If I could pick only one topping for frozen yogurt, it would be gummy bears.
My whole life I’ve loved gummy everything. Bears, worms, sour… (sour patch kids were THE BOMB!). Now there’s even “life saver” gummies and “jolly rancher” flavors too.
Oh my. I’m not sure whether to rejoice at the myriad of gummy flavors out there (because they ARE my favorite you know), or be slightly disgusted that the corn industry has found YET ANOTHER way to sneak high fructose corn syrup onto store shelves.
Well I’m not falling for it.
I read the labels of gummy bears one time and rolled my eyes. Somehow my gut already knew that those chewy little bites of goodness were tainted.
It’s easy (sort of) for me to resist the urge to eat gummy bears, but my poor kids don’t stand a chance. I personally haven’t ever given my kids gummy bears, but I know they’ve had them. And I know they like them.
Not that I blame them (of course), but now that I know what’s IN them, I don’t want my kids to touch them with a 10 foot pole. I know first hand how incredibly addicting those little gummies can be!
So in my quest to re-make processed foods into healthier whole food versions (I’ve tackled these so far), I faced gummies head on. It took some experimenting, and LOTS of taste testing (against my will, of course), but I’ve come up with a homemade gummy recipe that will totally give any other typically processed gummy a run for its money.
AND it’s healthy!!
Healthy Homemade Gummies
Now, before you take on this challenge yourself, there are a few things you need know.
Although way good for you, gelatin on its own does not taste good.
Just one tablespoon contains a whopping 6 grams of protein – talk about a super-food (and in my gummies?! Squee!!)
But it does come from animal proteins and by default, doesn’t taste that great. You know how you can add more of an ingredient in order to achieve a certain effect? Well I tried adding more gelatin to make these healthy homemade gummies more “gummy” and the result was not pleasant. So don’t get all gung ho and add a bunch more gelatin thinking you’ll get rock solid gummies.
That would be bad.
Of course, you could spend bukoo bucks on this gelatin so you can’t taste the flavor.
But I’m frugal, and that’s WAY out of my price range. If you’re in the same boat, buy what you can afford and stick to the recipe.
Note: You CAN make healthy homemade gummies with vegan gelatin. I personally have not tested this myself, but in research it appears that you can substitute it relatively easily in recipes.
The sweetener is entirely optional.
You don’t have to add it and there’s no need to alter the recipe if you don’t. I used it because my taste buds have come to expect the flavor of typical processed gummy bears (thank you HFCS!). But if you haven’t eaten many gummy bears in your life, you might not need it.
The recipe is SO flexible.
You can use fruit puree OR fruit juice OR a combination of both – it’s entirely up to you and what’s in your kitchen.
Personally I feel better knowing there’s whole fruit inside these healthy homemade gummies, but I’d be okay making them with 100% juice too (so long as the juice didn’t have any added sweetener!).
The flavor combinations for healthy homemade gummies are endless!
If the fruit/juice flavor combination sounds good in your head, chances are it’ll be good in a gummy. Strong flavors (i.e. grape juice) will make for a very tasty gummy. Mild flavors (i.e. apple) will make a mild gummy and in my humble gummy-loving opinion, would be better paired with something stronger to keep the gelatin flavor at bay.
In general, avoid single strong acidic flavors since they tend to not gel up as well (think pineapple juice or grapefruit). You can combine them something else though for sure!
The shape of healthy homemade gummies is flexible too!
I asked the kids if they’d prefer bear shapes or LEGO shapes, and they chose LEGO (obviously). But you don’t have to do bears or LEGO – I’ve seen dinosaurs, robots, circles, flowers… you name it!
The goal though is to choose a silicone mold that makes small, individual gummies like this one for hearts or this one for bears. Be sure to read the measurements so you’re not ending up with monster-sized gummies (like I did when I picked this LEGO set – the big green man is over 3″ tall!).
If a silicone mold is out of the question, use a glass dish instead and cut these delicious healthy homemade gummies into squares. Don’t think you can’t do this just because you don’t have a mold!
Ok, now for the more serious cooking notes. I only have a few, but they’re important:
- Have all of your supplies and ingredients ready to go before you begin. The recipe moves fast!
- Taste the liquid before freezing. If it doesn’t taste good, the gummies won’t either when they’re done. Err on the side of too sweet rather than not sweet enough!
Easy and Healthy Homemade Gummies
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 24 gummies 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Freeze
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup 100% fruit juice, OR
2/3 cup fruit puree and 1/3 cup 100% fruit juice
- 8 tsp grass-fed gelatin
- 2 Tbsp honey (optional)
- small saucepan
- silicone mold OR 8×8 glass pan
- baking sheet (if using the mold)
- small measuring cup
- larger measuring cup or bowl with a spout (for easy pouring)
- If you’re starting with whole fruit, make fruit puree by blending fruit in a blender. Then measure fruit puree into the larger measure cup/bowl first. Add honey if using.
- Measure juice into a small sauce pan and turn the heat on medium low. Add the gelatin and whisk constantly. Bring the mixture to an almost simmer – you want it to be definitely warm, but not hot, to the touch – abut 3 minutes. The liquid should be opaque or clear and the gelatin should be completely dissolved before proceeding.
- Add the juice/gelatin mixture to the puree (if using) in the bowl/cup with the spout. Whisk to combine juice/gelatin with puree and/or honey, if using.
- Place the mold on the baking sheet. Pour mixture into the molds, but do not overfill them. Alternatively, pour the mixture into the 8×8 glass pan.
- Place the entire baking sheet with the mold on top, or the 8×8 glass pan, in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Pull the gummies out from the freezer and pop out of the molds. Store in a container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Keywords: healthy homemade gummies
Additional Recipe Notes
This recipe as-is will make healthy homemade gummies that will last the school day at room temperature. I’ve made these, let them sit out on the counter for a full 24 hours and they did not melt. Now, your results may vary if the sun is blazing and it’s a million degrees outside, but they should do just fine inside or in a school lunch box.
If you aren’t a fan of the taste of gelatin, you can reduce the amount to as low as 6 tsp, but this will affect the integrity of the gummy. If you do this, I recommend serving these as an after-school snack directly from the fridge rather than packing in lunch box for later.
Feel free to adjust the amount of honey. I liked it at 2 tablespoons, but you’ll be able to taste the honey flavor (so adjust if you don’t like the flavor of honey!).
Get more frugal, affordable and awesome back to school ideas or check out “The Healthy Lunchbox” – it’s one of the best eBooks I’ve read on healthy lunches, including back to school!
Let’s be honest – do you like gummy bears? What would be your favorite topping on frozen yogurt?
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Any suggestion on how to make sour gummies? My husband is obsessed with sour gummy worms but he is cutting out all processed sugar!
Kyare - Team Crumbs
Mandi, you could play around with adding some lemon or lightly coat them in a food grade organic citric acid. Citric acid is derived from lemons and gives off a sour taste, just make sure to get one that fits your needs and check the ingredients.
I once tried these fruit snacks, I believe they were made by Sunkist, that were peanut butter and jelly. At least that’s what they were supposed to taste like. I want to try to make a healthy version of those ones, but how I would do it I’m not sure.
I had a little mix-up. Now that I looked it up, The PB&J fruit snacks are actually made by Welch’s.
1. how to substitute Agar Agar for gelatin? What is the exchange quantity?
2. can you use pectin instead of gelatin? And what is the exchange quantity?
Hi Tanya! I’ve never used agar agar before so I have no idea what the exchange would be. Pectin is not the same as gelatin, so I wouldn’t recommend using it!
is there any way to make them less Jello like and more like gummies. I see you said dont add ore gelatin so Im wondering if anything else can make them firm?
I’m not sure off hand Angie… cornstarch might do it, or arrowroot, but then you’re adding things you don’t really need to…
Thanks. After a bit of googling people are saying put them in a dehydrator (thats what the manuafturers do apparently!)
I didn’t know that! Thanks for updating us!
Such a great idea! My kids love gummies ( but they only get them occasionally) so I thought this would be great! I just made a batch and my kids love them! The gummies had a strong grape flavor – no gelatin taste which is good. But, they didn’t remind me of gummies. They were like the finger Jello I remember as a kid. I personally don’t care for Jello anymore and I was expecting more of a gummies texture. I used 100% concord grape juice but did not use any fruit puree. I used Great Lakes Porcine Gelatin ( it is what I had access to). Would the fruit puree or different gelatin help with the texture or are they supposed to be like finger Jello? I will absolutely make again for the kids since they enjoyed them so much. Thanks for the recipe.
I don’t think these will be like the gummies we’re used to, simply because those have icky preservatives and fake sugar and ours don’t. 🙂 But I don’t think it was quite finger jello… maybe a cross between the two? Freezing them can help?
What gelatin do you use? I tried you link in the recipe and it isn’t working for me. Thank you!!
Hi Cathleen! I’ve switched to gelatin from Perfect Supplements since I love their collagen so much: http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/go/collagen
I use Giusto Vita Grain plain gelatin powder, which I usually buy in bulk at Market Of Choice in Eugene, Oregon. This time, I made what I call “Haunting Love”, gummy hearts and gummy ghosts! I also wonder, would plain gelatin work to make Jello? Would I add it to fruit puree and boiling water, then add cold water? I haven’t made Jello from scratch yet, and I’d really like to try one day!
Hi Annabelle! Yes, you can use plain gelatin to make Jello!
Would I add it to fruit puree and boiling water, then add
cold water? Just like you would when you make the packets of Jello? Where it says add flavored Jello to 2 cups of boiling water, stir until completely dissolved, then add 2 cups of cold water. Let set in the fridge for up to 4 hours. Is that the same what I would do with the plain gelatin, fruit puree and/or fruit juice?
To make the jello, would I add the plain gelatin to fruit puree and boiling water, then add
cold water? Just like you would when you make the packets of Jello? Where it says add flavored Jello to 2 cups of boiling water, stir until completely
dissolved, then add 2 cups of cold water. Let set in the fridge for up to 4 hours. Is that the same what I would do with the plain gelatin, fruit puree
and/or fruit juice? I’m a little confused on this one!
I haven’t made plain Jell-o with gelatin yet Annabelle, so I can’t say!
I wanted to try this with fish gelatin. You think it’ll work? Any advise on it?
I didn’t even know fish gelatin existed, so I honestly have no idea!
How many gummies does each recipe yield approximately? I know it differs based on the size– but I would like to use this recipe for my Culinary classes, but it adds up quick when it’s 33 kitchens cooking, so that’s why I’m trying to figure out if I half the recipe, will it still yield enough gummies for each group.
It really depends on the mold you’re using, but a single batch could make 33 gummies.
In my mold, each gummy is about 1 teaspoon and there are 35 gummies in each mold. 3 molds took about 1-1/2 cups.
Hi, I’m a bit late with my comments/question as I’ve just discovered your recipe that I really want to try; my goal is to eat gelatine for nail and hair health so I may not buy a Mold but rather a glass container or ice cube tray: if using a glass container, would I need to use cooking spray?
Kyare - Team Crumbs
Different containers will stick differently so I suggest just a light layer of cooking spray. This will hopefully help them come out smoothly without them getting to much oil in them.
I’m going to try making these gummy snacks this week, and my mom is a bit confused, since the recipe says to bring the mix to an almost simmer. Usually when she works with gelatin, she usually thinks of bringing it to a boil. She has this pan that she uses to make what she calls “Fairy Cakes” (bite-size versions of cupcakes). I wonder if that would work with these gummy snacks? Also, I only have Gelatin and fruit puree.Would I be able to use water to bring the gelatin to a simmer? Or does it have to be juice?
I haven’t seen her pan, but this will work in a glass pan. I also haven’t tried this with fruit puree either. You can use water, but they’d be awfully lacking in taste!
I wonder what kind of juice would go well with Mango and peach puree?
Pineapple, coconut water, apple…
Just cook your pineapple juice first, otherwise the enzymes in pineapple will prevent the gummies from congealing.
Tried that in the strawberry Jell-O pie once…It didn’t work.
I just tried making the molds, but unfortunately when we took them out of the pan, Mom had to use a butter knife, which she said scraped the finish off her pan. Maybe next time we’ll try a mold, since I’m sure that would be easier. I’m wondering what kind of shapes I can find in a mold? As far as the taste, so far, they taste amazing! The first batch I made was with Mango and peach puree, along with 100% mango and peach fruit juice. I used Knox plain gelatin.
Heave you used your elderberry syrup to make gummies?
Not yet, but I’m sure it would work!
Tried it last night! I used one cup of your elderberry syrup recipe in the gummy recipe. Turned out great!
Yay! So glad it worked!
I just made elderberry gummies, as well. They turned out great. My molds are larger than normal and each one hold 1 teaspoon of syrup. Otherwise, I followed your recipe. Perfect!
Hi! Thanks for the recipe. First time trying and flavor was great, but my gummies stuck to my molds. Any idea why?! I did the puree juice mix..
Hi Sarah! I’ve found that freezing the molds makes it easier to remove the gummies. I’m not sure why, but that’s what works for me!
I absolutely love, love, looooooove gummy snacks! I wonder if I could use cookie cutters to make fun shapes like butterflies, kangaroos, bunnies, lambs, and ducks? Or would those be considered too big? Maybe gummy letters and numbers would be cool. How would I make those? I remember a fruit snack from the 80’s that unfortunately is no longer available. Do you remember Fun Fruits? They came in little pellets as well as Letters, Spooky Shapes, Space Shapes, dinosaurs, Zoo Animal Shapes, Shark Bites, and Funny Feet. At least those are the shapes I remember. Oh and they also had a slightly softer version that was shaped like the Ninja Turtles.
I made this using strawberries made into puree and apple juice and it set up very well. I had a hard time getting the gelatin to dissolve completely so I dumped it all back into the blender I used to make the puree and walah! Problem solved!
Heather (contributing author)
Yay! I’m glad it worked for you. 🙂
Thank you for this recipe. My 1 1/2-year-old is going crazy for gummies lately and so I want to make sure I make something healthier than the processed ones. Thank you again for posting this recipe! I can’t wait to try it so my hubby will stop buying gummies with all the wasteful packaging.
Im difinitly trying these ?
Can use suggest a gelatin that is cheaper and available at local grocery stores??? I am on a fixed income and on a tight budget. I want to surprise a special 2 yr old and 10 yr old who ADORE GUMMIES!!!
Please help! Would like to make a special batch for Easter for them.
Many grocery stores don’t carry gelatin, Linda. Also, I can’t personally recommend brands that I haven’t used or used by someone I trust!
Plain Knox gelatin, although a bit more processed, should work.
I’ve used it when out of grass fed beef gelatin, you just have to go by the number of tsp/TBS called for by your recipe, instead of a certain number of packets.
Happy gummy making! Hope your kids enjoy them:-)
Hi I tried it. And mine turned two toned. It turned into a sort of foam liquid. They got solid. Like a hard jello. But one side is solid while the other is fluffy. And there is no starter we use grape juice.
Kyare - Team Crumbs
Ladonna, since juice is less thick then purée that might be what is causing the discoloration but I am bot 100% sure.
Too much air in your gelatin will cause that. Try to prevent bubbles by not boiling your gelatin and stirring thoroughly but gently.
Mine turned out to just be jello…did I need more gelatin?? I just used fresh squeezed oj so maybe it was too acidic?? Would love to actually make gummies so any help would be greatly appreciated!
Can you add alcohol to these? I’m asking for a friend…. yeah, we’ll go with that.
LOL, I haven’t tried Angela! We tried a version that used water instead of juice and the flavor was weak. A complimentary flavor to the puree would be for the best turn out, and you might have to tinker with the gelatin since alcohol doesn’t freeze (I don’t know if it’ll set as well with the measurements above).
Make the gummies like normal after they are done put them in the punch bowl with the alcohol then into fridge (watch tispy bartender) for that recipe.
Do you have a favorite flavor juice or fruit puree? I tried a Juicy Juice Fruit Punch and just didn’t think the flavor was strong enough. Maybe a grape juice or cranberry would sing out a little more?
Ooh, we tried a few different varieties, but found that the darker the juice, the more flavorful the gummy. We tried a pineapple/coconut/banana juice (with apricot puree) and a blackberry/blueberry juice (with blueberry puree). The darker kind was more potent in flavor, so I’d go with grape juice. Cranberry would work too!
I loooveee gummy bears. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
You’re welcome Meg!
The Surprised Gourmet
Never been a huge fan of gummy bears (or any other shape), but your recipe sounds like the way to go. It’s terrible that treats one really loves is so bad for us.
It’s “beaucoup ( French for “very much” or “very many”) bucks…not bukoo!
You are correct but the particular spelling and pronunciation the author used was from the Vietnam War era that the American GIs picked up there and adopted as an expression. Vietnam as you may know was part of French Indochina before then. Most GIs probably didn’t know that bukoo was a mangled version of beaucoup, thinking it was actually a Vietnamese word
Can they be made with frut pectin instead?
Kyare - Team Crumbs
Vicky, it is worth a try, I cannot say it will for sure work but it seems like it would.