I've seen a lot of talk around on a bunch of food blogs I follow about making your own homemade gummy treats. My kids love gummy bears and gummy vitamins, so I figured I'd better give it a try. The process is very simple really, just juice and gelatin. Getting the flavor just right is something I haven't quite nailed, but I'm working on it. Several people have asked me for my recipe, so I thought I'd go ahead and share, even though it's still a work in progress. I'll update this as I evolve it. I think the ratios and technique is working great, I just haven't quite nailed a flavor combo that my kids love. I'm trying to go a little too healthy I guess, and they're not so into it.
The ingredients are very simple - just a few things:
- 2 cups of liquid (juice, pureed fruit, water)
- 4-5 tablespoons powdered gelatin
- Honey to taste (if needed), or other flavoring
In a small sauce pot, stir your gelatin and sweetener (if using) into your room temperature liquid. It will be a little lumpy or grainy. Heat on low-med, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin is totally dissolved. Remove from heat, let cool a little, and put into whatever you want to set it in. You can use shaped molds, or you can use a flat pan or casserole dish and then cut shapes when cool. That's it.
I found that the 4-5 tablespoons of gelatin gets you a nice firm consistency. Less gelatin would give you more of a jello like consistency, more will give you a more firm gummy candy consistency. The high quantity of gelatin really seems to stay set once it's set - I left some out for 24 hours just to see what would happen, and they stayed very firm. Play with it, and if a different ratio works for you, definitely let me know!
The flavor possibilities seem pretty endless, and I think you could really experiment. I made some with orange juice and raspberry jam that my kids liked. Then I made a batch with a ginger honey lemonade, that only one of my kids liked. Then I made some with a tropical fruit and veggie blend that a different one of my kids liked. Next up I think I'm going to go back to a more basic apple juice, or an apple cranberry. You can add honey or other sweetener if want it more sweet than just the juice, and you can use a combination of juice and fruit puree. A lot of recipes I've seen call for dissolving the gelatin first in water, but I've tried that a few different ways and I don't think it's necessary, it just seems to water down the flavor.
For the ones in the first picture above I used a small casserole dish and let it set in one big sheet, then I turned it out and cut with some little vegetable cutters, and my kids loved snacking on the scraps. You could also cut them in long strips and they would be like gummy worms - I had a couple of long skinny strips and one of my kids thought that was great. If you have small silicon candy molds they would work great too. This is definitely something you can have a lot of fun with.
In this second picture I used some small plastic ice cube trays that I had bought a while back at Ikea. They aren't as soft as a silicone candy mold, so not as easy to remove. The first time I tried this it totally failed - I could not get them out. So the second time I sprayed it really well with a coconut oil cooking spray, and then they just slid right out, and I think the coconut oil flavor goes well with the fruit.
So that's the basic idea. I'll keep experimenting with flavors and let you know what I come up with. And I want you to let me know if you come up with a winning flavor combination too!