Oh how I LOVE fruit snacks.
As a kid, I was a chain fruit-snack-snacker. I probably went through at least three packs a day. Dinosaurs, cartoon characters, sea creatures… ooh, they were all so delicious.
When I was older, a major juice company (I don’t like naming names) came out with fruit snacks that are marketed as being healthy — as indicated on the label, they have 100% of the RDA of vitamin C and are “made with real fruit” — and so I quickly replaced my dinos with this more mature and sensible option (or so I thought).
But what I didn’t pay much attention to then was the ingredient list, which in addition to fruit juice and fruit puree includes:
- Corn Syrup: the second ingredient listed (therefore the second most predominant ingredient); most likely made from GMO corn; has been linked to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and liver damage
- Sugar: the third ingredient listed; refined sugar has been linked to increased risk of cancer, type-2 diabetes, obesity, liver damage, mineral deficiencies, and low bone density
- Modified Corn Starch: likely made from GMO corn
- Citric Acid: likely made from GMO corn
- Natural and Artificial Flavors: Such incredibly sketchy terms; MSG, aspartame, and bugs in your food are all considered “natural flavors”
- Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C): likely produced from GMO corn
- Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (vitamin E): likely produced from GMO soy
- Sodium Citrate: a crystalline salt made from fermented citric acid (see above)
- Red 40, Yellow 5, and Blue 1: the latter two of these coloring agents have been banned in other countries; derived from coal tar, which is also used to seal-coat products to preserve and protect the shine of industrial floors and appears in head lice shampoos to kill the small bugs
Fortunately, I recently learned that fruit snacks are really easy to make yourself! Best yet, they include just three ingredients, all of which are extremely healthy.
Homemade and healthy Fruit Snacks:
- 1 cup of fruit puree
- 5 tablespoons of raw honey (learn about the health benefits of raw honey)
- 6 tablespoons of gelatin from grass-fed cows: promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails; great for joints and can help joint recovery; helps tighten loose skin; helps improve digestion; may help improve cellulite; a wonderful source of dietary collagen; its specific amino acids can help build muscle
Yep, that’s it!
Puree your fruit of choice in a food processor or blender, and measure out 1 cup of puree. About 1.5 cups of chopped fruit should yield 1 cup of puree. Put the puree in a pot on the stove at medium heat. Stir until the puree is warm to the touch (above body temperature but not uncomfortable to touch). Mix in the raw honey. Slowly add the gelatin while constantly stirring the mixture.
After the mixture is consistent, pour the mixture into silicone forms (I use the same silicone molds I use to make homemade chocolate), or you may choose to line a baking sheet with parchment paper and later cut it into bite-sized pieces. Place the molds in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to allow the fruit snacks to set. Then pop them out and enjoy!
The fruit snacks are solid at room temperature but should be stored in the refrigerator.