DIY Fruit Snack Gummies

Fruit snacks, gummies, snackies, whatever you call them – they are some of the most glorious processed foods I have ever eaten. If you want to feel really guilty about eating them, then go ahead and read the Wikipedia page for fruit snacks; it does a great job of emphasizing that the treats have very little to do with fruit and are more of a convenient dessert.

But that’s okay because today we are making our very own fruit snacks without the addition of any sugar! If you think that is the same thing as a sugar-free fruit snack, however, you are sadly mistaken. The ingredients call for 100% fruit juice and honey which has plenty of sugar already in it. That’s why this is a snack…not a meal and not a staple.

EXPECTATION:
gummiesI will not have a really cute, tiny hand to hold these DIY fruit snack gummies, but everything else seems doable. The recipe can be found at Honest to Nod.
Ingredients:
-1 cup 100% fruit juice
-2 tbsp unflavored gelatin
-3 tsp honeyMaterials:
-silicone mold or glass baking dish (I used this mold)
-small saucepan
-measuring cups
-whisk
-syringe (optional, but it makes life so much easier)photo-jun-16-6-07-06-pm
Honest to Nod 
Instructions:
1) In a small saucepan, add the fruit juice and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Allow the powder to be absorbed in the liquid (it will look a little wrinkly on the surface) before whisking to fully combine.
Truth Tidbit: If you’re using the Knox gelatin, it contains 1 tbsp of gelatin in each packet, so just sprinkle in 2 packets.
photo-jun-16-6-09-47-pm2) On the stovetop, heat the liquid slowly until it warms through over medium heat. Cook the liquid until it is thin and no longer grainy. Once it reaches this stage, turn off the heat, and whisk in the honey. Depending on how sweet your juice is you can slightly increase or decrease this amount.
photo-jun-16-6-24-30-pmphoto-jun-16-6-25-02-pm3) Carefully pour liquid into candy molds or into an 8×8 inch glass baking dish. This is where your syringe will come in handy if you are using mold.
Truth Tidbit: At this point, I would say a syringe is quite imperative if you plan to use a mold. I don’t know how you would practically and safely get the liquid into the molds without it. Be sure to place your mold on a flat, portable surface prior to filling it; silicone is wiggly and you will have a heck of a time getting the mold into the fridge without spilling.
photo-jun-16-6-27-37-pmphoto-jun-16-6-32-01-pm4) Transfer molds or glass dish to the refrigerator and chill until set – about an hour.  Remove from molds or cut the flavored gelatin into squares.
*Truth Tidbit* I let the mold set for 90 minutes, just to be safe.
photo-jun-16-7-56-49-pm
Now are you ready for a good joke? Ok, here goes:
I tried to make fruit gummies once.EXPECTATION ≠ TRUTH

There are so many things wrong…so very many things wrong.

I knew I was in trouble the second I attempted to remove these from the mold…and couldn’t. I tried every possible way to get these out without mangling them, but nothing helped. They were all butchered. Every single one. It became one of those situations where everything you do just makes an even bigger mess.

 

So after this initial dip in the wading pool of fail I was hoping that these would at least taste decent enough for me to ignore that  these turned out looking “like chunks of flesh,” as my husband so eloquently put it.

But the fail just kept coming. In fact, the fail is strong with this one.

These taste like tiny pieces of honey flavored Jell-O, and I don’t mean this in a good way. Fruit snacks should not taste like this. The texture is basically just Jell-O-esqe. There is no chewiness to them. No fruitiness. No love.

This is wrong. All wrong. Nothing, but wrong.

I can say, with confidence, that I will never make these again. I have my own expectation of what a fruit snack should taste like and this is not it. I wasn’t expecting Welch’s-level fruit snack greatness, but I wasn’t expecting Jello-y flesh chunks either. Could these somehow be modified and improved?

Potential Pitfalls:
-It’s apparent that this mold was a huge part of the problem because of the way it’s shaped. It requires a lot of force to get the gummies out. I’m not sure if the material is inferior or if the shape of the mold is to blame.
-I tried to research what exactly makes gummies so chewy because it obviously isn’t plain gelatin. What I found appeared to be very scientific involving temperature, pH levels, and other ingredients like pectin, starch, wax, etc… At this point, I don’t think it’s possible to create a truly glorious fruit snack unless you have access to a lab, a fact that is very disappointing.
-These weren’t sweet enough for me. I’m tempted to suggest you use flavored Jell-O over unflavored, but that would defeat the purpose of making a snack that has less processed sugar than a store-bought fruit snack.

These were easy and cheap, but were they worth it? Of course they were. I learned something!
…I learned to never attempt this again.

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