Homeade Fruit Roll Ups

Since I had the dehydrator out and humming, I wanted to try making homeade fruit rollups. My kids area always asking for a “sugary snack” and they love those chemical laden gummy like snacks that don’t taste anything like fruit at all. I remembered when I was a kid, my moms friend always packed homeade fruit rollups in her children’s lunches so I gave it a go. Fruit rollups take a lot of fruit so using a “base” fruit like apple helps create volume. You can then add lesser amounts of more expensiveIMG_5899 fruits for color / flavor. I happen to have 2 small containers of raspberries that were slightly mushy but not rotten. Perfect for rollups!

Into a saucepan, on medium-low heat, I put the raspberries. As they were heating up I peeled, cored, and sliced up whatever apples I had in the house and added them. Once the mixture was warm and a little liquidy (the raspberries were quite juicy when heated) I used a hand blender directly in the sauce pan to pulverize the mixture. Knowing my kids, I added a little agave syrup but of course this is completely optional.

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Once the mixture had thickened slightly, I poured it onto a silicone cooking sheet that I found at my local Michaels. Using a spatula I spread the mixture evenly to about a 1/4 inch thickness all over the sheet. Into the dehydrator it went until morning. When I check them the next day, they needed a little extra time, so I gave them another few hours. Around mid morning they were ready. You will know they are ready when they lift from the mat easily butIMG_5902 still have enough plasticity to be rolled without breaking or cracking.

With my kids, presentation is everything. The more I can make things look like store bought the better chance I have that they will eat them. I couldn’t find my kitchen scissons so I cleaned a pair of pinking shears and cut the sheet into strips that were then rolled up. The extra remnants were cut into square “chips”.

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The rollups turned out great and the kids loved them. I think I ate all the “chips” myslef before anyone else got a chance. Next up…mango rollups!

Its Orchard Planting Day!

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former horse paddock…future orchard

Chickens…..check,  Garden….check,   Orchard…..CHECK!

Months ago we began dreaming of a beautiful orchard where you could walk underneath boughs of apple trees enjoying their shade and nibbling on their fruit fresh of the branch.

 

 

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Plum tree

Not knowing what varieties would work in our zone and not wanting to make costly mistakes in the selection of our trees, we turned to expert horticulturist Jeff Minnich (Minnich Garden Design) to advise and install our orchard. I told Jeff we wanted a lot of variety and showed him the space we were planning to use, about a 1/2 acre former equine paddock that was in the shape of a long skinny rectangle. He came back with recommendations that just delighted me! Here is what we planted today:

 

 

2          All-in-One Almond—Prunus x ‘All-in-One’

4          Apples (varieties to be determined)

1          Chinese Apricot—Prunus armeniaca

1          Tilton Apricot—Prunus armeniaca ‘Tilton’

1          Bing Cherry—Prunus avium ‘Bing’

1          Ranier CherryPrunus avium ‘Ranier’

2          Brown Turkey Fig—Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey’

2          Nectarine—Prunus persica var. nusipersica

1          Indian Blood Peach—Prunus persica ‘Indian Blood’

1          White Lady Peach—Prunus persica ‘White Lady’

2          Keiffer Pear—Pyrus communis x pyrifolia ‘Kieffer’

1          Methley Plum—Prunus salicina ‘Methley’

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The single almond on our almond tree

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Admiring the orchard

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