Keeping our kitchen stocked with healthy food for our family seems to be a full time job. Time consuming, but worth it. Our daughter isn’t a huge snacker, but it’s so nice to have food in the house that transports easily and is ready to grab-and-go on our way out the door. Toddlers with tummies on empty are disasters waiting to happen.
Homemade fruit snacks are one of my favorite things to make for Lyla. She absolutely loves them because she thinks she’s getting a special treat. I love them because they aren’t the junky store bought fruit snacks and she’s getting a little bit of real fruits and veggies, plus a nice dose of gelatin – a great source of amino acids and good for digestion and bone health.
This recipe is inspired by a fruit snack recipe from Thank Your Body, one of my favorite blogs. Making this recipe with blueberries has been our favorite, but I wanted to try sneaking some antioxidant-loaded veggies into them this time with beets.
Beet & Mango Fruit Snacks
2/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped mango (I used frozen)
1/3 cup steamed and peeled beets (1 large beet), chopped
4 Tbsp honey
5 Tbsp gelatin (where to buy quality, grass-fed gelatin)
Combine the lemon juice, mango, and beets in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, until the mango and beets soften. Take off heat and allow cool for a few minutes before adding the honey. I like to wait to add the honey to keep some of its healthy properties that can be killed off by the heat.
Add the honey and stir until combined. Using your immersion blender, blend until the mixture is completely smooth. At this point (if the mixture is cool enough), you can taste test for the sweetness level. Not sweet enough for your family’s taste? Add more honey.
Now it’s time to whisk in the gelatin. Whisking as quickly as possible, slowly add the gelatin, a little bit at a time. If lumps start to form, take some time to whisk them out before continuing to add more gelatin to the mixture.
Pour into an 8×8 glass or ceramic pan. If you are using a metal pan, line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Refrigerate for one hour or until the fruit snacks are set. (This is where Lyla gets to practice patience! She can hardly wait for them to be ready!) Use a chef’s knife or other large, long knife to cut the sheet of fruit snacks into tiny squares.
These store well in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but they don’t last that long in our house.
The beets in this recipe give the fruit snacks a beautiful, vivid color, just like the store bought variety!
Do you make homemade fruit snacks? What are your kiddos favorite flavors?
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