You know ‘em, those long, sticky, peel-and-eat rolls of sweet chemicals your kids love? I just can’t bring myself to call them what they do on the package; “fruit” is just too far off what they actually are. Corn Syrup Roll-up could work. Or how about Artificial Color roll-up? To make matters worse, my kids don’t even want regular roll-ups in their lunch boxes anymore, they want the ones that stretch to nearly a foot long! So is it possible to make foot long real fruit roll-ups? You bet.
THE COMPARISON: Fruit by the Foot Strawberry vs. Out of the Box Strawberry Fruit Roll-ups
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient)
FRUIT BY THE FOOT – STRAWBERRY by BETTY CROCKER
- pears from concentrate
- corn syrup*
- partially hydrogenated* cottonseed oil
- Contains 2 % or less of:
- citric acid
- acetylated mono* and diglycerides
- sodium citrate
- malic acid*
- xanthan gum*
- locust bean gum*
- vitamin c (ascorbic acid)
- potassium citrate*
- natural flavor
- color (yellow 5*, red 40*, blue 1*) – also see article: Do Food Dyes affect kids’ Behavior and other related articles under RELEVANT READS!!
Here’s a game for you: Find the “strawberry” in the Strawberry Fruit by the Foot. Can you find it? Look harder. No? You win! There IS no strawberry in the Strawberry Fruit by the Foot.
**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label. Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.
Out of the Box FoodSM Strawberry Fruit Roll Ups
SERVES: Makes 12, 14″ roll ups
TIME: Prep- 10 min
Drying time – 6 1/2 hours w/ convection oven OR 10-12 hours with standard oven
SUPPLIES: blender, 2 12″x17″ jelly roll pans (cookie sheets w/ raised edges), parchment paper
- 4 baskets of strawberries (1 lb fresh berries)
- 1/4 C agave nectar
- butter for greasing
- cut parchment paper to fit and lay into jelly roll pans
- grease parchment with butter
- hull strawberries (remove the stem) and place in blender
- add agave nectar to strawberries and blend until well pureed
- divide the strawberry mixture evenly between the two jelly roll pans and spread thin with a rubber spatula
- heat oven to 150 degrees (do not heat higher than this or you may cook the fruit as opposed to drying) If you have a convection oven, use this setting to speed up drying process.
- place jelly roll pans in 150 degree oven with oven door cracked open slightly
- when fruit is dry and no longer sticky to the touch (6 1/2-7 1/2 hours for convection oven or 10-12 hours standard oven), remove from oven and cut fruit with parchment still attached into 2″ strips. Roll each strip around a pencil and place in airtight container (if your kids don’t gobble them up first like mine did!)
*These roll-ups can be made with any kind of berry. We also made blueberry roll-ups which were delicious!
Though it seems like a long time to dedicate, if you prep the fruit in the evening and dry it over night, you’ll have fresh fruit roll-ups in the morning! When I saw the litany of ingredients in those prepackaged fruit roll-ups, there was no question that the time spent would be worth it. In fact, after inhaling the whole first pan of Out of the Box Roll-ups, one of my sons, whose tendency is to like what all the other kids like, said he loved these even better than “colorful ones”! Another point for fresh! Until next week…
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