Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recipe: Real Fruit Gummy Snacks

The preschool where Abigail attends celebrates the end of the alphabet this week! At a pajama alphabet party, they will each bring alphabet-themed snacks. A quick internet search found this healthy gummy bear recipe, and I was hooked! This is a very safe snack for Evan.

Bad Gummy Allergy Experience

Many gummy snacks (and candy, period) are cross-contaminated with egg. That means that they are made in a factory where egg is present or on equipment where egg is an ingredient. He had a reaction to cheap bulk gummy bears a few months ago. Haribo Gummy Bears are safe and this mama gives her kiddos about 2-4 bears as a reward for excellent grocery shopping behavior and helping. They work so hard for the bears! Win-win.

In the summer, the last store on a shopping expedition didn't have Haribo Bears, and I bought cheap bulk gummies just for Abigail... well, months later I forgot about the cross contamination and divided the last 6 bears between the kids, after quickly putting groceries away, and turning right around to head out the door to preschool. "Here! Be happy!" By the time I realized what was happening with Evan 3h later, he had cried and cried starting after lunch, and didn't nap. All he wanted was for me to hold him in my lap while he cried. Poor kid couldn't really form words.

Benadryl helped, and so did his system passing the bears through. Man, just 3 bears that were simply cross-contaminated really affected the little guy! We are so careful, and usually the only non-Evan-friendly food in our house is frozen Panera bread that is donated to the seminary (Nick takes a bagel for breakfast).

Yes, these are on the rug... so Abigail could help :-)

Real Fruit Gummy Snack

I changed some things from the original recipe: I didn't use Stevia, and I added a mesh sieve to catch berries and large lumps. 4 packets of gelatin was sufficient, and the $2.50 Knox Gelatine box comes with 4 packets. The author's photos rock - can't come close to hers.

Tips

These are not super sweet snacks, the citrus flavor comes through.
The ingredients and process are similar to freezer jam (just less sugar!).
These have no added food coloring, and are so healthy compared with Jello or other dessert gelatins!!
**Gelatin is an animal by-product. If this concerns you, there are alternatives.

Strawberry Orange Flavor Gummy Snack

Active time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hour 30 min

Equipment:

Paring Knife
Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cup
2+ Quart Pot
Blender
Sieve or Mesh Strainer
9x13x2 Jelly Roll Pan
Mini Silicone Spatula

Wash, hull, and rough chop 16oz fresh Strawberries into a 2 Quart stove top pot.

Combine in a liquid measuring cup:
1/2 c no pulp Orange Juice
1/4 c Lemon Juice
1/4 c Lime Juice
Pour over strawberries.

On Medium-Medium High heat, bring to a simmer.
Simmer until the berries are very soft, about 5-10 min.
Stir in 1-2 Tbsp of your preferred sweetener (Honey, Raw Sugar, Stevia, etc).
Let cool 2-3 min.

Blend until lumps are gone.
Let cool 5 min, then add 4 packets of Knox Gelatine (plain dessert gelatin, not canning gelatin).
Blend until there are no lumps.
Stir gently with a wooden spoon to break up most bubbles.
Carefully pour hot blender liquid through a mesh sieve (to strain seeds and large lumps) into a jelly roll pan.
Gently smooth large bubbles with a wooden spoon.

Refrigerate 1h.
Cut out shapes or letters with mini cutters (about 1/2 - 1" in size).
Use a silicone mini spatula to help loosen gummy snack as you pull out your shapes or letters (~15 min peeling).

If interested in the alphabet cutters, they are Wilton Fondant cutters in letters, numbers 0-9, and "!".
On sale for $8 at JoAnn, and used a 50% off coupon: $4.

I'm wondering if biscuit dough without baking soda, rolled thin would make a good cracker recipe to cut out. Hhhmm...

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