You know those packaged “Fruit Snacks” from the grocery store and vending machines?  With the shiny blue packages claiming they’re “Made With REAL Fruit” and “FAT FREE” and packed with vitamins and blah blah blah (when in reality it’s really just straight up corn syrup, sugar and artificial food coloring)?  Well, here’s a healthy homemade version…  and it’s actually made with real fruit (no corn syrup, no sugar and no artificial food coloring needed whatsoever)!

These Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks are sweet, soft, chewy and packed with fresh strawberry flavor.  But wanna know what makes this recipe really great?

It requires only 5 ingredients!!  :)

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

This recipe took quite a bit of tweaking to get juuuust right.  I think I made a trial batch every weekend for a little more than a month (the checkout employees at Costco must’ve been wondering why I was buying so many darn strawberries on a weekly basis…)

In my 1st trial (and probably the worst trial of them all), the fruit snacks were a complete disaster.  I could taste the gelatin (EW… like, BIG ew) and there was gelatinized foam on the surface of the gummies.  Not very appetizing.  Oh, and I didn’t strain the mixture so there were eighty billion strawberry seeds in every gummy.  I hate seeds with a passion.  I’d like to have a treat without having to whip out some floss!  Plus, storebought fruit gummies are totally seedless (mostly because they are basically 100% corn syrup)

In my 2nd trial, the texture was more like Pate de Fruit.  I love Pate de Fruit so this wasn’t a huge issue with me, but I was aiming for that slightly gummy fruit snack texture!  Also, I didn’t strain the mixture well so some seeds ended up in the gummies, but definitely not as much as the first trial.

In my 3rd trial, I used a little too much lemon juice so they were really tart.  Delicious (and SEEDLESS thanks to my new nut milk bag!) but not authentic-tasting.

In my 4th trial, I got the perfect amount of strawberry flavor and a really good texture…  like in between Pate de Fruit and Gummy Bears.  YUM!

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

These Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks are totally drool-worthy.

BIG taste.  Mini package.  :)

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks -- all natural, fat free, sugar free and low carb!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: (see *** in Notes below)

Fat per serving: 0g

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks -- all natural, fat free, sugar free and low carb!

These Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks are sweet, soft, chewy and packed with fresh strawberry flavor!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. *Wash your strawberries, slice the greens off and puree in a blender. Measure 1+3/4 cups of the puree and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice, stevia and food coloring.
  3. It helps to have another person help you here. Have one person spread open a nut milk bag** over a large bowl while you pour the strawberry mixture inside. Tie the bag closed and squeeze the bag to get as much liquid out as you can. You should get 2+1/4 cups of the mixture after straining.
  4. Pour the mixture into a nonstick saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin overtop and let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir it together and smush any big clumps of gelatin, don't worry about the small ones, they'll dissolve)
  5. Place the pan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally, until it comes to a light boil. Stir constantly when the mixture boils harder.
  6. When you can't stir the bubbles away, keep it on the heat for ~30 seconds and then remove from the heat.
  7. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the foam/bubbles have a chance to go away, then carefully scoop the mixture into your molds of choice (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour it into the gummy bear mold)
  8. Let the molds cool on the counter for about an hour, then place them in the fridge. Refrigerate until firm.

Notes

To store, keep the gummies in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

**I've made this recipe a couple times using a thoroughly cleaned coffee filter with a very fine mesh, although I would recommend the nut milk bag as it's much quicker.

***Yield: 16 Gummy Bears + 14 "Kisses" + 5 Squares (click on the names for the exact molds I used)

This recipe is: gluten free, fat free, sugar free and low carb!

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/healthy-homemade-fruit-snacks/

I really want to make these fruit snacks with other flavors soon (like raspberry, blueberry, grape, orange, maybe even lemon or lime) but I think I’ll stick with what I know is good for now  ;)

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

What a cute little bear  :-P

Cuteness time is over.

OFF WITH ITS HEAD!!

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

*CHOMP*  ;)

Labels: 5-Ingredients-or-Less, Bite-Sized-Treats, DIY, Fat-Free, Gluten-Free, Lemon, Low-Carb, No-Bake, Strawberry, Sugar-Free

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Comments (26)

  1. dessertswithbenefits: May 15, 2014

    Thanks so much Matt!! :D Stay tuned, because a Healthy Homemade GUMMY BEAR recipe is coming soon ;)
    (It took a few more trials, but I finally got the right texture and can’t wait to share the recipe)
    Thanks, have a great weekend too!
    -Jess

  2. Matt Robinson: May 16, 2014

    Jessica, these are amazing. We were literally just talking about trying to make these for our boys. So much tastier and we would actually KNOW what’s in them. Thanks and have a great weekend!

  3. Carolyn HSmith: May 16, 2014

    Beautiful- want to make these, but don’t have a milk-nut bag. I can’t abide the seeds either!
    You do lovely work, Miss Busy-As- A- Bee!

  4. dessertswithbenefits: May 16, 2014

    Carolyn-
    Thanks so much! :D
    If you have a fine mesh coffee filter (thoroughly cleaned… coffee-flavored fruit snacks doesn’t sound very appealing haha) you can try using that too. Or a cheese cloth. I used a coffee filter a few times but it just took a long time to strain the mixture. I had to stir it and pack it down for about 30 minutes.
    I might be super busy, but I’m happy to be busy doing stuff I love because I get to share the results with you :)
    -Jess

  5. Emily: May 16, 2014

    Yummmmmm! Do you think I could use a fine mesh strainer or a sieve instead of the nut milk bag? Cause I really want to make these and I don’t think I could wait for my bag to be shipped…. :-P

  6. Emily: May 16, 2014

    Oh yeah, can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh? Costco sells these huge bottles of organic lemon juice and I would rather use that than have to buy a ton of lemons. Thanks!

  7. Emily: May 16, 2014

    Oops I just saw your note about the strainer! I’ve sure commented a lot… Sorry! :-/

  8. dessertswithbenefits: May 16, 2014

    Emily-
    Don’t feel bad! I’m sure someone out there had the same exact questions!
    I’ve tried using a fine mesh coffee filter (thoroughly cleaned, of course) but it took about 30 minutes to stir it and pack it all down. With a nut milk bag you get to squeeze as much juice out as possible :)
    I haven’t tried using bottled lemon juice but I’m sure it will work just as well! The fruit snacks might be slightly more tart, but I don’t think they’ll be too toooo tart. I’m glad Costco sells organic lemon juice… I definitely have to find that on my next trip (aka, TOMORROW) ;)
    -Jess

  9. Jammie: May 16, 2014

    Hi! These look fantastic! I’m excited to make them for my four year old. Just one question..how many strawberries did you use? Thank you in advance :-)

  10. dessertswithbenefits: May 16, 2014

    Jammie-
    Thanks so much! I used a large container of organic strawberries from Costco (I think it was 2 pounds?). I had a few strawberries and quite a bit of puree left over, but I just drank the puree as a snack. You could also use the excess strawberries in a smoothie :)
    I hope your kid likes the fruit snacks! :D
    -Jess

  11. Chelsea @ Delipsch: May 17, 2014

    I have always wanted to try making these…thanks for an easy and natural recipe…hopefully mine look as good as yours. Cheers.

  12. dessertswithbenefits: May 17, 2014

    Chelsea @ Delipsch-
    Thanks so much!! Make sure not to fill the gummy bear mold cavities too much otherwise the snacks will “overflow” and not have a flat back (made this mistake myself!)
    Also, it helps to put the molds onto a flat cookie sheet before you fill them so when you put them in the fridge you don’t have to walk over slowly and carefully (like I did, so worried that I’d spill them haha)
    Hope you like the recipe!
    -Jess

  13. Katie @ 24 Carrot Life: May 17, 2014

    I just made these with mango (since I have a tons of mangoes right now) and they turned out great! A few notes: I strained the mango even though there wasn’t the worry of seeds but it kept the pulp out which I think was good. I didn’t have any stevia left so I used agave and when I tasted it it seemed sweet enough but the finished product could definitely have been sweeter. I only had 30 g of gelatin which seemed to work fine and they weren’t like fruit pate. I poured my mixture into an 8×8 brownie pan and just cut them into little squares. I would say it made about 36 and then I just stored them in a container in the fridge for snacks! I think I want to try some combinations like strawberry kiwi or orange carrot. Or even a green juice mixture! Thanks for the recipe!

  14. dessertswithbenefits: May 17, 2014

    Katie @ 24 Carrot Life-
    Using mango instead of strawberry was a GENIUS idea. I think I’ll do what you did next time I make this and use an 8 inch brownie pan instead of the molds. I think I’ll like the small cubes better than the big bears ;)
    Mmmm orange-carrot sounds awesome! And the green juice sounds great so we can sneak in some veggies!!
    -Jess

  15. Luz: May 18, 2014

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made some with acerolas from our yard. Awesome! I used a strainer w success, my blender did a fine job, the bottled lemon juice and regular sugar, just because I didn’t want to wait, I skipped the food coloring and still love the color. They were a success!can’t wait to try other ingredients

  16. dessertswithbenefits: May 19, 2014

    Luz-
    WOW, homegrown acerolas? Great idea! I’m glad a regular strainer and bottled lemon juice worked out for you :)
    Now I’m thinking of so many other flavor possibilities for this recipe! Thanks!
    -Jess

  17. Luz: May 19, 2014

    I want to try bananas! Also forgot to mention I used an ice tray for a mold

  18. Cat: May 20, 2014

    These make me so happy. I cannot even describe how much I wanna try and make them. Thank you for your efforts in refining the recipe!

  19. dessertswithbenefits: May 21, 2014

    Cat-
    YAY I’m so glad the recipe brings a smile to your face :D
    Totally worth the multiple failed batches, haha
    -Jess

  20. Jovana: May 26, 2014

    Okay, okay, so I’ve made it.

    I’m so freaking happy – everything went *perfectly*. We let it set overnight in the fridge and in the morning my fiance and I excitedly starting taking them out of the moulds.

    I will deny eating half of them as we were going through this process *hides*

    BUT if we DID … we felt guilt free because they are sho healthy.

    I omitted the stevia because I’m in a “sour” craving phase at the moment and it was ideal… mmm…

    I posted a photo on your Facebook page but decided to post here for your readers too – to see its possible and SUPER easy!

    https://scontent-a-vie.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t1.0-9/10255008_10152418393636041_8282918072108943560_n.jpg

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t1.0-9/10308315_10152418379251041_4341102438182799716_n.jpg

  21. dessertswithbenefits: May 27, 2014

    Jovana-
    YAY I’m so glad you made the fruit snacks and it turned out well!!
    I definitely want to try a sour lemon or lime flavor sometime soon, a lot of people LOVE those flavors!
    You’re so funny Jovana haha :D
    Thank you so much for taking the time to make the recipe :)
    -Jess

  22. Valeria Lucio: August 9, 2014

    Awesome recipe! Definitely going to try it! If we don’t have Stevia extract is there anything we could substitute it with? If not would it change the flavor of the gummys too much if Stevia wasn’t used?

  23. dessertswithbenefits: August 10, 2014

    Valeria Lucio-
    I’m afraid stevia extract is pretty difficult to substitute. It’s a really strong natural sweetener, so 3/4 tsp of stevia has the same amount of sweetness as 3/4 cup of sugar (or in typical fruit snack ingredients, corn syrup)
    I would recommend substituting the stevia with 1/2 cup organic agave nectar (if you’re serving these fruit snacks to kids or people used to really sugary treats, I would recommend using 2/3 cup agave). Add the agave in step #4 into the saucepan. No need to strain it!
    I hope this ingredient replacement works out alright! I hope you like the recipe :)
    -Jess

  24. roxy: August 28, 2014

    this looks great! I have two questions about this; 1) how long do you think these will store? 2) do you have any ideas on how to add vitamins to it like the vitamin chews they sell at the store?

  25. dessertswithbenefits: August 29, 2014

    Roxy-
    Thanks so much Roxy!
    1) These lasted me three days, but I’m sure they will last about a week or two if they’re stored in an airtight container in the fridge :)
    2) I wouldn’t recommend adding vitamins to these because they will add a gritty texture and a bad taste. Major food companies have special blends so that they don’t impart a taste.
    I hope you like the recipe!!
    -Jess

  26. Vickie: October 7, 2014

    My mom used to boil new panty hose, then use them as a strainer when making jelly. You could just use knee highs, stretch them over a jar, with the hose inside, pour the mixture in, then strain. Getting the cheep brand means you can toss when done.

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