I’m obsessed with cinnamon raisin everything. I’m serious. While a batch of chocolate chip cookies might smell good while they are baking in the oven; nothing makes me happier than the smell of baking with cinnamon.
When I say “baking” I don’t mean detailed cake and dessert recipes that need to be measured to an exact science. The only baking I attempt is bread-making and those semi-fool-proof recipes that come out delicious no matter what. Like my overnight whole wheat cinnamon rolls. Oh, and I’m a big fan of no-bake desserts like my oatmeal raisin cookie dough balls. I do lunch, I make dinner and I rarely bake desserts.
Since I’ve teamed up with the California Raisin Board this year to create healthy recipes your kids will love. Good thing they completely allow free reign to my creativity… because the recipes I will be sharing with you throughout the year are easy to make and your kids will love them! The proof is in the pudding (or the roll-ups) because I’ve made this recipe six times just to give away to neighbors and friends.
I’m often asked two questions: How do you come up with these ideas? and, when do you find time to make them? The answer is simple. I love food. I love fresh family food. When I go to the grocery I look inside people’s grocery carts (bad habit, I know) and see what kinds of foods they are purchasing for their children.
I’m always shocked at the amount of junk I see. I detest individually wrapped fruit snacks that are loaded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. I am not judging those who purchase them; I personally draw the line somewhere.
Making your own at home is simple and since they don’t have any added sugar, they are a fantastic choice as a natural fun snack.
You get 1-2 trays of “roll-ups” for about $1.20. This is way cheaper than the pre-packaged ones and much healthier. You have to soak your raisins first to plump them up but I promise the heavenly smell in your kitchen will make the extra step worth while.
I used golden raisins for these but you can also use standard sun-dried raisins. Make sure you use parchment paper and not wax paper. Wax paper will melt and your paste will never dry up! Aren’t you glad I have lots of kitchen mess-ups?
Once they are finished and cooled, all you have to do is cut them across and roll them up. They are the perfect healthy snack to send inside the lunch box. The girl, loved them. She said they peeled like the bagged kind and tasted naturally sweet. Score! A healthy snack that looks like the junk the other kids are eating made fresh in my kitchen–and yours too, of course!
- 2 cups golden raisins (or the brown ones)
- 1 small pear, peeled and cut into pieces
- 2 cups of water
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- Bring 2 cups of water to boil.
- Meantime, place raisins and diced pear inside a large bowl.
- Once water boils, pour inside the bowl. With a fork, mix ingredients around and wait 20 minutes for raisins to plump up.
- Using a 1cup measuring cup, remove ¾ cup of liquid. Add cinnamon and mix ingredients around.
- Carefully pour cinnamon-plumped fruit and liquid inside a blender or food processor and blend well until it becomes a paste or thick puree.
- Preheat oven to 200F.
- Pour half the mixture onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Spread it thinly on first sheet with the back of a spoon. You might need to add more to cover entire baking sheet. Less is more here. Pour remaining mixture onto a second sheet.
- Bake in mid to lower parts of your oven for 2.5-3 hours. This is one recipe that is ok to open up the oven to check for doneness. After 2.5 hours check every 15-20 minutes. You are looking for the fruit to peel away easily from the parchment and has become dehydrated. Oven temperatures and cooking times will vary, so keep an eye on these after 2.5hours.
- When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. Using scissors cut into 1" strips across your pan. It will be sticky. Roll them up and store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long).