Are Fruit Snacks Healthy?
My kids love store-bought fruit snacks! It’s one of those kid snacks that is often given out because people believe if the food name has the word “fruit” in it, then it must be healthy, right? Not so much!
Although these wannabe healthy snacks may have zero fat, zero cholesterol and low in sodium, they are high in refined sugar, up to 5 teaspoons per tiny pouch. Now that is a lot of sugar in anyone’s book.
There’s also usually a few artificial colors and dyes used in store-bought fruit snacks. Some of these colors have had negative effects on children, such as hyperactivity and some behavioral issues. I definitely don’t want those kind of effects on my kids!
Homemade for the Win!
It just so happened that I had a huge, sweet watermelon in the fridge and was wondering what to do with it because I didn’t know if we would ever eat the whole thing! Cue these homemade watermelon fruit snacks! I was inspired by the Homemade Fruit Snacks recipe from Kalyn Brooke but adjusted the recipe to use watermelon as the fruit of choice. I also used apple juice in the recipe, since I had it in the fridge. That is the great part about this recipe: it is totally adaptable to what you have in the fridge.
Making your own fruit snacks means you can also control the quality of ingredients used. Other than the types and quality of fruit and juice used, you can also control the quality of the gelatin used.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein that is found after collagen is partially broken down. Collagen is a protein that is found in all animals including humans. It makes up connective tissue and is vitally important to healthy skin, bones, muscles and joints. Gelatin can also help with digestion and gut health. If your body doesn’t produce enough collagen or gelatin, you need to eat it. Some great ways of eating/drinking more gelatin, is through bone broth, some yogurts, cream cheeses and sour creams. And of course, these homemade fruit snacks! I suggest using gelatin that comes from grass fed, humanely raised animals. Be a savvy consumer, and do your homework on gelatin sources to find the best brand for you!
What’s to Love about Homemade Fruit Snacks?
These homemade watermelon fruit snacks turned out so good! I actually love eating them as much as the kids do! This particular flavor combo, watermelon and apple, are really complimentary. There is a slight accent from the apple juice that really emphasizes the sweet watermelon flavor. It is not necessarily a bold flavor combo, but the subtlety of the watermelon and apple is really yummy.
Now the fun part, the candy molds! I had a rose shaped mold that i used for some of the mixture, but you could really use any mold you have. If you don’t have a mold, you could just pour the mixture into an ungreased cake pan and then cut it into squares once the mixture has set in the fridge for a few hours.
These homemade fruit snacks can then be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks. Since it is also summer here, it’s so nice to have a cool, refreshing fruit snack straight from the fridge!
I hope you give these fruit snacks a try! It is a super easy recipe, totally customizable to your fave fruits, and is way better for you and your kids than the store bought version.
Inspired by the homemade fruit snacks recipe from Kalyn Brooke, these Watermelon Apple Fruit Snacks are match made in snack heaven!
- 1/2 cup watermelon pureed
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/8 cup light colored local honey
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3 packets unflavored, grass fed gelatin
Puree the watermelon till very smooth in a blender or food processor. Ensure that you have 1/2 cup of puree. If desired, strain the watermelon puree to remove any seeds.
Add to the blender or food processor, the apple juice and honey. Blend till combined.
In a small saucepan, add the cold water and whisk in the gelatin till smooth. The water will start getting thick.
Place saucepan over a low heat and stir constantly till gelatin is dissolved.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly pour in the fruit mixture while whisking constantly. Ensure the mixtures are well combined.
Pour the mixture into candy molds, ice trays or an ungreased cake pan. Place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or until the gummies are firmly set.
Once set, remove the gummies from the molds or cut into small squares/rectangles, if you've used a cake pan or something similar.
Store fruit snacks in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks, in an airtight container.