[This post submitted to Sortacrunchy's Your Green Resource 1/10/13. ETA: and featured (!) on 1/17/13.]
What kid (or - ahem - parent) doesn't love fruit snacks!? Sweet, chewy, fruity, gummy . . . they are divine. But if you're trying to avoid processed food, they are pretty much off the list. Most have artificial dyes or flavorings. Even the ones that contain no added sugar are not made from whole foods, but rather from different fruit juices and purees. We don't even really drink any non-fresh-squeezed fruit juice anymore, because it's just as sugary as soda, and lacks the enzymes and other positive properties found in fresh fruit.
So I was just thrilled to see this recipe pop up on a roundup from Nourished Kitchen. It comes from Thank Your Body, another great site with lots of natural and homemade beauty product recipes. I adapted it a little based on what I found through several batches.
There are a few things I love about this recipe. It has a short ingredient list. The texture of the snacks is nice and gummy. They keep at room temp or in the refrigerator, so are great for trips. The baby is obsessed with them. It's a keeper.
A big plus for me is the inclusion of gelatin! This is like a natural protein powder made from the skins and bones of animals. As I'm trying to keep my protein intake high during pregnancy, these are not just empty calories like sugared-up fruit snacks would be. Each packet of gelatin contains 7 grams of protein (a little more than an egg!), so if you eat 1/6 of a pan of these snacks, you are doing pretty good.
2/3 C frozen or fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc)
1/3 C fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about two - three lemons)
1/3 C fresh-squeezed orange juice (about one large orange)
2-3 T honey
5 T gelatin (grass-fed is best, but if you're using what you can find at the store, use 6 1/4-oz packets)
Mix berries, orange and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the berries are soft - about ten minutes. Stir in honey until completely incorporated.
Let the mixture cool for five minutes, then pour into a blender and puree.
Pour the puree back into the saucepan and begin mixing in the gelatin, one packet at a time. Whisk hard! You don't want lumps of gelatin.
After you've mixed in the gelatin, pour into a square glass baking dish and refrigerate until set (about 15 minutes).
|Look - I didn't whisk hard enough and ended up with just a few clumps.|
|The white part is just foam from the blender that was set by the gelatin. Although, if you wanted to get really fancy, I'm sure you could make different flavored layers!|