We made jello valentines for my son’s grade 1 class, and although I used some juice, the whole time we were making the treats I was thinking about how there should be away to make them healthier (and less sugar heavy). Then I thought about using “no sugar added” juice, or better still home made juice.
Then I remembered I gave away my juicer about 1 minute after receiving it because it was too hard to clean. So many parts, too much scrubbing and it took up too much counter and cupboard space–And that’s saying something because I love kitchen gadgets, LOVE. Then I came across this recipe from Modern Parents Messy Kids, Healthy Homemade Gummie Snacks, I was inspired.
I thought some more about homemade juice, and thought about how I had in the past made baby purees, and jellies, and realized I could use the same process to make juice and fruit leather.
Home made juice & puree
what you need:
3 c fruit/veg, well washed
+ 1 orange or lemon’s juice (about 1/4 c)
Start 1-4 TB and work your way up – honey/sugar/maple syrup
(1/2 tsp vanilla or other essence)
a large sieve colander
food mill or mesh sieve and a large spatula
Chop fruit/vegetables into 1/2″ pieces and pack into a sauce pot with citrus juice and 1 Tb sweet.
Fill with just enough water to cover fruits and vegetables. Cover with lid and bring to a simmer.
Simmer until very soft, 10-30 min.
Discard stems and seeds. Pour into blender, OR use food mill/ sieve and spatula. Blend/mash until smooth.
The idea is to get a batch of runny fruit & veggy pulp.
give it a taste add more sweetness or a pinch of salt, or vanilla (real vanilla will act as a flavor enhancer, a little goes along way start with 1/4 tsp)
Place sieve over a large bowl, line with cheese cloth, and empty puree into the sieve.
(I couldn’t find my sieve so in the picture you can see I used a spring form pan set over a plate instead)
let sit a few minutes.
The juice will run through the cheesecloth and the pulp will become more dense the longer it sits.
Keep juice refrigerated and drink or turn into jiggly snacks, use pulp to make fruit leather, or serve on its own flavored with spices or yogurt or sweetened with honey or sugar.
To Make Jiggly Lunch snack:
heat to simmering 2 c juice, remove from heat.
add 3 packets gelatin
stir to dissolve
pour into tray, refrigerate till set.
set pan in warm water 15 seconds then turn out and cut into shapes or cubes. store in the fridge.
To Make fruit-veg leather
place a silicone baking mat onto (rimmed)cookie sheet
spread strained pulp onto a silicone mat
spread evenly to about 1/8″
place in a oven on lowest setting (150) for 6+ hours until no longer gooey in the center. Cut into strips, or shapes.
store in an air tight bag.
- pictured combinations:
- 2 c blue, straw, rasp berries, cherries
1/4 c spinach
with maple syrup
- 1 golden beet