Although enticing in the snack section, and maybe even slightly deceiving, fruit snacks may not be the most nutritious snack option. And especially when compared to its whole fruit counterpart, fruit snacks are convincingly less recommended. But rather than dismissing their approval altogether, creating them at home offers enjoyment and flavor, all while being nutritionally packed without all the added sugar.
How to Make Homemade Fruit Snacks
½ cup gelatin powder
2 cups fruit juice (non-sugar added)
A tablespoon of honey or preferred sweetener as desired
Pureed fruit (optional)
- In a small saucepan, heat fruit juice and honey just until warm and barely simmering.
- If using, add the pureed fruit.
- Whisking quickly, slowly sprinkle in the gelatin until it has fully dissolved and produced a smooth texture.
- Pour the smooth mixture into gelatin molds or a lined baking dish.
- Place in the fridge until gelatinized and hardened.
- Pop out fruit snacks from the molds and enjoy!
Healthy Fruit Snack Recipes
Although flavorful and nutritious, the recipe indicated above is essentially a blueprint of basic fruit snacks. Below offers and encourages exploring various flavor options and ideas. Follow the recipe as indicated above, but swapping and adding ingredients as a described.
1. Apple Pie
Use apple juice as the indicated fruit juice, along with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and pour into desirable molds, or a hollowed out apple!
2. Cherry Vanilla
To the mixture above, add a ½ cup of pureed cherries and swap out fruit juice with two cups of vanilla tea. Be sure to allow tea to cool before mixing.
3. Berry Good Gummies
Replace fruit juice with a berry kombucha and add a ½ cup of pureed berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
4. Coconut Cream Pie
Replace fruit juice with 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup coconut water. Swap out honey with a tablespoon of coconut sugar.
5. Vitamin C
Ditch the artificially sweetened orange gummies for real vitamin C-packed fruit snacks. Use two cups fruit juice along with the zest of one lemon. Cut oranges in half, remove the edible orange, and pour gelatin mixture in the halves. Refrigerate until firm then cut halves into gummy orange slices!
Feel free to explore with various flavors, as there are countless ways to create those renowned childhood snacks at a more nutritious level. Alternative ingredients may include:
- Flavors: Compliment the gelatin with fresh fruit puree, real fruit juice, herbal tea, and coconut water and milk.
- Natural Sweeteners: Ditch the refined sugar and naturally sweeten with honey, agave, maple syrup, stevia, and other preferred sugar substitutes.
- Molds or Pans: Use festive molds, including stars for the 4th of July, eggs and bunnies for Easter, and hearts for Valentine’s Day. Have fun experimenting with molds and plans, including various shapes and sizes.