June 10, 2012
Homemade Fruit Jellies (A Perfect Pre-Race Snack)
Saturday I was packing my stuff for Sunday’s race and I was pretty amazed by the amount of energy gels I carry with me.
Energy gels are a perfect “energy option” for endurance athletes as they deliver a good amount of nutrients in one tidy package. Truth to be told, they bring sugars, maybe in a complex form, but still sugars. And there’s nothing wrong with that since sugar will fuel your muscles.
That is why, back in the days when energy gels were not so popular athletes used to much on small candies (hard and soft) which are a good source of simple carbs.
Lately, sport nutritionists recommend to munch or chew snacks that are close to whole foods as possible and tp avoid ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes and chemical stuff not easily identifiable.
Since the energy gels are packed with stuff with names I can’t even spell, I thought to myself: why I don’t I try to make some homemade candies that I can use before training/races?
I gave it a thought and realize that my best option was to make some fruit jellies.
Fruit jellies are basically fruit and sugar in a “form” that it’s super convenient to carry.
I used some organic strawberries, apricots and loquats that I had in the fridge. But you can use any other combination.
You also need a good amount of sugar, some pectin, corn syrup and citric acid (that I found at a home brewery supply store but then discovered that also regular grocery stores carry it). Beside that, you just have to bring out the little chemist in you.
The first time you might find it a bit complicated but once you get the hang of the process, it will be a cinch.
These fruit jellies are one of the most awesome things I ever made: really good!
Homemade Fruit Jellies Print this Recipe!
Adapted, just a little, from Jacqueline Pham via Pham Fatale
18 oz / 1 ¼ cup fruit puree (you’ll need around 1 ½ pounds of fresh fruits but it can vary)
2 tablespoon organic light corn syrup
6 teaspoon powdered pectin
½ teaspoon citric acid
2 cups granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon citric acid
½ cup granulated sugar
Line a 8-inch square baking sheet with parchment paper.
In one bowl combine 1 cup of sugar with the pectin. Mix well and set aside.
In another bowl combine 1 cup of sugar with the citric acid. Mix well and set aside.
Wash, peel and seed the fruits and place them in a blender. Pulse until pureed.
Strain the pulp through a medium-mesh sieve, and using a spatula press through as much fruit as puree as possible and discard the solids.
Using a digital scale, weight 18 ounces of the seedless fruit puree (it should be around 1 ¼ cup but I recommend using the scale).
Place a candy thermometer on the wall of a big pot. Fill with the fruit pure. Bring to a boil.
Add the pectin/sugar mix. Stir well and bring back to boil.
Add the light corn syrup and sugar/citric acid mix. Bring back to a boil, stir well using a wooden spoon and cook until it reaches the temperature of 221-223˚F.
It will take some time until it reaches a rolling boil (around 4 to 5 minutes). Be extra careful now because it can be dangerous and you don't want not get burned.
When it reaches the desired temperature cook for an additional 3 minutes (not less, otherwise the jellies will result too soft).
Pour the hot puree into the baking sheet (I used two because I lost my square one) and let sit in a warm, dry place for at least 6 hours (overnight it’s better).
When cold, combine on a plate the citric acid with the granulated sugar.
Cut the candies into pieces and roll them in the sugar mix using a fork/spoon.
Store the jellies in an airtight metallic container and they can last several days.
The Iron You