Adapted from the Fruit Roll Recipe in ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’, by Catherine Barnhoorn, author and blogger at MILASMEALS.CO.ZA.

MAKES: 2 trays / 20 fruit leather rolls

A great no-mess, no-fuss out-and-about snack or lunchbox food and a very, very sneaky way to get the vegetables in.

Since my daughter, Mila, has been totally against eating anything that looks like a vegetable since she was 4 years old, I permanently have a batch of “fruit roll” drying in the dehydrator. (I call it “fruit roll” – so that Mila does not know that there are veggies in it. But really, it is 50/50 fruit and veggie 🙂 Little does Mila know that she is, in fact, eating vegetables 3 times a day! Yes – she gets this fruit roll for morning wake-up snack, in her lunchbox and with her dinner.

Not only is she getting the veggies in – but the superfoods too. And the superfoods are, in my opinion, a parent’s best friend! Ensuring your child has a nutrient-dense diet has never been easier – or tastier.

Mila chooses which flavour fruit roll she wants me to make based on the colour. We have moved on from Purple (which I told her was blueberry), Yellow (Mango apparently) and Orange (Apricot) to Green Fruit Roll! I choose which superfoods go into the fruit roll based on the colour – green superfoods would alter the colour of the yellow fruit roll, for example. So YAY for Mila choosing Green Fruit Roll as her current favourite!

This Fruit Roll is such a great vehicle for delivering Food As Medicine. And with winter approaching, and us needing to boost little immune systems, it is a winner (or “Two thumbs up” as Mila would say.)

PS: Most fruit rolls available in the supermarkets have added sugars or high fructose corn syrup, GM vegetable oils and transfats as ingredients, as well as being covered in preservatives – read the labels.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 apples – washed, cored, peeled and steamed
  • 4 pears – washed, cored, peeled and steamed
  • 1 large sweet potato – washed, roasted and peeled* (or 2 cups cooked sweet potato)
  • Juice of 1 bunch kale, washed (± 250ml freshly pressed kale juice)
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 small pineapple, peeled and chopped
  • 2 T. hemp seeds
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted
  • 2 T. baobab powder
  • 1 T. moringa powder
  • 1 t. The Real Thing Green Power powder (blend of chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass and barley grass)
  • 1-2 cups herbal tea, room temperature**
  • Date Jam, or soaked dates to taste

* I like to cook the sweet potatoes by roasting them. Wash, place on baking tray (skin on and all), roast at 180 degrees for ± 1 hour until a fork slides into them easily. Allow to cool, peel off the skin.

** The teas, and the superfoods, are where the medicine happens! Choose which herbal tea to include based on what your medicinal requirements are. For immune boosting benefits, and ones which won’t alter the taste or colour of the Green Fruit Roll too much, I use a combination of the following:

I literally put a tablespoon of each into a big glass jug and add boiling water (± 1 litre. I leave to brew until water is cool. Any tea that is not used in the recipe is the cook’s reward.)

 

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METHOD:

PREP:

  1. Turn your oven on to 180 degrees.
  2. Wash the apples, pears and sweet potato thoroughly.
  3. Core the apples and pears and place in a steamer. Steam until soft (± 20 minutes). Allow to cool, then peel.
  4. Place the sweet potato in the oven and roast until soft (± 1 hour)
  5. Make your tea.

MAKING FRUIT ROLL:

  1. Juice the kale and lemons.
  2. Place the kale and lemon juice, pineapple, apple, pear, sweet potato, lemon juice, hemp seeds, coconut oil, baobab powder, moringa powder, Green Power, and 1 cup herbal tea in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Check the consistency. If it is too thick to pour, add a little more herbal tea until a pouring consistency (similar to cake batter) is reached. If it is too thin, add fruit that has a lower water content such as banana, or add ground chia seeds (one tablespoon at a time).
  4. Check the taste. If it is too tart, add a soaked date or tablespoon or two of Date Jam until the desired sweetness is reached.
  5. Keep in mind that the flavours will intensify as they dehydrate.
  6. Spread the mixture evenly onto greased, solid dehydrator trays to a thickness of approximately ½ cm (⅛”). (Grease with coconut oil)
  7. If you do not have solid sheets you can line mesh sheets with parchment paper. Do not use wax paper or tin foil.
  8. Dehydrate at 45°C (110°F) for 10 hours then flip the mixture onto a mesh sheet and continue drying for another hour or two***. Check on the fruit roll to make sure it is not getting too dry (crunchy). If it peels away from the sheet easily it is dry. Remember that under-dried (moist) fruit roll will not keep.
  9. Allow the leather to cool; remove from the sheets, cut into long strips and roll up.
  10. Store in a sealed, glass jar in a cool, dark place for a couple of months, or in the freezer for up to a year.

*** Drying time really depends on dehydrator model, air temperature and humidity. As you make this fruit roll more and more, you will find the correct drying time for your home and environment.

 

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NEW TO SUPERFOODS?

Baobab Powder: Africa’s own superfood from the distinctive and loved baobab tree fruit, with more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk. Baobab powder helps to boost the immune system and promote overall wellbeing and vitality.

Moringa Powder: Moringa is an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, potassium and it is a complete protein. Moringa leaves are also one of the few plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Moringa boosts the immune system and can benefit condition such as anaemia, asthma, constipation, and diarrhoea.

The Real Thing Green Power: A powerful blend of organic wheatgrass, barley and alfalfa grasses, seven sea vegetables and chlorella. All ingredients have immune-strengthening, infection-fighting properties that help clear viruses and bacteria.