Use fruit juice to create fun snacks for kids

August 2, 2012 

Check out the kid-friendly recipes below from The Juice Products Association. They're all made with 100 percent fruit juice. They're perfect for Halloween snacks but as we enter the final days of summer break, I think they'll make make tasty summer afternoon treats, too. Enjoy!

Green Slush

For an icy snack, whirl up this mix of fruits and sweet white grape juice. Using the ripest fruit gives the sweetest flavor. For honeydew melon, this means taking the paler, juicier part near the center of the melon rather than the green flesh closer to the rind. The banana should be super-ripe.

2 cups cubed ripe honeydew melon, frozen

1 cup peeled and cubed kiwifruit, frozen

1 ripe small banana, pre-peeled and frozen

1/2 cup 100% white grape juice, chilled

Place the frozen melon and kiwi in a food processor. Slice the frozen banana and add it to the other fruit. Pour in the chilled 100% juice. Whirl and pulse until the mixture is an icy slush. Immediately spoon the slush into plastic cups and serve. Can also be served in glass dessert dishes, like a granita, for a more sophisticated presentation.

Serves 6. Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories, 0 g fat (0g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 15 mg sodium.

Icky Eyeballs

If you recall the fun of squishing grape “eyeballs” at Halloween, you’ll love to revisit the gross-out factor and enjoy this juicy snack along with your kids. Unfiltered apple juice gives the gelatin a creepy swamp-like feel, but use any flavor your family likes. Clear apple juice or white grape juice are good, too.

1 (3-ounce) package lime gelatin dessert, regular or sugar-free

2 cups 100% apple juice or 100% white grape juice

8 seedless green grapes

2-4 raisin

Set four 9-ounce plastic glasses on a tray and set aside.

Make the gelatin dessert according to package directions, using the juice at room temperature and heated, in place of the water. Divide the liquid gelatin among the plastic glasses.

Add 2 grapes to each glass, rolling to coat them with the gelatin. Nudge the grapes together to look like a pair of eyeballs. Cut the raisins into thin slices. Gently dip each slice into the warm gelatin and set each one on top of a grape.

Set the tray with the glasses in the refrigerator. Refrigerate until the gelatin is firmly set, 3 to 4 hours. Icky Eyeballs keep, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Serves 4. Nutrition information per serving: 75 calories, 0 g fat (0g saturated fat), 17 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 10 mg sodium.

Gone Fishin’

Clear gelatin and fruit juice squares are a favorite for little ones to eat with their hands and grab the fish in the middle. Older kids can participate by stirring the gelatin and adding the fish.

4 cups 100% apple juice (clear variety, not unfiltered) or 100% white grape juice

4 packets unflavored gelatin

6 Swedish Fish or Gummy Fish

Pour 1 cup of the 100% juice into a medium metal mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the gelatin and set aside to soften. Bring the remaining 3 cups juice to a boil. Pour the hot juice slowly into the softened gelatin, stirring until it is completely dissolved, 1 minute.

Refrigerate the gelatin until a thin film clings to the sides of the bowl when stirred, about 45 minutes.

Rinse a glass baking dish (8x6x2 inch) with cold water and pour the thickened gelatin into it. If the gelatin has begun to set, spread it out as evenly as possible. One at a time, holding the fish upside down, push them into the gelatin so they look like they are swimming. Place them far enough apart to cut six blocks, each containing a fish. Refrigerate the gelatin until very firm, 3 to 4 hours.

To unmold, hold the dish in a pan of hot water for 1 minute, or until the gelatin releases when you bounce the pan. Invert the pan over a plate so the gelatin drops onto it. With a sharp knife, cut the gelatin into 6 blocks, including one fish in each. The blocks are best served the day they are made as the fish start to get gooey after 12 hours.

Serves 6. Nutrition information per serving: 90 calories, 0 g fat (0g saturated fat), 19 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 10 mg sodium.

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