The art of making blueberry fruit roll munchies for your family is a delicious and nutritious way to conserve your garden bounty, and enjoy it year-round. Children love them and they’re great for carry-along snacks for outings and camping trips. Blueberry fruit rolls made without sugar is a healthy option for refreshments or desserts for everyone. They make a good snack for a diabetic when made with a sweetener such as stevia.
Fruit rolls are a great concept: Making blueberry rolls at home provides many benefits. It’s much tastier, more nourishing than the manufactured stuff (especially if you leave peelings on the fruit), and you can make a wide variety of fruit blend combinations, or add any spices you like. It’s a fun adventure for children to help with, and if you have a blender, it’s also fairly easy.
Children love these for snacks – and by making it themselves, they know precisely what ingredients were used. Recruit the entire family’s help in not only picking out the recipes, but also in making the blueberry fruit rolls. This helps make it fashionable with the children. Plus, they’ll get the additional benefit of being able to have pride of their role in making the healthy and tasty blueberry fruit roll snack! My grand children enjoy helping make blueberry fruit rolls. Fresh, frozen or home preserved or store purchased canned fruit can be used. Frozen fruit can also be used to make blueberry fruit rolls.
Blueberry Fruit Roll Recipe
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup strawberries
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon almond extract
1. Place strawberries and blueberries in food blender and process until uniformly mixed with no lumps. If prefer, you can strain out skins and other bits that will make the fruit roll more textured, but doing so this will decrease the amount of fiber and other valuable nutrients in the finished product. Blend in honey and almond extract.
2. If the fruit mixture needs sweetening, add sweetener 1 tbsp at a time, and re-blend, tasting until the mixture is at the desired taste. For sweetener you can use honey, corn syrup, or concentrated fruit juice. Do not employ sugar in making blueberry fruit rolls as it makes the fruit rolls too brittle. Splenda or stevia sweeteners can also be used to lessen sourness without the addition of calories.
3. Place the mixture in a large non-stick cooking pan. Heat over very low temperature, stirring often for 1 hour until it is thickened. The consistency of the puree should be about that of apple butter.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 150�F.
5. Preparing the baking sheet for drying in the range a cookie sheet with edges works fine. Line cookie sheet with plastic wrap and be careful to even out wrinkles. Do not utilize aluminum foil or waxed paper. Spray cookie sheet with Pam or olive oil cooking spray. Dry this using a dehydrator.
6. Pour thickened mixture onto prepared baking tray. Spread the mixture uniformly, about 1/8-inch in thickness onto the cookie sheet to dry. Avoid pouring the mixture too near the border of the cookie sheet.
7. Bake with oven door partly open for about 6 hours until the fruit mixture is dry enough not to stick to your fingers but moist enough to roll. Remove mixture from the oven and cool.
8. This will make several squares that can be rolled. Store fruit leather in a sealed container or rolled and put in zip lock bags.
Storage of Blueberry Fruit Rolls
Chances are the blueberry rolls will be eaten soon and there will be no need for storage. If there is some to store, it will remain ok for up to 4 weeks at room temperature or for up to 1 year in tightly wrapped rolls in a container in the freezer.
Time you can store fruit leather in zippered food bags.
At room temperature (in a dark place): – three weeks
Refrigerated: – three months
Freezer: – twelve months
Spices, Flavorings and Garnishes You Can Use
To add interest, Spices, flavorings or accompaniments can be added to your fruit rolls. The recipe you use is only limited by your imagination.
Spices to Try: – There are many wonderful combinations that can be used such as blueberry-lime; Cinnamon is an outstanding spice to add to blueberry fruit rolls. Other spices include but are not limited to Allspice, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, mint, ginger, or nutmeg. Use spices sparingly, start with 1/8 teaspoon of spices for each 2 cups of fruit roll mixture.
Other flavorings you can Try: – vanilla extract, Almond extract, orange extract, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, orange peel, lemon peel, or lime peel. Use 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for each 2 cups of fruit roll mixture.
Delicious things you can add to the fruit roll mixture include:– chopped raisins,, chopped nuts, Shredded coconut, chopped dried cranberries, chopped dates, chopped dried blueberries, other chopped dried and fruit, granola, small marshmallows, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Fillings you can try: peanut butter, jam, preserves, marmalade, or marshmallow cream. These can be spread on the dried fruit roll and then roll the fruit roll and eat or store it.
Using Fruit From Your Own Garden
Dehydrating (or drying) blueberry from your garden for use in the off-season is actually one of the most cost-effective and healthiest ways of preserving your crop. You can purchase pesticide free blueberry plants from a reputable nursery and grow your own pesticide free blueberries. The nutritional content retained in the dehydrating process far exceeds that of caning it. In Addition, the dehydration process is usually more cost-effective than freezing, because you don’t use electricity during storage to keep your product frozen.
Harold Stewart understands both the theory and practical applications of growing blueberries. He has a PhD in biophysics with many years of teaching, extensive hands on and research experience at the university level. This coupled with of years of experience spent growing up on a farm translates into being able to provide you with quality blueberry plants.
Photo. Artem Beliaikin