But somehow she always knew... Oh yes, a mother always knows.
My earlier indulgences were given away by my hyperactive and manic behaviour upon return. Bouncing off the walls on a fructose driven sugar high while screaming and crying at my poor defenceless parents was hardly hide-able.
Of course now when reflecting on my childhood I realise my mothers actions were for my own benefit. As a child that was sensitive to artificial colours/flavours and excess sugar she acted in my best interest. However try telling an 8 year old that!
During school recess I was particularly envious of my friends whose lunch boxes contained 'fruit' roll ups. Realistically they are a chewy lolly marketed as a 'healthier' lunch box alternative to ordinary confectionery. As a child I couldn't understand why my mother wouldn't let me eat these!
Now I simply need to look at the list of ingredients to understand why.
Roll-Up Strawberry Flavour Ingredients: MALTODEXTRIN (MAIZE OR WHEAT), CONCENTRATED FRUIT PASTE (25%) [APPLE, STRAWBERRY (1%), RASPBERRY, BLUEBERRY, BLACKCURRANT], MODIFIED STARCH (1412)(WHEAT), DIETARY FIBRE (INULIN), VEGETABLE OIL [EMULSIFIER (LECITHIN) (SOY), ANTIOXIDANTS (304, 306)], APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE (2%), SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOUR, EMULSIFIER (471), FOOD ACID (CITRIC, MALIC), NATURAL COLOURS EXTRACTED FROM FRUIT, VEGETABLES AND PLANTS (ANTHOCYANIN, CARBON BLACK, TURMERIC), VEGETABLE GUMS (410, 415).
Emulsifier 471 for your information is a fatty acid that can be from either plant or animal origin.
For something marketed as a strawberry fruit product it is a little shocking to see that only 1% of the product actually comes from strawberries... actually its disgusting!!!
So here I offer you a healthy alternative to the commercial roll-up. Homemade fruit leather that does not require a dehydrator to make!
Basically you can use whatever fruit you would like! 3 cups of puree will roughly be enough to cover one large baking tray. Play around with whatever fruit/flavours you like and add whatever spices you like :) I chose to use apples, strawberries and ruby grapefruit with a pinch of cinnamon!
Not only do these NOT contain any of the nasties that commercial roll ups contain, but they are pretty much PURE fruit! Say no to artificial crap and yes to real food!
Healthy Fruit Leather (a.k.a roll ups)
Makes 10 strips
2 apples, finely diced
10 strawberries, diced
1 ruby pink grapefruit, diced
Stevia/rice malt syrup to sweeten if needed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1. Place the fruit in saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fruit is soft and the liquid has been reduced. Stir through the cinnamon and salt.
2. Transfer the fruit to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste the mixture and if required add a sweetener. The grapefruit can be quite tart and while suitable for adults children may not appreciate this. If you would like a sweeter roll up than I suggest adding some sweetness to balance out the sourness. If a sweetener is added blend again until combined. You should end up with 2-3 cups worth of pureed fruit.
3. Heat oven to 120-150°C (250-300F). Line a large baking tray with baking paper (if your baking tray is not very large you may need to use two smaller sized trays). Pour the mixture onto the tray and spread it out thinly by using the back of a spatula. You want it to just cover the baking paper's surface without leaving any gaps (the thinner the better!). Place the baking tray in the oven on the lowest shelf availiable and bake for 8-12 hours. I left mine overnight baking at about 130°C for 9 hours. Remove the tray from the oven and using a sharp knife cut the fruit leather into strips. Let it cool completely before peeling the fruit leather off the baking paper. Roll up if desired and store in an airtight container for up to a week! Enjoy :)