Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients in a package of fruit snacks?
I have and let me tell you all three of the leading brands had corn syrup and sugar as two of the top three ingredients. There was however one brand available that is 100% fruit. It’s just dried fruit formed into shapes. As a parent I thought these were a good alternative to the sugar laden Doras, Spider-Mans and Dinos. Unfortunately there are a few downsides. First they are expensive, they aren’t organic and they are hard for little ones to chew. Especially when you have a baby who wants everything her big sister has.
Luckily I have a dehydrator and a few ideas for alternatives.
First apple slices, cinnamon and pure maple syrup. My hubby and little ones love these. I peel and slice the apples, soak them in a solution of water and a few Tbsp lemon juice, sprinkle them with cinnamon and a small amount of maple syrup, and dehydrate overnight. These are very economical especially when apples are on sale. I was able to purchase 3 pounds organic galas for under four dollars last week so I did a bunch of apples.o
We also love pineapple, kiwi, and strawberries. Just slice and dehydrate. You have to be careful to set limits because its easy to eat too much they’re so good.
For a more “fruit snack” like treat combine 2 cups applesauce with 4 cups fresh or frozen fruit in a sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until the berries start to soften. Combine one package gelatine with 1/2 cup very hot water, I really recommend trying to buy organic gelatine. Transfer sauce and berry mix into a blender, add the gelatine and 1/4 cup xylitol or organic cane sugar. Blend until smooth. Transfer the mix to a parchment lined dehydrator tray.
My dehydrator has a lip on the tray so I can pour the mix straight into the tray. If yours doesn’t pour the mix into a parchment lined pan and put it into the fridge until it is set up enough that you can transfer it to your dehydrator tray.
Dehydrate just enough to dry the fruit but leave enough moisture in to keep the snacks soft and chewy. The gelatine will help set them up so they don’t have to dehydrate too much. Dehydrating keeps the snacks from being gummy and messy. I dehydrated the snacks at 120 degrees for about 15 hours.
When done cool, peel off the parchment and cut.
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