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Sometimes I just like to play in the kitchen. What is more fun than adorable homemade fruit snack animals?! I first tried homemade fruit snacks for my son’s LEGO party. I used them in LEGO shapes as a prize for one of the games (also helped kids to easily gather at the table when there were so many fun distractions). It was so fun experimenting, that I wanted to do more homemade fruit snacks and try out other recipes.
One of my girls sat with me as we scoured Amazon for more molds. She helped me pick these Gummy Bear molds, and they are fantastic. I liked that the little animals are more similar to the actual size of fruit snacks.
l’ve tried both with Jello and Juice with honey and sugar. There is one combo that my family and I decided was disgusting: Cranberry Juice & Honey. Cranberry Juice is my personal favorite as a juice, but it turns out not to be a delicious fruit snack. Go figure. My favorite of all is Orange Jello fruit snacks – so good. The Jello way is my favorite.
The juice recipes make a much subtler flavor. The recipe explains how to do it both ways, because I think there are times you want that more subtle flavor, like 5 year old birthday parties. And the rest of the time, if you want a strong fruity flavor that is more like a store-bought fruit snack, use Jello.
We had fun last weekend making all.the.flavors. and so many shapes!
- 3 oz. Jello Packet (any flavor)
- 1 Gelatin Packet (~ 1 Tablespoon)
- ½ cup water (This may not seem like much water, but it spreads far in tiny little molds!)
- JUICE SUBSTITUTION: In place of the ingredients above, you can use ½ cup Juice (any flavor), 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey, and 2 Gelatin packets.
- In a small saucepan, add water (no heat yet).
- Sprinkle Jello Packet and Gelatin Packet over the water. Give the gelatin a minute to bloom in the water. It is normal for it to look like applesauce when it's ready - that's what you want.
- Turn on the heat to medium high and stir continuously until the mixture doesn't look like applesauce anymore. Just heat through until everything is dissolved and the mixture isn't gritty. Do not boil!
- Use a liquid dropper to fill your molds one by one. This goes quickly with a dropper. It definitely works best if the fruit snacks can harden individually and aren't connected by extra mixture.
- Let mold chill about an hour in the fridge, then pop out of the molds.
- Fruit snacks last for a week in an airtight container, in or out of the fridge.
- * JUICE SUBSTITUTION DIRECTIONS: The directions are mostly the same as when using Jello, but instead of water in step one, mix the juice and sweetener in the pot before adding TWO gelatin packets in step 2. All other steps are the same.
- ** CAN DOUBLE: You can double this recipe if you'd like to make more, but I like working in small amounts at a time, because the mixture starts to harden pretty quickly. Also, smaller batches make it easier to create more flavors.
The recipe is so easy that my older kids (10, 12, and 12) can make these without me. The 5-year-old gives great moral support and is eager to eat them.
Materials you’ll need:
- Gummy Bear Mold (5 different small animal shapes)
- Liquid Dropper (for candy-making)
- LEGO Molds (the ones I used)
- LEGO Molds (the ones I wish I used)
- Small Plastic Cellophane Bags
Groceries You’ll Need:
If you haven’t tried Walmart’s Grocery Pickup, it is how I do 90% of my grocery shopping. You shop online and pickup without even getting out of your car! Use this link to try it out, and you’ll get $10 off your first order! (Instead of hunting for unflavored gelatin in the baking aisle, just type it in the search bar. Winning!)
- Jello, 3 oz. packets
- Unflavored gelatin
- or Juice!
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I hope you have so much fun making these, with or without your kids helping. I won’t judge if you make them while kids are at school and they never really know how many you made. 😉