Vegan version of fruit snack combines strawberries, agar-agar powder

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As popular as gummies and fruit snacks are, sometimes people just don’t like the idea of animal-sourced gelatin. Substitutes are often not the same texture-wise — but you can get pretty close with this is a vegan recipe. It answers that desire for jiggly, sort-of-chewy bites of joy without the idea of suffering attached to it.

This gelatin substitute uses agar-agar, a product made from a seaweed that has gelling properties and is often used in Southeast Asian desserts. It’s also a popular modernist ingredient. A powder version should be easy to come by online or at an Asian market.

Using this magic mystery powder with fruit juice and cannabis tincture makes a simple snack that’s perfect for microdosing.

Vegan strawberry fruit snacks

Makes 150 bites, 1mg THC per bite

2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed

⅔ cups corn syrup (crucial for texture)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon citric acid

2 tablespoons agar-agar powder

1 ounce cannabis glycerin tincture*

Break down the strawberries, removing stems and leaves and halving. Pile into a heavy bottomed pot. Sprinkle the sugar and citric acid over the strawberries and put aside for 20 minutes.

Muddle until they are mostly squished; you will be doing this again later; so perfection isn’t necessary. Add corn syrup and bring to a light simmer. Strain well for the best texture, and save the strawberry guts for another application. I’d suggest throwing them in a jar with some vinegar for a tasty salad dressing base.

(Danielle Guercio photo)
(Danielle Guercio photo)

Put the resulting strawberry syrup back in the pan and bring to a boil once again. Add the agar-agar powder and stir vigorously to dissolve the powder. Turn off the heat, and pour back into measuring cup, which is much easier to pour. Let it cool slightly and then add the glycerin tincture and stir one final time.

Pour into molds or any plastic-lined container to cool for at least two hours. If this is your first time, try not to use an overly complicated mold. You can add an extra tablespoon of agar-agar to give it more body, but be wary as too much can add a grainy or crumbly texture to your finished product.

Remove from molds and chop into small pieces, storing in an airtight container. You can alternatively dehydrate your finished product for a fruit-leather texture, but this takes time and it’s delicious as is.

(Danielle Guercio photo)
(Danielle Guercio photo)

*Cannabis-infused glycerin tincture

In an oven-safe container double-sealed with foil, decarboxylate 3.5 grams finely ground cannabis at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Put cannabis in a mason jar or vacuum-sealed bag, pour over 2 ounces vegetable glycerin and seal tightly. Place in a water bath at just under boiling for one hour. Strain and keep contents in a sterilized container. Stores indefinitely in freezer.

As with all edible cannabis, be aware of how you are dosing these. Sometimes the tastiest treats get us into the most trouble. You can cut the actives in half if you want to be able to really munch carelessly. In these cases, it may be best to split them up from the get go. If you know one handful is a certain amount, you won’t accidently overdo it.

This recipe is courtesy of The Fresh Toast, a lifestyle/entertainment site with a side of cannabis. The Seattle Times is running occasional light lifestyle items from this site. For related recipes, news, features and pop culture, visit The Fresh Toast.