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We are big fans of gelatin at our house and we use it in a lot of different ways. These homemade fruit snacks and homemade marshmallows are the kid-favorites in our house, and I can feel good about giving it to them since it is a source of protein and vitamins.
Erase the idea of gummy bears as a junky treat from your mind… these homemade fruit snacks look just like them (although their texture is a little softer, like jello) but they’re actually health food!
Healthy Gummy Bears? Yes!
Why make homemade fruit snacks? I can think of three good reasons:
- It’s a really quick and easy recipe (even the kids can do this one themselves)
- They are SO much healthier than store-bought
- They’re really fun to make!
Not only do these fruit snacks have no artificial colors or flavors, they have the gut-soothing benefits and protein of gelatin. The kombucha adds nutrients as well, making these fruit snacks even healthier.
Tip: Add additional nutrition by make these chewable vitamins instead or make them flu-busting gummy bears with a few simple substitutions.
How to Make Homemade Fruit Snacks
Again, this recipe is super simple. All you need is kombucha or fruit juice (100% juice or freshly squeezed), a candy mold, and powdered unflavored gelatin from a good (grass-fed) source.
Heat the juice or kombucha, whisk in the gelatin, pour into molds, and let it set! You’ll have fruit snacks for a crowd in no time.
If you don’t have a mold, an oiled container works in a pinch. Cut gummies into small cubes once set.
Go with the classic bear shaped molds or try fun assorted geometric shapes, dinosaur molds, bugs and flowers, and even this unlikely combo Lego/hearts set so you have something to please everyone!
The recipe fills about 4-5 of these molds, or a medium baking dish (oiled). If you use a baking dish, just cut the fruit snacks once they gel. If you use the molds, stick them in the refrigerator to firm up. Tip: After they are set, put them in the freezer for 5 minutes to make them come out easier.
There really are endless ways this recipe could be adapted, and I’ve included our favorite below. If you experiment with different flavors or combinations, please share them below!
Homemade Fruit Snacks Recipe
- 2 cups fruit juice (or kombucha or other liquid of choice)
- ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup, optional)
- 1 cup berries (pureed, optional)
- 8 TBSP gelatin powder
- Combine fruit juice or kombucha and honey/maple syrup if using in a small saucepan.
- Heat over low heat until warm and starting to simmer, but not hot or boiling.
- Add pureed fruit, if using.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice mixture while whisking or using an immersion blender. Continue doing this until all gelatin is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Adding the gelatin too quickly will make it more difficult to get the mixture to incorporate. An immersion blender is not necessary but greatly speeds up the process.
- As soon as the gelatin is mixed in and the mixture is smooth, pour into molds or a lined/greased baking dish and place in the refrigerator or freezer until hardened.
- Pop the gummies out of the molds and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- It is important to have all ingredients ready before beginning as you'll need to work quickly once you start.
- Make sure you are using gelatin, not collagen hydrolysate or peptides as they will not gel. I've also had some feedback that the Great Lakes brand of gelatin doesn't work well in this recipe.
What is your favorite healthy homemade snack? Ever made any like these? Share below!
Discussion (392 Comments)
I’ve been trying to play around with this recipe to create coffee chews (trying to get my fiance to kick his soda habit). Any suggestions? The first time I tried it I whisked the gelatin into 1 cup cold coffee then added a cup of boiling coffee plus roughly 3 tbsp maple syrup. They came out a little tough and flavorless. Would adding a creamer (raw milk or coconut milk) mess up the recipe at all?
It wouldn’t hurt the recipe… maybe add some stevia too? Let me know how it turns out!
I’m so happy I found your blog! I am someone who eats healthy, but believes that includes animal products and its very hard to find recipes not using “healthy” vegetarian alternatives. I’ve made your marshmallow recipe and they were amazing so I can’t wait to try these fruit snacks!!
Hello. I made these and mine turned out like rubber. They still tasted really good! Does anyone have suggestions on what I did wrong? Thanks!
Add a little less gelatin next time
Hi! This is great. The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of gelatin powder. Just wondering how many cups in the 16oz. container. No, I am not math challenged :-). I know that would be 2 liquid cups, but not sure of the gelatin powder. And are these super sticky to the teeth? I bought an organic brand once, and they were horribly sticky, which is a cavity waiting to happen. Thanks!
Made these with my children last night and 12hrs later, they are still liquid? We followed the recipe except we used fruit juice instead of kombucha (waiting on a SCOBY to start my first batch). What went wrong?
Is it possible to melt everything back down and start new? I hate to throw it all in the trash!
What kind of gelatin did you use?
Great Lakes Beef Gelatin…ordered from Amazon. I whisked it very quickly in the cool water and then added the hot water. No bloom time…not sure if that was the issue? My fruit wasn’t fully defrosted…we whipped it in the blender…maybe that made it too liquidy? The mixture never did set, just stayed a bubbly thick liquid. I ended up adding some to smoothies and then pitched a little.
That’s how mine are too. It initially became gel like before I could get it in the molds, so I heated it again. I have been spooning them out into yogurt and using it like jelly, but where did I go wrong? Is the fruit supposed to not be frozen?
What type of fruit juice would you suggest?
Curious – I’ve heard that the living cultures within kombucha are rather fragile, due to their tiny size, and that brisk shaking or stirring (or whisking) damages and/or kills them – thus diluting the health properties meant to be found within kombucha. What are your thoughts on that in general, and within the context of this recipe?
I’ve just finished my second round of these gummies. My first turn at it wasn’t quite the flavor I was hoping for, but I’m very excited to pull this next batch out of the fridge!
Hi, I made my first attempt at these this morning. It didn’t turn out quite as pictured. It looks like whipped jello and tastes like fairly tasteless extra firm jello. I know these aren’t meant to taste like store bought gummy candy but I thought it would be closer to that than jello. I’m not a natural cook or baker so I’m sure it’ll take me a few tries. Any suggestions on what I did wrong? What I used are:
raw tupelo honey
cranberry raspberry juice (organic)(there are probably better options but this is what I had, plus I don’t consume kombucha because of the trace amount of alcohol)
Great Lakes unflavored gelatin
I’m guessing it is the juice… a sweeter juice will add more flavor, and texture. you could also try adding some applesauce…
Kristin Lynn Spivack
i tried this, minus the honey and kombucha. i used blueberries and pomegranate juice, and mine turned out SOOOO bland! omg, they arent good at all 🙁 suggestions? im gonna try to salvage them, since this recipe makes a lot, but i cant figure out what i did wrong!
The honey and kombucha add a lot of flavor… If you aren’t using those, you could try lemon juice or vitamin c powder for a sour flavor…
I thought I was heeding your “quickly” warning… I guess not quickly enough!! My fruit snacks resemble more of a really stretchy rubbery jelly. Oh well, at least it will taste delicious!! Any tips on making sure it is super smooth and getting rid of the gelatin chunks? Hoping to make these again! My boyfriend and I are trying to ditch our yucky eating habits. Tough for 2 extremely picky eaters… But stuff like this makes it a little easier 😉
Try adding a little more hot water…
The chunks happened to me too. Lol excited to see how they taste tomorrow morning. I will try adding more hot water next time too.