Food: healthy homemade fruit roll-ups (or homemade Yoyos)

 
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful

My kids love Bear Yoyos - and they're a pretty good snack, just fruit dried. But they aren't cheap, especially at the rate my boys want to eat them. And I'm not such a fan. The texture is a bit lumpy bumpy and weirdly furry to me - if that makes any sense? They're also soooo sweet.

I'd read good things about Lavashak the Persian fruit leather on the Honestly Yum blog and thought I'd give it a go. And now I am in love, and so are my kids. It's smooth and silky and it's tart and moreish in a way shop bought fruit leather just isn't. I had to make three batches of the stuff just to get these photographs because we (I) kept eating it all.

They perfectly satisfy my need to eat chewy sweets but with very little sugar - just one tablespoon spread between 10 fruit roll-ups - and with some fruits such as peaches and strawberries you don't need any.

Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful

They work out cheaper too depending on the fruit. The plum ones - photographed here - were my favourite and for 750g of plums it cost £1.50 (at Waitrose - so you could probably find them even cheaper at a market or free if you have trees in your garden). That made 10 roll-ups compared to £2.21 for 10 yoyos (5 packs of two roll-ups). Obviously there is a bit of work involved - but they're pretty easy.

To make your own fruit roll-ups you will need:

750g fruit - stone fruits seem to work best so plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots but you could use raspberries and strawberries (I'd probably sieve out the seeds). Sugar (optional - depending on the ripeness of your fruit and the sweetness of your tooth) Non-stick baking parchment A blender

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 50c or the lowest it can go.

Hull or de-stone your fruit and cut into quarters. If you've been pulling stones out of plums or peaches then scrub your nails like mad with a nail brush because otherwise you end up looking like you've been scrabbling in the dirt for hours.

Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful

 Put the stone and stalk free fruit into a saucepan with a splash of water to stop it catching. Heat over a medium flame until the fruit has completely collapsed and softened. Taste it and add some sugar a tablespoon at a time if you feel it needs it. Allow to cool slightly.

Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful

Puree the fruit in a blender until smooth and the pour onto a large baking sheet that has been lined with non-stick baking parchment. Make sure your parchment is the shiny/waxy side up. I made one batch on the wrong side and it was really hard to peel the paper off. Try to spread the puree evenly so that your roll-ups are a consistent thickness.

Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful

Put into the oven and leave to dry out for 4-5 hours. It shouldn't be tacky on top, but it should still be flexible so that you can roll it up.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then peel off the backing paper. Cut into even strips widthways and roll up with some parchment and tie with string. If you can't be bothered to do that they roll up on themselves just find without sticking together.

Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful
Healthy fruit roll-ups | Really Pretty Useful

I store mine in the fridge. I can't tell you how long they keep for because ours are gone in a matter of days.

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