DIY Wednesday: Fruit Roll-Ups

BackDIY Wednesday: Fruit Roll-Ups | Life Healthfully Lived in grade school, having the latest “cool” snack in your lunch was a big deal.  At lunch time, we would eagerly rip open our lunch boxes to see what treasures our moms had packed.  Lunchables were always a hit, fruit gushers, dunkaroos, marshmallow fluff sandwiches, and a can of soda made you a god.  Yes, it was a weird time.

I rarely had any of the packaged snacks that other kids in my class had.  Not only did my mom think they were nutritionally void and classified them as junk food (she was 100% right), but they were also expensive.  Every once in awhile she would put a treat into our lunches and my sister and I got to feel cool for the day.  Again, it was a weird time.

Looking back, I might have felt left out at the time but I think my mom did me a huge favor.  She taught me that food should not only be inexpensive, but it should serve some nutritional purpose.  It was also ok to have the occasional treat.  It’s those food beliefs that are the backbone of my thoughts on food now.DIY Wednesday: Fruit Roll-Ups | Life Healthfully Lived

With those beliefs in mind, I try to find/make snacks that aren’t just glorified junk food.  While I might not be able to recreate fruit gushers or dunkaroos, there are some snacks that can be made with real food.

Remember fruit roll-ups?  The store bought versions have a ton of sugar and dyes added in and rarely have any actual fruit in them.  You can totally make your own fruit roll-ups with less sugar, actual fruit, and cheaper than the ones on the shelves.  There are quite a few recipes/methods out there, but this is the one that I found worked best in my oven.  You might have to experiment with cooking times and temperatures based on your oven.  It takes less than 20 minutes to put everything together and while the cook time is a few hours, it’s all hands off and very simple.

Homemade Fruit Roll-UpsDIY Wednesday: Fruit Roll-Ups | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 to 2 cups fruit of your choice, chopped into small pieces (I used peaches)
  • lemon or lime juice (I used the juice from half a lime because that’s what I had)
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
  • water as needed
  1. Put all of your chopped fruit into a medium saucepan and turn heat to medium-low.
  2. As the fruit is cooking add in the lemon or lime juice and cinnamon to taste. Keep cooking until the fruit starts to break down.  If the compote seems dry, add in a little water.  You don’t want a super watery mixture, just enough to keep the fruit from sticking.
  3. After about 15 minutes, remove the fruit from heat.  Add in maple syrup to reach desired sweetness level.  My fruit was really ripe so I only used 1 tbsp.
  4. Now it’s time to puree the fruit.  You can use an immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.  Whichever you choose, blend until it is completely smooth.  You don’t want any chunks left.
  5. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Do NOT use aluminum foil, it will just be a mess.  Pour the fruit puree onto the sheet and spread into a thin layer.  This part will take some time to spread everything out to the right height.  You don’t want it too thick or it won’t cook right and if it’s too thin it won’t hold together.  Take your time and you’ll get it.
  6. Set your oven to the lowest setting, mine is 200, and cook for 3 to 4 hours.  You’ll know it’s ready when it is no longer sticky or wet.  Depending on how low your oven can go, this might take longer or shorter.  Just occasionally check so it doesn’t turn into fruit brittle.
  7. Once the fruit is done, slice it into strips and roll it up with a little bit of parchment paper.  You can keep these in the fridge for up to a week and use them in lunches for a healthy and delicious snack! DIY Wednesday: Fruit Roll-Ups | Life Healthfully Lived

How To Use The Whole Thing


We throw away a lot of stuff.  It’s such a simple thing, if we don’t want then just throw it in the garbage and it magically goes away.  Except that it’s really not magic at all.  That garbage has to go somewhere and the outlook isn’t so good.  I’m not here to lecture you on landfills and dumps and saving the environment, but I do think we can all do our part to help.  One of the larger components of our trash is food.  We throw away a ton of food and some of it is still edible.  No, this post isn’t about eating trash.  I just want to offer a few tips on how to use all of your food so that you get the most bang for your buck AND lower the amount of waste you throw away.


Make Stock


This is a really easy way to use up leftover scraps of vegetables and bones.  Things like vegetables peels from carrots, potatoes, cabbage, or turnips can be turned into a homemade vegetable stock.  After you’re done prepping your vegetables for dinner or whatever meal you’re making, gather all the scraps.  Place all the scraps into a large stockpot, add in water, a little salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, simmer for at least an hour, longer for a stronger flavor.  Turn off the heat and let the stock cool.  Using a strainer, pour the stock over a container and strain out the vegetable pieces and voila, you have homemade stock.  You can also make your own chicken or meat stock using the leftover bones.  Follow the same process, just add in whatever bones you have on hand.  Make sure to strain well so there are no leftover bones in your stock.  Now you have your own healthy stock on hand whenever you need it!  You can also freeze your stock and make it in big batches.

Use Up Your Greens

Many vegetables come with leafy greens attached to them.  I like to think of this as a two for one deal because you can use the vegetables AND the greens.  Turnips, beets, and carrots have greens that can be used for salads or added to soups and stews.  You can also use them for juices and smoothies.  Or you can dry out the greens and use them as seasonings for any dish that you can think of.  Just make sure to wash your leafy greens really well to get rid of dirt or bugs that might be hiding.

Eat the Stalk

Most of us don’t think twice about throwing away the stalks of vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, but those parts are edible too.  You can chop them up and eat them prepared the same way you use the flowered parts.  My favorite way is to eat them is to cut up the broccoli florets and stems, saute them with olive oil and season them with garlic, turmeric, pepper, and a little bit of my “Parmesan” topping.  You can also grate the stalks and use them as a salad topping or as a way to add extra vegetables to soups, stews, and sauces.

Keep the Pulp

If you like to make your own fruit and vegetable juices, you might be left with a bunch of pulp afterwards.  Don’t throw that pulp away!  You can use it to make crackers or add it into baked goods, such as bread or muffins, or add it into sauces.  The pulp from homemade juice contains a lot of the fiber and nutrients from the fruit or vegetable and is super good for you.  If you make your own nut milk, like almond milk, you can save the pulp from the nuts and use as nut meal in baked recipes.  Just make sure you dry it out well first before you bake with it.

Help Your Garden Grow


Peels from fruits or vegetables that you don’t want to eat, like banana peels, orange peels, or potato peels, can be used as compost for your garden.  Rather than just throwing those peels away, put them to good use helping your own fruits and vegetables grow strong and delicious.


These are just a few easy ways that you can use to help lower the amount of food that you throw away each week.  It’s also a great way to stretch your dollar and get the most use out of your food.  So before you toss that piece of food away, see if there is another use you can get out of it!


How To Repurpose Leftovers


I am a big believer in leftovers.  I think that they play a big role in eating good, healthy meals all week long, as well as helping keep food costs down.  I only cook for two people, but I tend to cook like there are four of us and make extras to have for lunches throughout the week.  One thing that I have noticed though is that people tend to get bored of eating the same thing over and over again.  If you get bored with having the same food, you might be more likely to switch back to your unhealthy eating habits.  Because we don’t want that, I wanted to share just a few ways that you can repurpose your leftovers and make a whole different meal with just a few minor adjustments.




This might be one of the easiest things to turn into a different meal.  Summer time is the perfect time to pull out the grill and BBQ some meat.  When you do this, make sure to throw a few extra pieces of whatever you’re making onto the grill.  Now you have some extra meat to turn into lunches or dinners for the week.

  • Shred chicken or pork and make a stir fry by adding it to some vegetables, brown rice, and soy sauce.
  • Slice up steak or chicken and add to a salad
  • Use fish to make some simple fish tacos.  Just add some salsa or corn, cilantro, and squeeze a little lime juice over everything
  • Make a chicken salad with shredded chicken, celery, avocado and mustard
  • Add any kind of meat to a frittata


If you do your meal prep over the weekend, make sure that you cook up some extra vegetables however you like.  Grill, roast, or saute them and you can use them for meals throughout the week.  Summer time also means the garden is full and your farmers market is in full swing, so you might be loaded up with extra vegetables.  Here are some ways you can repurpose your vegetables for leftovers.

  • Roasted root vegetables, like sweet potatoes or parsnips, can be added to salads or cooked grains for a simple lunch
  • Root vegetables are also really good pureed into soup or a sauce for pasta.  Add almond milk (or whatever milk you like) for an extra creamy texture
  • Grilled eggplant can be made into a simple baba ganush
  • Grilled zucchini or summer squash can be added to tomato sauce for extra texture and flavor
  • Cooked vegetables can be added to stir frys, soups, frittatas, or sandwiches
  • If you have an overabundance of cooked vegetables, you can also freeze them to be used later



Grains are a great thing to cook in big batches and then just add to meals throughout the week.

  • Grains make a really good bed for stir fry, vegetables with sauce, or cooked meat
  • Add your favorite grain to a leafy salad for a new variation
  • Leftover pasta?  Use it up by making cold pasta salad.  Toss your favorite pasta with some olive oil, seasonings, and vegetables like cherry tomatoes or avocados for a delicious summer meal
  • Try adding cooked grains to your lettuce wrap for extra texture and oomph



Fruit is also pretty abundant this time of year and you can make it into a few different meals throughout the week.

  • Use leftover fruit salad as a cereal, granola, or yogurt topper for breakfast
  • Freeze leftover fruit and use in smoothies or added to water for extra flavor
  • Make a quick toast topping by mashing up leftover berries and adding a little honey/cinnamon
  • Turn frozen leftover fruit into sorbets by blending them in a high powered blender or food processor


There are a ton of ways that you can vary your leftovers so that you don’t eat the exact same meal every single day of the week.  With just a little bit of prep work, you can have the makings of a healthy and new meal each day.  Get creative and see what you can make out of the meals in your fridge!

Any Fruit Crisp

I have a really delicious treat for you guys today, a dessert recipe!  I realized that I had not posted any kind of dessert recipe and knew that needed to change.  It is entirely possible to eat well and healthy and also enjoy a few treats!  This crisp is probably not what you would immediately think of when you think a typical crisp.  I’ve adapted it to fit into a healthy lifestyle, but also taste just as delicious! It also doesn’t take that long to put together and you can use whatever fruit you have lying around depending on the season.  I’ve done strawberry and rhubarb, strawberry and pear, and more recently peach and raspberry.  An all berry crisp would be delicious and in the fall an apple one would taste phenomenal!

Any Fruit Crisp



  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats, soaked in just enough water to cover for about 15 minutes
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil (olive oil would work, but I like the lighter flavor of safflower)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 cups fruit of your choice

1.  Preheat your oven to 400.  Slice your fruit up into bite size chunks and place into a pie dish, or another shallow dish. Add your lemon juice and 1 tbsp maple syrup to the fruit.  Mix well

2.  In a medium bowl add your soaked steel cut oats, almond flour, and cinnamon.  Stir together, it will look a little crumbly at this point, that’s totally fine.  Add in 1 tbsp safflower oil and 2 tbsp maple syrup.  Mix again.  It should start to stick together now but not be too wet looking.

3.  Spoon the oat/almond flour mixture over the fruit making sure to cover as much of the fruit as possible.  It won’t look perfect and that is fine, it isn’t suppose to!

4.  Place in oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.  You want the fruit to be bubbling and the top part should just be starting to brown.  Cool completely and then serve up the yum!


Because this is such a quick dessert, you can make it often and experiment with what fruit combo you like the best.  It’s also yummy enough to share at a BBQ or party… if you feel like sharing!  Enjoy!