First, a bit of housekeeping. I am starting a brand new Yummy Toddler Food newsletter and there's a sign up button on the right (directly above the picture of my girl and myself eating ice cream). Simply enter your email address and confirm the email that comes through to get a newsletter from me on the first Monday of each month. It will contain toddler nutrition news, new products that we love, tips on food budgeting and family meal planning, and exclusive recipes—the first edition will have our favorite No-Knead Pizza Rolls. I hope this is a way that we can connect more directly and that I can share extra content and tips in a useable format! And now back to the regularly scheduled post...
After having such nice results with the Fresh Blueberry Yogurt Gummies, but getting a lot of requests for a dairy-free version, I decided to do a coconut milk version. It has a similarly creamy taste and texture, but it doesn't have the milk proteins that upset some kiddo's tummies. But these Tropical Coconut Gummies, which you can make with fresh or frozen pineapple or mango, are a great option for anyone who likes tropical flavors!
The thing I love about this homemade toddler snack is that it's fun to eat, but it's a bit more balanced than traditional fruit snacks. The fat from the coconut milk pairs with the natural sugars in the fruit to provide longer lasting energy—which can help prevent a sugar crash. (It's always good to avoid a toddler meltdown when we can, right?!) These gummies feature a nice serving of whole fruit, they are a super easy recipe to stir together, and they hold up for about a week in the fridge—so you can pack them in lunches or serve as snacks all week long.
We've made these with both pineapple and mango and we like both variations. (They actually taste sort of similar.) I also made some in an 8x8 pan, then cut them with little cookie cutters, and did another batch in a silicone candy mold. It works really well both ways, so do whichever you prefer (and have the gear for!).
Tropical Gummies with Coconut Milk
Be sure to let them chill for the full time if you can since the longer they firm up, the easier they are to get out of the pan. In a rush to eat them? Just be sure to go slowly when removing the first few pieces from the pan. I give a range of sweetener since how much you will want to use will depend on your personal preference and the sweetness in the fruit. Taste the mixture before putting it into the pan to set and add more honey if needed. They should taste like natural fruit—do not expect them to be super sweet like store-bought fruit snacks.
If using pineapple, expect to see a few pineapple strands here and there. You can simply snip them off if they bug your kiddo. (Mine actually didn't even notice them despite my thinking she would.)
Fresh, ripe mango tastes delicious in this recipe and the more flavor the fruit has, the better the gummies will be. You can also use frozen though—simply thaw it before processing it in the food processor.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple OR mango cubes (thawed, if frozen)
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup canned light coconut milk
- 3 packages plain gelatin, or 3 tablespoons (I use Knox)
- Place the fruit in the bowl of a food processor and process until very, very smooth, about 30 seconds. (The smoother you can get it, the better the final texture will be.) Transfer to a small saucepan and add the honey. Bring to a low simmer over medium-low, stirring often.
- Meanwhile, place the coconut milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top and let sit for 2-3 minutes to dissolve. Whisk well, about 1 minute, to make sure the gelatin is completely dissolved and dispersed.
- Add the hot fruit to the coconut milk mixture and whisk for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until completely smooth. Pour into an 8x8-inch baking pan or a silicone candy mold and let set for at least 3 hours in the fridge. (They will be firm after an hour, but they come out of the pan easier if they chill longer.) Cut into squares or shapes and gently and slowly remove from the pan to prevent sticking.
To store, place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. (If you see little beads of condensation on the sides of your container, simply dry with a paper towel.)
Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Use half mango and half pineapple.
Try maple syrup instead of honey.