Fruit Snacks from Scratch: 100% Real Fruit Juice and Natural Sweetener

I am so weary of this dreary weather! I brightened my family’s day with these completely natural chewy fruit snacks and you can too. The recipe is at the end.

In my mothering career that has now spanned almost 20 years, I’ve often felt a bit alone. I am a mother who has never been big on fruit snacks. I should clarify that, I’m not talking about using fruit as snacks, but the bite-size gummy things that quite presumptiously pass themselves off as real food. Maybe it’s just because I don’t really like gummy things, unless they are gumdrops. Maybe because I don’t like fake food full of the following:

Corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, juice from concentrate, fruit purees, citric acid, lactic acid, natural and artificial flavors, sodium citrate, gelatin, coconut oil, carnauba wax, red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1.

The food dyes alone are enough to give any conscious parent the heebie-jeebies! Here’s what Huffington Post says about it:

The food colorings found in fruit chews are red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1. Red 40 and blue 1 were originally manufactured from coal tar, but are now mostly made from petroleum. Those two colors have been banned previously in many European countries including Denmark, Belgium and France, though are now widely used in countries belonging to the European Union. Despite their attention in Europe, they’ve been used in the U.S. without too much resistance.

Yellow 5, however, is a different story. This food coloring, also know as tartrazine, has been known to cause serious allergic reactions (particularly for people who are allergic to aspirin). In 2008, the Food Standards Agency issued a warning about yellow 5 causing hyperactivity in some children. And according to board certified family physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman, yellow 5 poses risks of cancer.

A month ago at one of our church meetings, this little girl sitting in front of us,  turned around and proceeded to eat a huge ziploc bag full of “fruit snacks,” just two feet away from my little 3 year old’s face. The look on his face was so heart-tugging. Her mother was fully aware and sat there grinning, not having the sensitivity to encourage her daughter to either turn around or offer to share.

If she had offered to share them with my son, I would have cringed but let him have it anyway. I wish I had had some of these homemade fruit snacks to share with him instead. I just found out about this recipe from Robin over at thankyourbody.com. They are full of four basic things: real fruit juice, real, pureed fruit, gelatin, and honey. Simple, basic, and real! Thank you Robin! Just click on the link to get to her recipe. The ones I made in the picture above have pureed peach and orange juice. You could even add essential oils to them, lemon or orange! Yum!

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