Thursday, October 2, 2014

Healthy gummy fruit snacks you can feel good about giving your kids

My 2 year old goes ape$#@! over fruit snacks.  I mean, he'd literally eat the entire box of 10 pouches in one sitting if I'd let him.  The bad part?  They can barely be considered fruit.  The box I had in the house made me cringe when I read the ingredients.  "High fructose corn syrup, fruit juice from concentrate, dehydrated corn syrup, sugar…"  Yes, those are truly the first four ingredients.

So I made healthy gummy fruit snacks today on a whim. They turned out great!  You'll need:

A high speed blender (or a blender and a saucepan)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 orange
Real maple syrup (or other sweetener of your choice, like honey, agave, or liquid stevia)
2 cups of strawberries (fresh or frozen, doesn't matter)
1/2 cup of blueberries (same as above)
5 tbsp of powdered unflavored gelatin. 

Put 2 cups of strawberries in your Vitamix.  I left the tops on.  Throw in one whole peeled orange, the lemon and lime juice, the blueberries, and a handful of spinach.  Not too much so that it turns green, unless you don't care about the color.  Blend for a while until smooth.  Taste it and if it's really tart start adding sweetener until you like how it tastes.

Now blend it on high for 5 minutes or until steam comes out of your Vitamix.  Turn the speed down to around 4-5 and add the gelatin.  If you don't have a high speed blender, pour it into a saucepan and heat it until it's hot but not boiling.  Just enough so that the gelatin will dissolve.

Blend until there are no chunks or clumps of gelatin, and then you can either:

a) Pour into a large, shallow baking dish.  Stick it in the fridge for an hour or two and then slice it up into squares, or even use a mini cookie cutter to cut out shapes.  Or...

b) Pour into really cute little silicone molds.  I have been accumulating them from Amazon for quite a while.  They're not very expensive, they don't have to be greased first, and you can use them for making bath bombs, soap, chocolates, other candy, gummy vitamins, ice cubes, you name it.

I only have two trays of the little hearts, one tray of medium sized random shapes, and a couple large muffin sized pans.  So I had to use them all to use up all my "batter."  This made somewhere around 35-40 oz of batter.

Put the trays into the fridge and let it set up for an hour or two.  Then pop out of the molds (or slice up your pan, and/or use the mini cookie cutters) and transfer to a resealable plastic bag.

What's the shelf life?  I have no idea.  I'd think a week or so in the fridge since it has no preservatives but I doubt it will last that long in my house!  Next time I'll try it with some flu and cold busting ingredients to help the kids stay well this winter.

The way my toddler goes through fruit snacks I'll feel much better giving him these.  He happily ate two of the huge, muffin sized ones at lunch today and was begging for more!