I have been working on this recipe for WEEKS. My kids have always loved the idea of fruit snacks, but the store bought varieties are so full of artificial colors and sweeteners that I never buy them. I love portable homemade snacks for kids so when I bought my first can of grass-fed gelatin the other month I couldn’t wait to try my hand at making fruit snack gummies. Consuming high quality, grass-fed gelatin has a host of associated health benefits including stronger nails, shiny hair, stronger bones and healthier digestion… to name a few. It’s also a great source of protein which is so important for kids at snack time. Homemade fruit snacks with added PROTEIN?! Sign me UP.
There was just ONE problem.
My kids would NOT eat the fruit snacks I made. Even though the can says “unflavored” my kids said they could still taste gelatin. I tried recipe after recipe and all were denied by my miniature recipe testers.
I have made these three times and my toddler has to be pulled away from them. She keeps screaming “MORE HEARTS!” I think I have found the right balance of gelatin-to-juice ratio so your children will get the gut-healing benefits without noticing the flavor. (Update: I now use a different brand of grass-fed gelatin and it has NO TASTE so both my kids will eat these–I’ve updated all the links in this post with the brand I use now. If you’d like to get a deal on this brand of gelatin you can buy it on Thrive Market for a bit cheaper)
These hearts are so cute for a birthday party or Valentine’s Day. Let me know how your kids like them in the comments below!
Homemade Fruit Snacks (makes about 18-20 hearts)
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup fresh apple juice
3 tablespoons grade b maple syrup or honey (for Paleo version)
3 1/2 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
In a saucepan, over medium low heat, mix the juices and heat until steaming but not boiling. Add the honey or maple syrup and stir to combine. Now add the gelatin with care. The gelatin will clump so make sure you get out your whisk and whisk the gelatin in slowly until melted and fully combined. Keep whisking to get out any clumps while the heat is still on. When gelatin is fully dissolved remove from heat.
Pour warm mixture through a metal strainer into silicone tray (the strainer is to catch any clumps). Place silicone tray the fridge for a few hours until the fruit snacks set. You can also use a glass Pyrex baking dish and cut out your own shapes after it sets if you don’t have silicone molds.
Are you looking for more healthy gummies? Check out my friend Kate’s Healthy Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep!
Would you like a whole list of kid-friendly snacks? Check out these Healthy Snacks for Kids!
ENJOY! Do you follow Kula Mama on Facebook yet? You can here!
hurray! i’ve got the gelatin and can’t wait to give this a shot!!! thank you!
I tried a recipe from another blog recently where you include the fruit. It also called for a ton of pectin (but maybe the whole recipe was bigger). The texture, I hate to say it, was absolutely gross (not clumpy persay), just not like a fruit snack, not like jello, and I pitched the whole expensive, time consuming batch.
That said, I still reallllly want to make some that are good. Can you describe the texture to me? I’d be so happy to make yummy healthy fruit snacks for my toddler and myself lol. I secretly LOVE them.
Hi Michelle, I can understand your concern. I made a few bad batches myself. The texture of these seem to me like firm jello. I make sure to fully dissolve the gelatin so there aren’t any lumps. My two year old loves them and she isn’t into weird texture things. Maybe they will work for you too! I replaced sugar with honey today (the same amount) and they taste sweeter and more “commercial” so if your kids are used to the stuff from the store maybe start with sugar and move to honey later. Honey has a distinctive taste so if you don’t like that flavor you may not like these with honey.
How long would these gummies last and do they have to be refridgerated?
Hi Sharon, They should last 7-10 days in the fridge. I do take them on car or plane trips without a cooler and they tend to hold their shape for a few hours. After about 6 hours or so they get a little soft. They hold together just fine in the fridge.
Are these easily packable like for a road trip? Do they need to stay refrigerated? Thanks 🙂
Hi Kula Mama,
I made these yesterday with a modification to allow our 8 month old to have a few bites. We used a combo apple/pear juice and a little bit of beet juice to make ‘red’ hearts. We had to leave out the honey but the flavor was just fine. (The pear juice is slightly grainy, which translates just a tiny bit into the final product.) My 2 1/2 year old keeps asking for the ‘heart-beets’ and the infant is enjoying chasing around little bits of the treats on his high chair tray. Loved the brand of gelatin you recommended and the silicon molds as well. Easy, fun and secretly healthy treat for the kids. Home run!
Amy! Thanks so much for sharing. Your kids are so lucky to have such a good mama!
Hi there! I’m so excited to try these- gelatin as a nutrient is new to me (don’t judge me too harshly please!)… as a mom of 7 kids (3 yrs to 11yrs) I’m busy- hubby & I both work full time from home. We don’t use artificial food coloring which is usually just fine until ‘other kids get to have them, Mom!’ Sooo- this sounds like a super fun, super nutritious way to appease the “fairness factor” in my kids! 1 question- how big are these? They look fairly large. Is this recipe sturdy enough to cut into smaller pieces? Or is it best to have it where kids take a few bites? Thanks so much!!!!
I don’t have silicone molds, but I have plastic ice cube trays that make tiny round-shaped cubes to fit in water bottles. Do you think they’d work, or would the gummies be more difficult to release from the plastic compared to silicone?
They would work but it would be hard to get them out. You might be able to cut around with a knife? I can’t be sure but if your try it let me know. You can also just make this recipe and put it all in a bowl and call it jello!
OK they’re in the fridge now, I’ll report back whether they were a fail or not! I only did one tray, then poured the rest into a parchment-lined loaf pan in case the tray ones get mangled.
Ran a toothpick around the edges, popped right out! And they’re so good! YAY! Solid but soft, and not as hard as gummy bears, which is good for my son with braces. The kids will be the real test though, they’re not home yet. I’ll check out your FB page later and post a photo.
I’m so happy!
Hi! I know this post is a little old, but I just found it on Pinterest!
I was hoping you could tell me if these are OK to leave out in an air tight container or if they need to be kept refrigerated.
Hi, I can’t wait to try these, but the ingredients call for maple syrup & the instructions say honey. Which is best to use or are they interchangeable? Thanks!
Whoops, sorry Jessica, I updated the recipe yesterday and deleted the honey part on accident. You can use honey or maple syrup. We prefer maple syrup but either will do! Enjoy!