After my posts on easy homemade fruit snacks (jello version and natural fruit juice version), I had several people ask me about whether there was a vegetarian recipe since the ones I shared used gelatin.
In fact, I came across several vegetarian versions that used agar agar powder. I’m pretty familiar with agar agar powder as it’s used in a lot of Chinese desserts. Like gelatin, it’s a thickening agent, and it’s also vegetarian. The desserts made with agar agar powder usually have the consistency similar to Jello. The powder is quite cheap at Asian supermarkets, so I was happy to test it out.
I tried it several times, but I could never quite get it to be as chewy as the fruit snacks I like or the ones I made with the gelatin. Some were very firm and crumbly, some were too soft, some tasted like Jello. I finally got a version that was pretty tasty, but it’s more like a soft fruit snack. It’s firmer than Jello, but only has the tiniest chew. It’s still pretty tasty though and I know some people like their fruit snacks soft rather than chewy, so I decided to share the recipe.
I’m not going to give up though. I don’t think it’s possible to achieve the chewy fruit snacks with only agar, but I’m going to try another vegetarian version with pectin.
Agar Fruit Snacks
1 cup fruit juice
4 tbsp agar agar powder (not flakes)
Boil fruit juice and agar agar powder in sauce pan on low boil and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and pour into silicone molds. Place molds into fridge to set for about 15 minutes. Pop out of molds and serve. Store uneaten fruit snacks in fridge.