Summer in a polytunnel can provide a bounty of fruits and other delicious ingredients for a home-grown diet. There are plenty of healthy recipe ideas to choose from. But every now and then you or your kids might want a sweeter treat. Fruit roll ups are a healthy way to make treats for your family that are a little better for them than shop-bought treats. Also known as fruit leather, you can make fruit roll ups using a range of different fruits, many of which you may be growing in your polytunnel.
If you have kids, they will love these dehydrated fruit purée coils. If you are using a more sour fruit then you can add sugar if you wish – or honey for a somewhat healthier option. Best of all, however, is when you can keep things healthy and just stick to the fruit. Often, the fruits will provide plenty of sweetness along with their juicy tang.
Fruits to Use for Fruit Roll Ups
You can use a range of different fruits from your polytunnel. Excellent options include:
Making Fruit Roll Ups
- Wash your fruits and remove any blemishes/ pits/ cores etc…
- Purée fruit (a couple of apples added to the mix if you are using berries will help with the set).
- Strain the puree to remove seeds if necessary.
- At this stage, you could also add other flavourings/spice/ sweeteners if you like.
- Spread out the mixture in a baking tray in a thin layer.
- Leave in a baking tray lined with lightly oiled greaseproof paper overnight on a low temperature to allow it to dry out.
- The fruit leathers are done when it feels dry and leathery to the touch.
- Cut the leathers into strips and roll in the greaseproof paper to make coils which can be popped in pack lunches or enjoyed anywhere as a quick, healthy snack.
Fruit roll ups make an excellent treat that kids will often love, and is a great way to sneak in some nutrients when they consider they are getting ‘sweets’. Real, home-made fruit roll ups are so, so much better than the artificial, sugary ones that you can buy in the shops, so why not make some yourself to use up some of the fruit you harvest over the summer? Do you have a favourite fruit roll up? Let us know in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.