Oh how I loved fruit snacks growing up. Remember that foot long fruit tape? Do they even have that still?? I’ve mentioned a few times that Lily is a picky eater and fruit is seldom rejected from the princess in the high chair. Since fresh fruit has a quick expiration date I checked out gummy fruit snacks. Problem with fruit snacks 1) Full of sugar and ingredients I can’t even pronounce 2) There are barely enough pieces in individual packets which lead kids (at least mine) wanting more than one bag 3) they can be an expensive snack (especially the organic options) for the few pieces you do get.
Yes I grew up eating regular old gummy fruit snacks and I grew up to be normal (my husband would beg to differ). So why make a fuss about the ingredients in them now? Well I’m a mom and if a healthier choice is available why not give that to my child? Even for me? After I tried (and loved) a 30-day eat clean challenge I have continued to bring cleaner and healthier alternatives to our pantry and table.
There are a few awesome recipes for DIY fruit snacks, but I went with the one from All Day I Dream About Food. This recipe seems to be so flexible depending on what fruit or fruit juice you have on hand! Fair warning, this recipe relies on the natural sugar from the berries, juice and applesauce so this will not taste as sweet as the processed ones. But Lily didn’t seem to mind!! Since this snack is made with gelatin you can pour the mix into rubber ice cube trays and make cute heart shaped snacks like I did…perfect for Valentine’s Day! Pour the mix into a dish or pan and use cookie cutters to make other shaped snacks too! The possibilities are endless! PLUS I was thinking of pureeing beets or another vegetable and adding that…a sly way to sneak veggies into your toddler’s diet! So maybe use beet puree instead of applesauce?? I’ll test it out and let y’all know.
What you need:
1 cup fresh strawberries (you can use any berry/fruit you want or even mix!)
½ cup apple juice (again use any type of fruit juice- grape, pineapple, prune…)
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup water
2 packets of gelatin
- Over medium heat in a small pot bring water and strawberries to a boil. Cook these until the strawberries are soft (a few minutes).
- Transfer the soft strawberries and remaining water to a blender and puree. I tried using my Cuisinart immersion blender and there wasn’t enough in the pot to adequately use it. Unless you doubled the recipe, just use your blender!
- Return the strawberry puree to the same pot, add your applesauce and bring to a boil.
- While that is coming to boil, in a large bowl pour your juice in and sprinkle both packets of gelatin over. Don’t mix it. If you have a toddler or older kid near by have them watch as the juice immediately starts to congeal…magic!
- Add boiling fruit to the congealed juice and mix until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour into rubber molds (that have been lightly sprayed with cooking spray)or baking dish and refrigerate until firm. To keep from getting messy I used a coffee scoop to pour the mixture into each heart mold.
They might not have looked perfect…BUT they still tasted the same!
Lily enjoyed them so much she turned her empty personalized Great Day Plate (from Emily Ley) and clapped her hands for more!