oven.

Apple, Zucchini ad Carrot Fruit Rolls
4 apples, cored, peeled and cut up
2 zucchini, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup carrots (baby carrots or peeled and cut carrots)
1/3 cup sugar
3 TB lemon juice

Berry, Apple and Zucchini Fruit Rolls
16 oz bag frozen berries
2 zucchini, peeled and cut into chunks
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut up
1/3 cup sugar
3 TB lemon juice

Apple, Pear and Zucchini Fruit Rolls
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut up
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut up
2 zucchini, peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 cup sugar
3 TB lemon juice

These are all yummy and I feel like when I hand one to my kids I’m giving them a piece of fruit with just a little added sugar.


Author: Rebecca Osterman

I'm a stay at home mom and freelance graphic designer.

4 thoughts on “Fruit Roll Ups Success and Recipe for Apple, Zucchini and Carrot Fruit Snacks (Rolls)

  1. Pingback: Mommy Has a Melt Down | The Process of Eating Less Processed

  2. Pingback: My Top Five Veggies to Hide in Our Food | The Process of Eating Less Processed

  3. Thank you!! I grew up eating apricot zucchini fruit leather and have been scouring the internet looking for just how to use the zucchini…

    Do you have a problem with the sugar re-crystallizing in the leather after the first day? Just wondering if I need to boil it or anything special to keep the texture consistent after the first day

    • Anna, I haven’t had any problems with the sugar crystalizing. I do boil my stuff mainly because I’m adding carrots so want to boil them down and get them mushy anyways. They last for quite awhile. I just rip them into strips and keep them in little zip lock bags.

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