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Dollar Store Crafts: Homemade Fruit Snacks from 100% juice

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

***Note: I've updated the recipe for homemade fruit snacks.  It now uses juice concentrate instead of juice, and less gelatin.  The point of this recipe is for fruit snacks made from 100% juice, and for a fun activity for kids.  If you want to make snacks from fruit puree, consider making homemade fruit roll-ups.  If you want delicious not-fruit snacks, try the Jell-o version below.***

 

homemade 100 juice fruit snacks.jpg

 

Remember this thread about whether or not fruit snacks are a healthy snack? Let's face it, there are definitely healthier snacks out there. But kids love those chewy, fruity bites.

You know what else kids love? Helping in the kitchen! I thought about that thread for a while, then decided to try making my own fruit snacks from 100% juice. I've been experimenting and I finally found something that works!



I started with a homemade fruit snack recipe I tried a while ago using Jell-o. Jell-o isn't any better for kids than fruit snacks are, and I really wanted something more healthy. So I tried using unflavored gelatin and 100% juice.  This worked, but using thawed 100% juice concentrate tasted even better.  (We also tried frozen lemonade concentrate, which was delicious, but not 100% juice.)

 

Juice. Pick a juice with lots of flavor - grape, cherry, cranberry etc.  The best one we tried was White Grape Raspberry - so yummy!  I do NOT recommend apple juice.  Also, as someone pointed out in the replies, anything with pineapple will not work.  Something in pineapple keeps gelatin from setting.


Gelatin. Unflavored gelatin is sold in the Jell-o/pudding aisle. It was $1.79 for 4 envelopes at Kroger, and $1.18 for the same at Wal-mart. You can also buy it in bulk at some health food stores.

Molds. I used Jell-o jiggler molds, Jell-o bean molds, and rubber ice cube trays from the $1 store. Dollar Tree had fun molds in skulls and pumpkin shapes for Halloween with the holiday supplies, and flower shapes with the kitchen stuff.   You can also buy similar molds from IKEA.  Do not grease your molds. The fruit snacks will seem a little sticky, but should come out cleanly from your mold. If they don't, they haven't cooled long enough. The fruit juice ones were definitely not as sticky as the jell-o ones.



100% Juice Fruit Snacks Recipe

1/3 c. 100% frozen fruit juice concentrate
2-3 .25 oz envelopes unflavored gelatin (use 2 for softer fruit snacks, and 3 for firmer ones)
molds

Pour the juice into a small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let it sit for a few minutes. Put the pan over medium heat and stir until all the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a measuring cup with a spout so you can easily fill your molds. Fill the molds and allow to set at least 20 minutes. You can speed up the process a bit by putting them in the refrigerator.

 

Jell-o Fruit Snacks Recipe

1 3 oz package gelatin, any flavor

2 .25 oz envelopes unflavored gelatin

1/3 c. water

 

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.  Pour into molds and allow to set at least 20 minutes.


post #2 of 40
NICE swishina!!
post #3 of 40
Good Job!!!
post #4 of 40
I've been wanting to try to make these. Did you add any water?
post #5 of 40
Thanks for sharing, I am going to have to give this recipe a try.
My kids are much older and they still love fruit snacks, but I don't buy them as our dentist said to stay away from them as they are terrible on the teeth, so this version should definately be a lot better.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ean View Post

I've been wanting to try to make these. Did you add any water?

No water. The key to the fruit snack consistency (instead of jell-o jigglers) is high gelatin-to-liquid ratio.
post #7 of 40
Great idea! Cant wait to make some of these!!
post #8 of 40
Do they have to be kept in the fridge? Or can you package them up and send then in a school lunch? Very clever. Also, if you have an IKEA near you, they sell big packages of molds, very inexpensive. They are also online.
post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finalscore2g3b View Post

Do they have to be kept in the fridge? Or can you package them up and send then in a school lunch? Very clever. Also, if you have an IKEA near you, they sell big packages of molds, very inexpensive. They are also online.

I didn't keep them in the fridge. However, make sure to put them in a container. We actually ate our immediately after they cooled enough to come cleanly from the mold. The couple left over got kind of crunchy on the "seam" around the edge and it was gross.

The ice molds at IKEA look just like the kind I used from the dollar store
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Well, I finally got a chance to try the fruit snacks using grape juice and I have to say I was disappointed. Maggie wouldn't even eat them! And she gobbled down ALL of the apple juice ones, which I thought were gross. Sad. I'd like to hear if anyone else has tried this.
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