Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Sugar-Free Homemade Fruit Snacks
Confession: I hate Jell-o. I just can't seem to make myself like it. Several times when I was losing weight, I thought "I'll get the sugar-free Jell-o cups and have that as my sweet treat for 10 calories so I can be satisfied and keep losing." And each time, I'd force my way through about 3or 4 of the cups in the 6-pack until finally I couldn't do it any more. I don't think it's a consistency thing. Or a flavor thing. And it doesn't make a difference between sugar and sugar free. I just can't make myself like it. So I am super excited that I made this batch of fruit snacks for just 25 calories per serving. A few days worth of sweet snacks that won't completely blow my healthy eating plan (or at least allow me to also indulge in the occasional brownie or cupcake). These have a consistency a little closer to a gummy bear than the fruit snacks I remember as a kid (maybe they've changed since then?), but they are really good. And so simple to make, you'll want to whip up a bunch of flavors to have a variety pack!
Some people go the homemade route for health reasons; some do it because it's less expensive. This recipe happens to satisfy both needs, with for only 25 calories (20 if you use water instead of juice) and just about a dollar to make. I pinned this recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff, posted by Elyse, and thought about it for a little while. I bought the ingredients and then got distracted by other treats. Then last week I was home alone and thought these would be an easy treat to give me something new to try. I'd read that using the sugar free gelatin created a more tart fruit snack than using the full sugar version, so I made two adaptations. First, I added to little packets of Splenda to add a bit of sweetness. Then, rather than using water, I used diet V-8 splash. Any juice would probably work, but I thought the Berry Blend flavor would work well with the black cherry gelatin (plus it's the only juice I had open in the fridge). It's customizable, so use any flavor gelatin or juice (or water) you like and get to it. For molds, I used a small silicone tipped ice cube tray that I picked up at the dollar section of Target. Any compartmented tray (ice cube, candy mold) would probably work, but the silicone made the snacks super easy to pop out of the tray. This is a perfect treat to involve the kids too since there are few ingredients and steps, even the little kitchen helper can lend a hand.
Sugar-Free Homemade Fruit Snacks
1/3 cup Diet V-8 Splash (any flavor) or water
1 .3-ounce package sugar free gelatin, any flavor
.5 ounce unflavored gelatin (two envelopes)
4 teaspoons Splenda (two packets)
Pour juice or water into a small saucepan. Sprinkle all of the gelatin and Splenda over the water and mix. (Note: Mixture will be a little thick and slightly grainy.)
Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until gelatin dissolves and mixture is fluid, just beginning to simmer.
Remove from heat and carefully pour evenly into silicone trays. (Note: I transferred my mixture from the saucepan to a measuring cup with a spout to make it easier to pour.)
Move trays to fridge and let set for 20-30 minutes. Pop treats out of trays and store in an airtight container, sealed.
Makes 4 servings.
The Cookie Princess
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