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.  This recipe for Homemade Gummies fits the bill and is from Candace from Candida-Free Candee (a blog that is sadly no longer operating).  The narrative is hers.

“Eeewww”, was all I could say.

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

That really grossed me 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”?

Well, at Least It Has 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.

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.

Fascinating!

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).

Enter — The Homemade Gummies

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 taste their best when 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 are not treated with antibiotics or hormones and are free of many allergens as well as MSG.

This recipe for Homemade Gummies was adapted from this recipe.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is 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.

 

4.5 from 4 reviews
Homemade Gummies (sugar free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Desserts-Candy
Cuisine: Sugar-Free
 
This healthy gummy candy is easy to make and much better for you than the store bought gummies. Full of good nutrition, plus they're gluten and sugar free!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, or no sugar added fruit juice concentrate of your choice (from Adrienne: I use Dream Organic). Use lemon or lime for a low-carb option.
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed gelatin, such as Great Lakes (vegans can use agar-agar powder)
  • liquid stevia, to taste (I used 30-40 drops) (see Homemade Liquid Stevia) Substitute other sweeteners as desired. We use stevia extract often.
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients in a small sauce pan.
  2. Heat over low heat until mixture loses its "applesauce" consistency and starts to liquify.
  3. Pour into moulds. (I like to transfer the mixture to an easy-pour container first to avoid spills, especially if you have small moulds!)
  4. Allow gummies to set. You can either do this by placing moulds on a flat surface in the freezer, fridge or on the counter. The freezer is your quickest option and will take about 10-15 minutes to set.
  5. Remove from moulds and store in the fridge in an air tight container. These will last about two weeks, although the texture becomes firmer over time, they are still delicious!
Notes
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!

 

These Homemade Gummies are 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.  I don’t agree with everything in here, 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?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

Comments

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  1. Do you use your homemade liquid stevia with vanilla?

  2. 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?

  3. 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.
    Debby

    • 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!

  4. 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.

    • renate hoornstra says:

      forgot to mention I used agar agar cause I’m vegan.

    • You’re welcome. Glad they worked out!!

    • Agar-Agar (from Peta ‘s web page)

      This flavorless gelling agent, derived from cooked and pressed seaweed, is available flaked, powdered, or in bars. For best results, grind the agar-agar in a coffee grinder or food processor and then cook it, stirring it regularly until it dissolves. When used in a recipe, agar-agar sets in about an hour and doesn’t require refrigeration to gel. For a firmer gel, add more agar-agar, and for a softer gel, add more liquid. And don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time—you can fix a faux pas simply by reheating the gel. Here’s a general guide on how to use agar in recipes:

      • Substitute powdered agar-agar for gelatin using equal amounts.

      • 1 Tbsp. of agar-agar flakes is equal to 1 tsp. of agar-agar powder.

      • Set 2 cups of liquid using 2 tsp. of agar-agar powder, 2 Tbsp. of agar-agar flakes, or one bar.

      • Keep in mind that highly acidic ingredients, such as lemons, strawberries, oranges, and other citrus fruits, may require more agar-agar than the recipe calls for. Also, enzymes in fresh mangoes, papaya, and pineapple break down the gelling ability of the agar-agar so that it will not set. Cooking these fruits before adding them to a recipe, however, neutralizes the enzymes so that the agar-agar can set.

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

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

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. shannon coleman says:

    Can you substitute the stevia with honey?

  13. Judith Popiel-Machnicki says:

    Hi,
    I live in South Australia, and we do not have available many of the ingredients used in lots of recipes.
    As a type 2 diabetic and recently being advised to reduce my blood sugar level, I often look for any food/
    snacks that are low or no sugar.
    I do not use Stevia (which I find unpalatable), instead I use rice malt syrup made from organic brown rice.
    Would it be possible to use this as an alternative sweetener?
    Thanks for posting this recipe.
    Regards
    Judith PM

    • Hello there. Yes, you can of course use that but it is a pretty high glycemic sweetener. Isn’t it? I recall my mother using it and she was diabetic, but I am concerned about it. Thanks!

    • Sheridan says:

      Hi Judith,
      If you get this message I have been trying to get hold of you on facebook – please check your other’s folder as I have sent you a message.
      Thanks,
      Sheridan

  14. Love gelatin. I’m 43 and my husband 45. We have been taking it for about 3 weeks now. My skin is really starting to show a difference, even on my hands! Can even see a difference on my husbands face. We sleep better and the circles under my eyes are lighter. This is definitely a super food! Very exited to see what other changes it will bring further down the line. Would highly recommend taking it.

    Recipe is also great, but I didn’t use stevia. Just buy as natural cordial as I can find and mix that with the gelatin.

  15. Are you able to crush up vitamins and add those to the mixture and instead of using gelatin can you melt unflavored gummie vitamins and add juice to those instead ? Havent tried the recipe yet but really want to amd can you usesugar free jello brand gelatin or does it have to be a different brand?

    • I think you could crush vitamins but powders would work better. You could melt those things but I think it would be hard. I don’t like SF Jello b/c it has sweeteners in it that I don’t think are healthy. I don’t use Jello – I use the gelatin as it is written in the post.

  16. Thanks Candace. I’m making this for my granddaughter who constantly eats sugar filled gummy bears. In fact, I’m going to have her spend an afternoon with me and we’ll make them together. Thanks again!!!

  17. I would love to slip some vitamins in them, is that possible?

  18. Yes, as far as diet, it is the simple carbohydrates as a whole that are the problem. . .so you have to look beyond how many grams of sugar there are in a product. Simple carbs include sugar itself in whatever form, almost all bread (even that which says whole wheat; you really have to look at ingredients), regular rice etc. When looking at labels, look at the ratio of sugar to total carbs and very importantly the ratio of fiber to total carbs. The greater the second ratio, the fewer simple carbs there are.

    Anyways, yes, I made these because the sugar free kind with all the sugar alcohols would make me sick, especially since I’m not so good with moderation. However, they don’t have quite the texture of regular gummies, which is why I like gummies. They are good, though, and seem to be a reasonable substitute. I don’t know if there’s something I could do differently that might refine the texture some?

    Cinnamon is a great idea, but it wouldn’t just be cinnamon itself. I’d have to figure out what other spices or ingredients would be needed to mimic the taste of cinnamon bears.

    • Hi Julia. Stevia isn’t a sugar alcohol — I’m not sure what you mean by that? As for a better gummy texture, I will see what I can do. Thanks for the suggestion! Not sure on the cinnamon, but I will look into that as well!

      • I know Stevia isn’t a sugar alcohol; I didn’t think I mentioned it was. I used the recipe and added a little Stevia to my lemon ones.

        When I brought up sugar alcohols, I was referring to products marketed as sugar free. These products may be sugar free, but their sweetness is achieved by the use of sugar alcohols. And although that’s not necessarily terrible, it can cause digestive problems for some people. The use of sugar alcohols as a replacement for sugar works because they are much sweeter and they are not absorbed completely or into the bloodstream as sugars are. But my body seems to not like them at all and definitely not in greater consumption!

  19. Oh I have got try these!! Got a lil Great Nephew who loves his Gummy Bears & these would be so much healthier. I love em too, so will have make a few test batches, just to make sure these really are that good of course. ;o). Thanks for the recipe!!

  20. I just made these with about half a sleeve of Crystal Lite (didn’t have any lemons handy) and they turned out great! So easy and quick, less than 10 min to make plus set time. My only issue is the gelatin I used has a bit of a smell. Never worked with it before, do all brands kind of stink?
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • I find some of it doesn’t smell great. What brand did you use?

      • Thank you for the quick reply.

        I used Knox brand; cheap supermarket stuff my wife had left over from making jam a while ago. Not exactly the highest quality.

        I’ve been reading about the benefits of gelatin, so I want to incorporate gelatin into my daily rotation. This is a great way to sneak it in.

        Will be buying some grass fed pasture raised to try. Not so sure about great lakes (not organic), but there are a some others on Amazon.

        I can manage the smell, but I’m afraid my family will turn up their noses. It gives me hope that the smell might not be as prominent in other brands. You use the great lakes stuff, is it noticeable?

        • Hello Chris,

          I have used Vital Proteins, Great Lakes, and Knox (in the past) and I just got a sample of Perfect Supplements. Can you tell me what the smell is like for you? I think, doing a side by side w/ Great Lakes and Perfect Supplements, that they are very similar. I am an affiliate for PS and actually sell their Collagen in my online store.

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