Yummy Gummy Candy (sugar free) and How “Ew” Turned to “Yum”

Need a healthy snack that's easy to take on the go? This Super Healthy Gummy Candy is loaded with tons of nutrition so you can feel good about serving to your kids anytime! We make several batches of these every time we make them because they are gone in a flash. They're sugar free and high in protein.

I’m always looking for healthy snacks that I can make in a jiffy like these no-bake cookies,  no-bake chocolate mint bars, kale chips, homemade “JELLO®” and healthy chocolate truffles.  Today I am so pleased that Candace from Candida Free Candee brings us this Homemade Gummy Candy–something I have been planning to make for my family for a loooong time. 

Candace is working on dealing with that horrid digestive problem, candida, and though her blog is quite new, she has some great recipes on it that are helpful for anyone hoping to live a “sugar-free or low carb” life.  Now–here’s Candace…

“Eeewww”, was all I could say.

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I had just been told that the gelatin in gummies was made from animals.

I was totally grossed out.

Why did we need to make candy out of animals?

Gelatin is “Ew”

It enraged me–first they try to sneak in undesirable animal parts into hot dogs and now into my candy!?!

Who did they think they were? I mean, I only ate the well-trimmed “gift-wrapped” cuts of meat like chicken breast.

No thighs for me.

And don’t even try putting a whole chicken in my grocery cart–gross! When someone once suggested that stores may be sneaking organ meat into my extra lean ground beef it enraged me even more!

Give me the nice, easy cuts and just discard the rest….right?

Gelatin is — “Yum”?  Or at least Here are Gelatin’s Health Benefits

Fast forward five years and my perspective has completely changed. I now applaud those who eat “undesirable” cuts and find ways to use more of the animals we eat. I mean, if you’re not vegan or vegetarian and are going to choose to eat animals why not show a little respect by wasting as little as possible. {Good point, Candace!}

My progress is a bit slow on being more adventurous with cuts of meat, but I can say I have been exploring gelatin and it’s uses more. I recently read that gelatin can help with candida, leaky gut syndrome and a bevy of other intestinal and health woes, and that stopped me in my tracks!

I recently started reading Nourishing Traditions (NT) and the information about gelatin was fascinating! What I learned is that raw foods are hydrophilic, meaning they attract water, whereas cooked foods are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water.

Therefore, raw foods are easier to digest and digest more completely because they attract liquid in the form of digestive juices. {Note, from Adrienne–I’ve heard from some practitioners that raw foods are, in fact, easier to digest–in fact, the GAPS diet, which I talked about in this post, starts off with broth and cooked vegetables only.}

That being said, cooked foods containing gelatin will digest more easily because gelatin itself is hydrophilic, even when heated. This means that when gelatin is consumed with cooked foods, it draws the juices to itself, much like what happens when uncooked food is eaten.


This property of gelatin helps move food through the digestive system properly and efficiently.

Gelatin also contains Glycine, an amino acid, which stimulates the secretions of gastric acid in the stomach. This promotes proper digestion and aids in the breaking down of proteins.

Incomplete or impeded digestion of proteins can (according to the Weston A. Price Foundation) contribute to a variety of aliments from food allergies, intestinal infections and candida, to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, acne and the list doesn’t stop there.

Equally as impressive; gelatin can actually help repair and heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, which is glorious news for those of us dealing with candida and the aftermath of leaky gut syndrome. According to this site, “Gelatin is reported to seal and heal any damage it finds by lining the gastrointestinal tract and nourishing the rapidly-growing mucous membranes.” That sounds great, now let’s get me some gelatin!

NT, and most sources, indicate that the best way to get gelatin into your diet is via homemade broths and sauces (which is a traditional culinary practice abandoned only in recent history). Making my own broth is something I have NEVER done, sad I know, but it is something I will be doing very soon.

In the meantime, there are other delicious ways to up your gelatin intake. These include drinking it in hot water with a little lemon, adding it to popsicles like my Key Lime Coconut Milk Popsicles, adding it to homemade ice creams, making Homemade Jello®, or making Homemade Gummy Candy! That’s right–Homemade Gummies. I was through the roof excited to discover a recipe I could alter to suit my needs. These candies can be made quickly and easily without sugar (three huge thumbs up for those of us battling candida!)

The candida-friendly version (lemon) is reminiscent of a perfectly sweet, yet tangy, lemonade. The non-candida versions are best made with no-sugar-added fruit juice concentrate. The flavour was just not strong enough for me using diluted fruit juices or pureed fruits, but play around–those options may just suit your tastes!

In terms of which brand of gelatin to use, I recommend Great Lakes. They use pasture-fed cows that have not been treated with antibiotics or hormones and are free of many allergens as well as MSG.

Adapted from this recipe.

{Please note that there are affiliate and referral links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is very much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.}

Need a healthy snack that's easy to take on the go? This Super Healthy Gummy Candy is loaded with tons of nutrition so you can feel good about serving to your kids anytime! We make several batches of these every time we make them because they are gone in a flash. They're sugar free and high in protein.

NOTE: I made WAY too many of these for my daughters’ birthday so I stuck them in the freezer and a month later they were still good!

{From Adrienne: I think they would be GREAT out of the freezer!  Note that these do not do well in very hot weather.  We once took them to a fair and we ended up with liquid gummies.  We were super hungry so it all worked out great, but just be forewarned :).}

These silicone star molds are like some that I have and I LOVE them. I’ve used them to mold my Homemade Jello® and to make candies out of my Homemade Chocolate / Carob Chips – yum!

Silicone Mold | Star Mold

And this is the book, Nourishing Traditions, that Candace mentioned.  I don’t agree with everything in here (well, when would I, right?), but it is a great resource for tons of dietary issues.

Nourishing Traditions

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered dietitian, doctor, or fitness expert. The purpose of this post is to share my experience and hopefully make your life a little easier and a little more delicious! Please contact a health professional when making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or exercise routine.

What do you think about gelatin? Yea or Nea?

meCandace is a stay-at-home-mom, wife, graphic designer and food lover. She loves to make healthy, whole foods that are dairy free and candida friendly. She loves being a mom and is passionate about parenting, living healthy and helping others do the same. She shares her recipes and candida fighting tactics at: candidafreecandee.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Shared at Ricki Heller.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. robin zarate says:

    I say yuck to gelatin.
    I have found a much better substitute.
    Made from seaweed
    animal free.
    you can buy other non animal based gels at the grocery under the brand KoJel
    it is Carrageenan and it also is from algae

    • I just put a link in to agar. Carrageenan has some health concerns surrounding it so I would be careful about that one. Thanks for sharing. I used to be vegan as well, but now I do appreciate the health benefits of gelatin for gut healing.

    • A lot of people are allergic to agar and carrageenan. I know some people who break out in hives. Gelatin is wonderful for us because of those issues, and not sure but I think carrageenan may be a carcinogen?

  2. What amount would you suggest if you substitute honey (instead of stevia?)

    • Hi Sonia! The original recipe actually called for 3 Tbsp of honey instead of stevia. It also used less juice, about 1/3 of a cup so you might want to try that as well. Please let me know how it turns out!

      • They turned out delicious! I used black cherry juice concentrate (1/3 cup) some local honey to taste and the gelatin. LOVE this for a healthy gut-healing snack. I also posted this URL on an Amazon review of the Gelatin where a woman talked about how her husband was drinking it straight w/water.
        Thank you so much Adrienne.

  3. Adrienne, I love your blog and all you’re recipes so I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! If you’d like to accept please see this post.

  4. What a great healthy treat! 😉
    I do say yuck to gelatin and much rather have seaweed agar!

  5. I love gelatin, and I use the Great Lakes brand too. I make natural “jello” all the time for my family. Thanks for another use for gelatin. Any excuse I can find to get it into our diets I take! Lots of gut-healing necessary here.

  6. These look so good. Ive been wanting to make gummy candies I just need to get some good gelatin!

  7. Joyfulmomof6 says:

    Great idea…I saw a similar idea for making your own gummy vitamins http://wellnessmama.com/6357/chewable-vitamins/
    which is basically what you did with adding whatever vitamins you wish.
    I made mine in ice cube trays, which is not as nice as yours, of course!

  8. I think my Annie would go hog wild over these. Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!

  9. My Little Bug would LOVE these. Thanks for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it out. Followed you from the Homestead Barn Hop.
    Love for you to come by Wildcrafting Wednesday and share.

  10. I think I might try these with elderberry juice for some flu/cold busting properties!

  11. Would Agar Agar flakes work? I could grind them in a mortle-pestle…

  12. I tried to make these and they didn’t jell. Any thoughts on why? Could I reheat them and add more gelatin? I was really looking forward to trying this treat.

    • Candace Ouimet says:

      So sorry that you it is not working for you! A couple of things could be happening here.

      First off, what kind of juice are you using? If the sugar content (even naturally occurring sugar) is too high the gelatin may have trouble setting. I have used both canned (no added sugar) apple juice and wildberry concentrates without any issues. However, I did make homemade jello with pure cherry concentrate (mixed with water to make juice) and I used way too much and the jello would not set. If sugar content is the issue then reheating will not work unless you dilute the mixture.

      Secondly, if the mixture was heated over high heat or heated too quickly it can have trouble gelling.

      Did you add any fresh fruit or use freshly sqeezed juice and if so, what kind? Certain fresh fruits (like pineapple, kiwi, figs, papaya, mango, guava and ginger) have enzymes that inhibit the gelatin from setting. The low heat that we cook this over probably would not be hot enough to deactivate these enzymes.

      Where did you leave these to set? I put mine in the freezer so it only takes 10 minutes, but if left on the counter it could take quite a bit longer.

      Also, gelatin should keep indefinitely but if something gets in it during during storage it can go bad.

      I hope we can salvage your work!

  13. Interesting idea!
    I have a question though: do you pour the cream inside the mold while it is still hot? If yes, won’t the plastic release nasty stuff?

    • Hi Maria,
      My mixture is not super hot but warm however, it is something worth a look into depending on what kind of mold you use! If you are concerned you can use my quick method which is pouring into a parchment-lined glass dish and cutting into squares. I hope that helps!

  14. Hi Adrienne, I was wondering how much powdered Stevia I would need to use opposed to the liquid? I have Pure Sweetleaf powder. Thanks, they look yummy=).

  15. Martine Bracke says:

    Is it necessary to heat the mixture up?



  16. Can’t wait to make!!! Sounds wonderful. Thank you for posting.

  17. These look great and so easy to make. Gelatin, even though it is yucky to think about it’s origin, is actually fantastic for your skin and nails.

  18. I have a couple questions:) First, how big ( ounces ) are your gummies? How many should you have a day, including for kids too? Also, does it matter if you use the gelatin you linked in the recipe or this kind (http://www.amazon.com/Great-Lakes-Collagen-Hydrolysate-individuals/dp/B005KG7EDU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407430580&sr=8-1&keywords=Collagen+Hydrolysate) which is a collagen hydrolysate?
    Thank you very much!!

    • I don’t know that there’s an amount but I guess you should take into account protein requirements. Collagen hydrolysate will not gel so you can’t use it. I use that every day in my coffee substitute though :). wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/coffee-subtitute/

  19. I tried these today using water flavoring liquid concentrates that are made with stevia, so I only needed two ingredients. My gelatin (I live in Sweden so I can’t find powdered, at least not locally, maybe this was part of the problem?) was in leafs and I let it bloom and soften in cold water for about five minutes. I then added just a cap full of the liquid concentrate (it’s strong stuff) and let it simmer on low heat till it became liquid then put it in molds and popped them in the freezer.

    They taste fine, but the consistency is like mucus melt in your mouth :( They definitely set, but it was not at all like chewy gummy candies that I thought they were. They’re more like firmed up jello. Any ideas on what happened or how to fix it?

    I’ve read that leaving them over night can let them harden up and be less melty, for lack of a better term.

    Thank you for anyone’s help on this in advance :)

  20. rana martin says:

    I would love to replace my kids store bought gummies with these! Any suggestions to make other fruity flavors? Can I use koolaid powder?

  21. rana martin says:

    Do you use your homemade liquid stevia with vanilla?

  22. renate hoornstra says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe it’s just what i was looking for. same amount of agar agar as gelatin?

  23. Thank you for trying to come up with “sugar-free” foods for people such as diabetics. As a diabetic of 44 years and a high school nutrition teacher I have to tell you what soooooooooooo many people confuse. The juice in this recipe (while small quantity) still has fruitose in it. To make juice all fiber has to be taken out of juice. Fiber does help to hold down glucose. Juices should only be taken in by a diabetic if in hypoglycemia.
    I have always LOVED any kind of Jello or gelatine and admire your use of it.
    The subject that makes me most upset with the process of teaching new diabetics how and what to eat the idea that it is okay to eat any amount of “sugar-free” foods. There really is no such food. You can put pickles and sugarless Jello gelatin in that list though because these truly are “sugar-free”. It is not the sugar that bothers diabetics… it is the amount of carbohydrates the the kinds of carbohydrates… either complex or simple. I see so many diabetics lose there health by eating a lot of “sugar-free” candies, cookies, cakes, etc…. The health field has misled the public. As long as there is not weight problem and the carbohydrates are calculated into the way of eating or the amount of insulin to cover the carbohydrate count then occasional foods are okay.
    Again… I am not criticizing you for trying. I love that people try to make foods for those on restricted food. I am just angry that the health field does not do a good job teaching the public. When I was six (44 years ago) I was in the hospital for two weeks getting training. Then before the doctors would let me get pregnant I underwent a thorough training with a dietitian and a diabetic educator. I have always had a love of learning nutrition since I was six. Back then we had to memorize serving portions. Today it is very easy by the food labels that the government mandates.
    I think I will try this recipe as I love gummies and eat only a few at a time. Thank you for posting it.

    • Hi there. I believe the recipe recommended using lemon or lime juice to make this recipe low carb – correct? I always use one of those :).

      I disagree with you about sugars not being a diabetic problem, however, as they are carbs. I think those sugar free foods can be horrible, of course as many of them are highly processed and have tons of harmful ingredients and refined flours.

      Let me know what you think about my response and I do appreciate your comment. My mother died of diabetes and so I am no expert but I do know a thing or 2 about blood sugar. Thanks again!

  24. renate hoornstra says:

    i tried these yesterday, but i think i didn’t whisk the ingredients enough, so they were not the right consistency (they had a powdery like consistency). they were also too liquid so i put them in the dehydrator all night together with my raw oat cookies. that really worked well to make them harder. now i just squeezed fresh lemons and retried (and whisked better of course). they’re in the freezer and later i will put them in the dehydrator again. thanks for posting this recipe.

  25. Stephanie says:

    I was wondering if you could use extracts or flavoring oils for these?

  26. Okay I have to know–does this actually taste like a gummy, or jello?

  27. Karrin Dignoti says:

    While reading this recipe, I’m drinking a Braggs organic concord grape-acai apple cider vinegar drink. The “sugars” (5 grams/16 ounces) on the label is far less than “straight fruit juice” as the beverage is 14% juice and the rest apple cider vinegar. I’m going to try this gummy recipe using this drink for a nice tart grape-y flavor with fewer “sugars” than with a regular fruit juice or puree. If it works, there’s other varieties to explore like apple cinnamon and ginger as well. Thanks for the recipe!

  28. Hi just wanted to suggest you try some food grade diatomaceous earth for the candida. It’s great stuff. Good luck

  29. 35 years ago, my vegetarian neighbor educated me on several things, one being gelatin. She told me that gelatin pills are an animal product and I was shocked! ha ha! That was when I was young and learning. So, if you take pills in a capsule, it’s probably an animal product.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  30. Kathy U. says:

    I would love to try this recipe, but I was wondering which Great Lakes gelatin you used, the green or orange can? Thanks!

  31. Carageenan is used by pharmaceutical companies to raise the blood pressure of lab animals in order to test the efficacy of blook pressure lowering medications. It’s used to emulsify food/drink products so that they don’t separate during shipping. I typically won’t consume anything containing Carageenan and on a personal note, I found it fairly difficult to find formula for my daughter that DIDN’T contain it, even high priced organic versions contained carageenan.

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