This time of year it’s everywhere!
It’s talked about on kid’s television shows, prominently displayed on store shelves, and passed out everywhere from the library to church.
Now, I’m not writing this post to bash candy or any parent who allows their child to occasionally partake in candy treats. We all know candy just simply isn’t real food. Most candy that is. There are a few small companies which are rising to the occasion and producing good quality, real food candies. But even the real (or better) treats and candies being produced are still processed.
During this time of year, my kiddos are constantly being lured into the pretty colorful treats. I’m all for a little moderation. In fact, I don’t want my children to fear food or elevate real food to a place of thinking we are better than others. However, I am also not encouraging the consumption of such treats regularly or buying these little “goodies” to stock in our house. If someone offers my two little ones a piece of candy, they have a choice to eat it or not and most the time they choose to eat. Living in a home where we cook and eat homemade real food, even at their young age, they are beginning to realize the real stuff just tastes better than the junk and makes them feel better.
With this season of candy in mind, I set out to make a candy my kiddos would eat and view as a treat. A treat that tastes better than the junk and packs nutritional value. One that’s colorful and luring just like the artificially colored candies on store shelves. I turned to my kids’ favorite treat for inspiration, gummies.
Unlike the gummies my kids love from the store (even the organic ones are processed) these gummies are packed with fresh fruit and veggie juice making them not only healthy, but also appealing to little eyes. These gummy snacks are made with gelatin which like bone broth is incredibly healing and important for growing children. Add in a bit of raw honey for sweetness and you have a perfectly sweet homemade gummy snack. A gummy snack mom can feel good about and the kids will love!
What’s that, mom actually wants us to eat candy?
Go ahead, mom, offer another gummy candy, these are healthy and delicious!
What you will need:
- Fresh carrot, apple, orange juice (I use this juicer or use a high-speed blender with water)
- Fresh lemon, apple, pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup grass-fed gelatin (where to buy) (or this brand as it’s much milder)
- 3 TB honey (for each juice mixture)
- Pumpkin gummy molds (where to buy) You can also use these to make chocolates. We can talk more on that later.
To make the orange colored juice you will need: 5 carrots, 2 oranges (peeled), and 2 apples.
To make the yellow juice you will need: 2 lemons (peeled), 3 apples, and 1 cup pineapple.
Wash, dry, and trim veggies.
Run the fruits/veggie through the juicer for each desired juice.
Heat each juice in a saucepan over low heat. You don’t want it to boil, just warm.
Once the juice is warm turn off the burner and add 3 tablespoons raw honey and whisk.
Next, add the 1/4 cup gelatin and whisk.
Pour the juice and gelatin mixture into the mold.
NOTE: It’s really difficult to pick up the mold once the juice is resting. I find placing the mold on a rectangular cookie sheet before pouring the juice is a must.
Place the mold with the juice/gelatin mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.
After an hour peel back the mold and POP, homemade fruit gummy snacks.
Store these gummy snacks in an airtight container in the fridge.
Homemade Fruit and Veggie Gummy Snacks
- 1 1/2 cups juice I made juice with: 5 carrots, 2 oranges (peeled), and 2 apples
- 1/4 cup grass-fed gelatin
- 3 TB honey
- To make the orange colored juice you will need: 5 carrots, 2 oranges (peeled), and 2 apples.
- To make the yellow juice you will need: 2 lemons (peeled), 3 apples, and 1 cup pineapple.
- Wash, dry, and trim veggies.
- Run the fruits/veggie through the juicer for each desired juice.
- Heat each juice in a saucepan over low heat. You don't want it to boil, just warm.
- Once the juice is warm turn off the burner and add 3 tablespoons raw honey and whisk.
- Next, add the 1/4 cup gelatin and whisk.
- Pour the juice and gelatin mixture into the mold.
- NOTE: It's really difficult to pick up the mold once the juice is resting. I find placing the mold on a rectangular cookie sheet before pouring the juice is a must.
- Place the mold with the juice/gelatin mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.
- After an hour peel back the mold and POP, homemade fruit gummy snacks.
- Store these gummy snacks in an airtight container in the fridge.
can a use a candy mold instead will it come out the same
Hi Michelle, Candy molds will work great as long as you can easily pop the gummies out.
I made this and used 1/4 cup gelatin (Great Lakes, in the red box/can) for 3 cups juice (I saw in the comments that it should be for each juice). They turned out great as far as texture and look, but the gelatin seems really strong. I can smell it and taste it and I really don’t like it at all. It’s too strong. Could it be th gellatin is bad? (even though it’s not old). Or should I do something different for dissolving it so it doesn’t have such a strong smell and taste?
I am using the cold-water dissolving one (in the green can) in smoothies and i cannot taste/smell that one, perhaps I should try using that instead. I just wanted to see if you ever experienced this smell/taste with this gellatin. Thanks!
Hi Nicki, The Great Lakes brand is very strong. It does take some time to get used to. You can try reducing the amount of gelatin too, as you get used to it. “Now” also makes a gelatin (not 100% grass-fed, but organic) that is more mild. See above in the ingredients for a link to that gelatin.
Any suggestions for a replacement of the pineapple juice?
Really you could use any juice, I just chose to use pineapple to get the yellow color for Halloween/Fall. More apple would work well.
Love the fresh juice idea!! Just made a batch with fruits and my batch came out REALLY foamy, which kind of changed the texture. Any ideas what I may have done wrong? I’m afraid the kids will say they don’t look or taste like gummy bears and wont even try them…! Thanks for any input!
Hi Brenda, My only thought is to be sure and stir the juice well before pouring into the molds. I know some juicers can create more of a foam froth than others after juicing.
If I dont have a juicer how much juice should i use? it looked like 1 cup “orange” juice and 2 c “yellow” juice from the picture…???
Hi Desiree, You’ll need about 1.5 cups of juice for each color.
I will try it today
But I have a question, you are using grass-fed gelatin. Could I use regular gelatin? its all I have at home..
I am, but you can use any gelatin 🙂
Instead of gelatin you also can use pectin or agar agar
I’ve never tried either, however, I’d love to hear how they work if you give them a try.
i followed the recipe but used the vitamix and i have a ton of juice; and its super thick; can i still use this to make them?
Hi Karen, I use a juicer so the juice is more watery. Can you strain the juice through a cheesecloth? Or maybe just water it down a bit to help make it more liquid to heat.
Do you have suggestions for juice mixtures for Christmas molds? Beet? Spinach?
Hi Emily, I was just starting to work on some Christmas gummies for my kiddos. I am using red beets (mixed with apples and carrots for sweetness) and spinach or kale mixed with an apple and lemon. I’ll still experimenting with these, but that’s the direction I’m heading with them.
These are great and I’d love to make them for nephew. Do you know long they will last in the fridge? Or if you can freeze them? Thanks!!!
Hi Megan, My gummies last about 2 weeks. I’ve never tried freezing them. I’m not sure how the texture would be after defrosting.
Be sure to heat the pineapple juice to at least 150… maybe more. Pineapple is the one fruit that can make this not work. It contains an enzyme that denatures gelatin, but the enzyme can be broken down with heat. I think that is worth noting. As long as the recipe is followed, and you heat the juice, it should work.
Yes, that’s correct. Thanks for sharing. There is very little pineapple juice actually in the yellow, so that helps too.
Just to put in my 2 cents, nutritionists almost unanimously agree that juice isn’t really “healthy” — in fact juice is considered a major contributor to childhood obesity, because it’s mostly sugar. A whole apple contains many enzymes, important pigments, and most of all fiber. When you juice it, the enzymes die and you lose all the fiber by throwing out the pulp. So while these fruit snacks probably aren’t going to harm your children, they shouldn’t be treated as anything other than what they are: candy. There are many articles and research papers outlying how fruit juice isn’t actually that nutrient dense, and that it can be harmful in that one glass of juice contains much more sugar than an equal quantity of whole fruit.
Nutritionists do NOT “almost unanimously agree that juice isn’t really healthy”. In fact, many nutritionists strongly support juicing fresh fruits and veggies in a good juicer which processes the veggies and fruit on a slower speed. There are many studies published which encourage responsible (occasional, not talking meal replacement) juicing with a good diet of healthy fats and other fruits and veggies in their whole form. These are hopefully not your child’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but are nutritionally-sound and packed full of good enzymes and minerals from freshly juiced produce and perfect as a treat. And the gelatin from grass-fed cows is wonderful for growing children. In the post, I shared these are my solution to the packaged goodies being handed out today, even the organic ones, which lack any nutrients. These on the other hand, actually offer your child nutritional benefit. If your child doesn’t have issue with such gummy snacks, that is fine, but for many of us we would love to offer a homemade alternative that is healthy and taste great.
Fresh, cold-pressed juice is one of the healthiest things we can give our bodies. Juice that you find sitting in bottles at stores isn’t as much. Or juice boxes, or pasteurized juice. We need juices that are fresh, cold pressed and organic. I’ve seen so many people cure diseases by juicing alone. You just need to know what juice is best 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Erika. Fresh juice is amazing stuff.
I am guessing that you would need 1/4 of cup of gelatin for each juice mixture as well (like the honey right)?
cannot wait to try them out!
Yes, that’s correct. 1/4 for each juice which is about 1.5 cups of juice and 3 TB. honey for each.
In this recipe do you use 1/4 cup gelatin for 1 of the juices or for both of the juices ??
Yes, that’s correct. 1/4 for each juice which is about 1.5 cups of juice and 3 TB. honey for each.
Can the honey be replaced with agave????
Hi Jessica, Agave would work well in this recipe, I believe.
I just made these with agave today and the syrup worked just fine! A little note-they are rather like very firm jello, not traditional gummy snacks. I would love to hear from anyone who has achieved a more “store bought” texture. 🙂
Hey Leah, Awesome, thank you for sharing your adjustment and how they turned out. Yes, achieving store-bought gummies is hard due to commercial ingredients most home cooks aren’t going to use (or have access to).
Oh these look amazing!! I cannot wait to make these with my kids! Thanks for sharing!
is a sugar-free version of this possible? maybe stevia and a little extra liquid to make up for the lack of honey?
You could try substituting with a different sweetener like stevia or doing without. I haven’t tried, but I’m sure they would still turn out well.
This recipe is sugar free. Raw honey is safe for even diabetics. Just not safe for kids under 1 year.
I’m sorry… I have to correct this. These are NOT “sugar-free.” Honey is still a carb – it still affects blood sugar. In fact, it is one of the fast-acting sugars recommended to correct hypoglycemia because it is liquid and will be absorbed through the skin inside a person’s mouth. Fruit juices are full of “sugar,” even though it’s fructose and relatively healthier. A person with diabetes would still have to dose insulin for these.
— a person with diabetes, 18 years now
Hey Nancy, Yes, fruit and honey certainly contain sugar. This recipe does not contain refined or processed sugars, as all gummy snacks sold in the store include. Thank you for sharing your concern. If you’d like the honey can be left out of the recipe.
Kristin – I wasn’t criticizing your original recipe/method – I’m all for more healthful sugars like honey and (aside from not having a juicer) would try the recipe as is. Unlike traditional white sugar, there’s just more to it for your body.
I just get tired of seeing misinformation passed on by people that confuses people with diabetes or caretakers of PWDs that don’t do a lot of their own research. That label “sugar-free” gets tossed around a lot and it’s misleading. No “sugar” (a.k.a. white sugar) does not mean “carb-free” or “safe” for diabetes. It just means no white sugar.
Nancy, No problem :). We don’t want to claim they are sugar-free (that’s why the label is not added to our title or image) and I totally understand your concern (I also have noticed the “sugar-free” term being tossed around quite a bit). For our recipe labels we usually say, “without refined sugar” as seen in many recipes titles here at Live Simply. If you try them without the honey, let me know how it goes! Enjoy!
This is probably a silly question but are we warming up each juice in a different pot and adding 3T of honey and 1/4 c of gelatin to each pot?
Not silly at all :). Yes, I am. I usually use the same pot, but take turns with each juice.
Great, thank you! Can’t wait to try ’em!
Where do you find the cute gummy molds? I have been making fruit snacks by cutting them out with tiny cookie cutters but this is way better!
Here’s where I found the pumpkin mold: http://amzn.to/1aGagzB. I also have some heart molds I found on amazon too. They really make them so cute and easy to make.
I cannot wait to try these out! 😀
I don’t have a juicer and would just buy carrot and mango juices for this. How many cups of juice would I need? Thanks!
I use around 1 1/2 cups of each juice to make 24 pumpkin gummies. So, three cups total. Any juice will work well.