While I was out tomato-ing the neighborhood (no, I was not throwing tomatoes at the neighbors houses – I was handing out baskets of tomatoes to them) one of my neighbors started talking cooking – as opposed to the usual talking about kids which is a topic I admittedly don’t know that much about. She was talking to me about packing lunches and snacks for her kids for back to school. She knows that I have this website, so she asked if I had any ideas. Of course there were parameters: healthy, not full of sugar, easy to make, something the kids could help make blah blah blah. My suggestion of cut vegetables was met with a resounding laugh. (I told you, I don’t know much about kids. I always ate vegetables – my parents had me completely bamboozled when I was young.) So off to the kitchen I went.
I rummaged through my fruits and started thinking about candy and then it struck me…gummies. Kids love those things. Okay, Craig and I love gummie bears too (yep, I’ve got a stash of ‘em). I dug around for a bit and came up with Kiwi Jellies. (Kiwifruit provides 206% of your daily recommended Vitamin C requirement, it’s loaded with fiber and folic acid – all things that your usual packaged gummie candy can’t claim.) All the other summer fruits have skins that really can’t be peeled off or they are seasonal, so you can’t have them all year round. Kiwi’s are available pretty much all year round and if green isn’t your color, you can go with yellow. (An added bonus of the gold kiwi is that it is missing the enzyme Actinidin, which means you can use the gold kiwi with milk products and it won’t cause any curdling – unlike the green kiwi.)
So I made up a couple of batches of these and the kids loved them. They are solid enough to be eaten out of hand, without making a mess, but when the kids put them in their mouths they thought it was cool that they were all squishy. Then, of course, they are kind of a neon green which the kids thought was hilarious. It looks like Kiwi Jellies are going to be on the menu around our neighborhood this year.
Oh, and something else you can do with this is make PB and Kiwi sandwiches. If you cut out shapes, you can put the “scraps” into a bowl and use the “scraps” as jelly for a peanut butter, banana, and kiwi jelly sandwich.
I’ve entered this recipe in the Zespri Kiwi-A-Go-Go contest, in which the grand prize is a trip to New Zealand. Sound cool? You can enter for a trip for 4 to New Zealand too, and you don’t even have to have a blog. Just visit this ling to The Great Kiwi Adventure and you can enter too.
Words of Wisdom:
I know this isn’t my usual kind of post, but it actually has some application to helping you get that guy. If you have to babysit for a cousin, a niece, a nephew….or maybe your guy has a little one that you need to entertain, these are fantastic. It takes a little while to make them, but the kids can help and the big plus – they aren’t full of sugar, so once the little one eats them, they aren’t going to be bouncing off the walls for hours.
- 1 Cup Kiwi Fruit Pureed (4 regular size fruits)
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup + 6 Teaspoons Sugar (divided)
- 6 Tablespoons Water
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Pectin*
- 4 Teaspoons Calcium Water*
Follow directions on the pectin box regarding the mixing of the calcium water. Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with plastic wrap.
In a medium size bowl add fruit, lemon juice, and 6 teaspoons of sugar. Stir well to combine.
Bring water to a boil. Put water into a blender and add pectin powder. Make sure to vent the lid and blend 1-2 minutes until all of the powder is dissolved. (If you don’t vent the lid when you do this, the lid will blow off and you will have pectin everywhere.)
Add hot pectin liquid to fruit and stir well to combine. Add calcium water and stir well. You should start to see jell forming. If not, you can add more calcium water 1 teaspoon at a time. It will be soft like jelly. It will get firmer when it’s chilled.
Pour kiwi jell into prepared pan and refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight.
Remove pan from refrigerator and cut pieces into shapes. Coat jellie shapes in sugar and set on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let coated jellies sit on counter to rest. Jellies should rest for at least 2 hours. (The resting time may vary depending on the humidity in your room.) You will see liquid coming from jellies shortly after you coat them and set them to rest. You will know that the jellies are done when they feel dry to the touch and are firmer than when you initially picked them up.
*The pectin and calcium water referenced here is from a pectin product called Pomona’s Universal Pectin. It is available online and at some stores, including Whole Foods. It is a product used for making jelly that does not require the usual amount of sugar. In fact, you can even use artificial sweetener if you like.