Homemade Gummies (sugar-free option)

These Homemade Gummies are super fun and easy to make and so much healthier than the store-bought gummy snacks. This Homemade Gummy Candy is a snack you will love serving, since it's loaded with good nutrition for gut health and a great source of protein too.

homemade gummies in a glass jar

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 of this post 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?

Changing from 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?

homemade gummies with a glass jar

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.

My progress is a bit slow on being more adventurous with cuts of meat, but I can say I have been exploring gelatin and its 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 homemade 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 the 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).

homemade gummies with a glass jar

Homemade Gummies--An Amazingly Healthy Snack

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 this 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) of these homemade gummy snacks 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.

homemade gummies with a glass jar

What You'll Need

lemon or lime juice (or other juice--see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
grass-fed gelatin (see vegan alternative above in notes)
liquid stevia (to taste)

So Many Fun Molds for Gummies

Of course, homemade sugar-free gummy bears are one of the cutest things you can do. These are the gummy bear molds that I have:

gummy bear candy molds

Even though they look hard to make, they're not. You just have that one extra step of putting the liquid in the dropper (and cleaning it out, of course).

These silicone star molds are very close to the ones that I have and I LOVE them. I've used them to make my Homemade Jello® and Homemade Chocolate Chips into super fun shapes..yum!

star shape silicone candy molds

Here's a photo of gummies made with those molds.

healthy homemade gummies

So many molds--so little time...or maybe it's so little gummy base. So make more. Make lots of gummy base so you can fill up loads of molds :).

There are soooo many fun molds to try for all kinds of seasons and events!

How about:

These are all just too. Much. Fun.

And this is the book that I mentioned earlier -- Nourishing Traditions. I don't agree with everything in here, but it is a great resource for tons of dietary issues.

Nourishing Traditions book

Directions

  • Whisk all ingredients in a small sauce pan.
step by step image of pouring gummies mixture in glass and pan
  • Heat over low heat until mixture loses its "applesauce" consistency and starts to liquify.
step by step image of putting gummies ingredient in pan
  • Pour into molds. (Photo 5)
  • Allow gummies to set. You can either do this by placing molds 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. (Photo 6)
  • Remove from molds and store in the fridge in an air tight container.
step by step image of adding gummies mixture in mold and freezing it

Substitutions for Special Diets

  • Stevia: Some people have been asking how much stevia extract can be used instead of the liquid stevia. I'm working on figuring that out for you!
    If you would like to make your own liquid stevia, see Homemade Liquid Stevia. You can substitute other sweeteners as desired. We use stevia often. Use 4-5 tablespoons honey, maple syrup (read Choosing Maple Syrup), or sucanat for AIP, or for a low-carb granulated sweetener, use either 4-5 tablespoons xylitol or 5-7 tablespoons erythritol.
  • Flavors: The video below shows 4 different flavors. If you use lemon or lime you will need to add quite a bit of sweetener for sure. If you use a fruit juice concentrate, it's totally up to you how much you can add--you might feel that they are sweet enough without adding any!
  • Juice: You can also use lime juice for the lemon juice, or use a no-sugar-added fruit juice concentrate of your choice (see options below). Use lemon or lime for low carb.

Any of the following juice concentrates would be amazing:

homemade gummies in a glass jar

Recipe Notes

Are These Homemade Gummies Like Store-bought? The gummies in this recipe are kind of a mix between gelatin snacks and gummy snacks. I hope to try a recipe using just pectin in the future to make them more like store-bought snacks. We do love them anyhow, however, and so do our friends.

Storing: You can store these in the fridge, or even in the freezer.

Juice Options: Lemon and Lime work great to make low-carb gummies. You could use cranberry juice too (with no added sugar) or this homemade cranberry juice for another low-carb option. Other juice can be used as well, but you will need to omit or reduce the sweetener.

Serving Options: These Homemade Gummies taste great at room temperature, just out of the fridge, and they even taste GREAT out of the freezer! However, these do not do well in very hot weather--as in, they morph into a liquid gummy drink.

We once took them to a county fair when it was over 90 degrees, and ended up with a gummy puddle. We were super hungry so we drank the liquid homemade gummies anyhow, but just be forewarned :).

You could, of course, get a small cooler pack like this so you can take your gummies with you even in warm weather!

The easiest way to make these is to pour the mixture into a square or rectangle pan and then cutting them after chilling, or be creative and make them into any kind of shape.

This single batch is a small batch. We legit make 12 (yes, that's TWELVE) batches of these every time that we make them. Feel free to just make one batch to see how you like them, or if you want to make a whole bunch of flavors. But make 12 if you want to have quite a few around for ongoing healthy snacking.

Homemade Gummies - keto, low carb, paleo, AIP, sugar free

Homemade Gummy Candy (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!
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, THM:S, Vegan
Keyword: Homemade Gummies
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 32kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice (or other juice--see Recipe Notes for alternatives)
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin (see vegan alternative above in notes)
  • liquid stevia (to taste) (I used 30-40 drops)

Instructions

  • Whisk all ingredients in a small sauce pan.
  • Heat over low heat until mixture loses its "applesauce" consistency and starts to liquify.
  • Pour into molds. (I like to transfer the mixture to an easy-pour container first to avoid spills, especially if you have small molds!)
  • Allow gummies to set. You can either do this by placing molds 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.
  • Remove from molds 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

Storing: Store these in the fridge, or even in the freezer.
Juice Options: Lemon and Lime work great to make low-carb gummies. You could use cranberry juice too (with no added sugar) or this homemade cranberry juice for another low-carb option. Other juice can be used as well, but you will need to omit or reduce the sweetener.

Nutrition

Calories: 32kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg | Net Carbs: 2g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

Whatever flavor of homemade gummy snacks you try, I so hope you enjoy them!

What do you think about gelatin?
Yea or Nay?

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167 Comments

    1. Should be fine in cooler months but I wouldn't do it in warmer ones - summer would not be a good idea at all.

    1. Yes, that is what the recipe calls for :). Enjoy! If you thought it was otherwise for some reason, please let me know so I can change the recipe to better reflect that. Thanks!

  1. Im looking for a recipe that won't turn them basically into "hard jello", but rather something leaving the treats with as close to the classic chewiness you'd typically get with traditional store bought gummies...is that what this will get me? Thanks!

    1. Hi there--these are more like jello - sorry! I was hoping to develop one that would be more like traditional gummies but haven't done that yet. Stay tuned!

    2. The chewiness comes from the gelatin. If you want them to be chewier, add more gelatin than the recipe calls for. We have made these many times and just played with the recipe to determine how much gelatin we prefer. The best news is that if yours don't turn out how you want them, just gently melt them and reuse adding either more liquids if you want them less chewy or more gelatin if you want them more chewy. I hope this helps!

  2. I make small ones, I'm really not even worried about the taste, more so the potency. I do not want to use sugar. I need other options.

  3. I would like to use Monk Fruit Erythritol but I cant find an easy way to figure out the conversion. Any idea what amount of sugar we are replacing?

    1. Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar. Is monk fruit the same? 6-9 drops of liquid stevia is about 1 T of sugar. Does that help?

      1. Very helpfull, the Monk friut Erythritol is suposed to equal sugar 1 for 1 but non of the charts tell you how to convert from stevia back to sugar. I ended up using 4Tbls and it came out perfect.

  4. Could I do this with a fresh fruit puree? Would I need to dilute it. I was thinking about throwing a fresh mango in the blender but I think it might be too thick. What do you think?

  5. Have you ever used something like sugar-free MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, Strawberry Watermelon, to flavor the gummies?

    Ingredients
    Water, Malic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Contains Less Than 2% Of Natural Flavor, Sucralose And Acesulfame Potassium (Sweeteners), Potassium Citrate, Red 40, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

    1. Hi there. No, and I would not. Those ingredients don't look very wholesome to me. Red 40 is really bad, citric acid is often GMO, propylene glycol is antifreeze and sucralose and acesulfame potassium have been tied to health issues - maybe not strongly but I avoid them.