Fructose Malabsorption Recipes: Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts

Candy Hearts6__NoSugarlessGum

Around Christmas time I received a Facebook message from a gal I knew in college when we studied abroad in London, saying that she too has Fructose Malabsorption.

Of course I was sad for her, but mostly I was excited.  I finally know someone else who has it!  Poor Megan.  But yay for me!  (I don’t feel too bad admitting this, because she said she felt the same way when she found my blog.)

We made plans to make the candy hearts everyone gives out on Valentine’s Day with the little messages.  “C u later,” “call me,” “fructose sucks,” you know, the usual sayings.

I had made them ahead of time in case they were a disaster since I was adapting a recipe that I hadn’t tried before, but they turned out pretty well.  They don’t taste like the regular hearts, which I don’t care for anyway, but more like a sugar cube.
For the decorating I used food coloring pens.  I’m not a huge fan of food coloring, but the natural kind usually comes from ingredients we can’t tolerate, so that’s a personal judgement call.

Thankfully Megan turned out to be very artistic, because as you can see from the picture below, the ones that I decorated (on the right), are crap.

Candy Hearts3__NoSugarlessGum

Although, the stand out of the day was one of Megan’s, which was also crap:

Candy Hearts5__NoSugarlessGum

I think No Sugarless Gum has a new mascot…

Anyway, it was really great talking to someone who understands what you’re going through.  Other people just don’t get it, and the ability to vent is quite cathartic***.

So I had a great day with my new fructose friend.  And even though I was feeling bloated and fatigued, so was she.

***I looked this word up to make sure I spelled it correctly and apparently the second definition is “evacuating the bowels; purgative.” Nice.


  • 3/4 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of sparkling waterCandy Hearts__NoSugarlessGum
  • 3 cups of dextrose
  • Flavor extracts (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional)



(Note: it takes 48 hours for the candy hearts to dry before you can decorate)

In a large mixing bowl, add in the sparkling water and then the gelatin and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Candy Hearts4__NoSugarlessGumAdd in 1 cup of the dextrose and mix using your hand.

Keep adding in dextrose 1/2 a cup at a time until the dough is stiff.

Take a chunk of the dough and set it on a clean work surface.  This would be the time to add in food coloring/flavor extracts.

Roll the dough out (use a piece of parchment paper if the dough starts sticking to the rolling pin) until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
This dough is not so easy to work with, but if you show it who’s boss you can make it work for you.  Just roll the dough using a fair amount of pressure and don’t go back and forth in the same place.  You need to roll from different spots and angles to prevent too much cracking.

Cut hearts using the tiny fondant cutters and transfer to a baking tray line with parchment paper.  You may need something like a chopstick to gently coax the dough from the cutter.

Leave out to dry for 48 hours.


Elimination Diet safe: Yes!

5 thoughts on “Fructose Malabsorption Recipes: Valentine’s Day Candy Hearts

  1. I totally understand your sentiment, having fructose malabsorption and having no one understand totally sucks. I recently had a friend tell me that they totally understand because they are trying to eat less gluten…. Gluten really? At this point they have made eating gluten free idiot proof in grocery stores. I wanted to cry and smack her at the same time. I just changed the subject because I felt rage just growing inside me and I felt like I wanted to lash out saying Oh really? Wow so when you went into grocery stores for the first 6-8 months after being diagnosed with “not Celiac, but just realizing gluten is probably not your thing” did you also break down in tears and/or have slight panic attacks and/or leave without getting everything because you were so alone/sad/unsure/in mourning for all of the food you suddenly had to give up?
    I mean yes having celiac is real and a very severe thing that I don’t want to down play. But I even had a girl checking me out at the grocery store who had celiac tell me, Wow, that must really suck, at least I don’t have it THAT bad.
    The horrible part, it made my day.
    For someone who understood what it meant to really watch what they eat recognize that life must be hard for me was so nice. Some times I think people want so badly to relate and empathize, that they don’t understand how much they really don’t get it. Sometimes all you really want is someone to say, “I am so sorry, that must be really hard” and let you vent your frustrations.
    Which is something I now realize I’m doing all over your lovely valentines day post. Thank you for your blog. I was diagnosed last late February, but was in denial for another two months or so, and have found your blog very helpful as I have perused it over the past 6 months or so. Never stop =]

    • You need to vent to stay sane! Let it out!!!

      A friend of mine has celiac and she agrees that FM is so much worse! I too enjoy her pity as a validation of my suffering. Is that so wrong?

      Another friend is trying to do the eating-less-gluten thing and at first I tried to be gracious when she complained to me, but eventually I had to warn her she was in danger of a bitch slap.

      Unload your pain here whenever you need to; I’m so glad to have you following along!

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