One thing I learned when getting into "real food" cooking, is that sometimes, the foods that you thought were healthy really aren't at all, and the foods that you thought were totally unhealthy or at the very least, pointless from a nutritional standpoint, are actually quite good for you.
Take Jello, for instance. I thought it was complete garbage. Sugar. Food colorings. Artificial flavorings. And gelatin. What could be nutritious whatsoever about that?
Well, the sugar, colorings, and flavorings certainly aren't, but gelatin is actually very good for you- it's basically concentrated bone broth, which is very, very healing for your body, including being terrific for healing the digestive tract, being soothing for joint issues, aiding in muscle growth, keeping the skin healthy, etc...
Obviously homemade jello is much healthier than the store bought varieties, as you can control the ingredients and make it chemical free, refined sugar free gelatin.
This recipe for gummy candies and gummy worms is basically jello with extra sweetener and extra gelatin to make a homemade healthy candy instead of the more wobbly jello.
Does it taste exactly like regular gummy worms? Not 100%. But it's close enough that it's been a hit with all the kids I gave them to. (And I gave them to quite a lot- over 20.)
I made mine mango gummy candies, made with mango syrup, but you can make this with any fruit juice concentrate and fruit juice and honey, playing around with it according to taste, so long as you keep the liquid to gelatin ratio the same. (1 3/4 cups liquid to 10 tablespoons gelatin.)
10 tablespoons gelatin- beef or fish gelatin, both are ok (this is 2 1/2 packets of gelatin in the size sold here, or 70 grams total)
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup mango syrup
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup +1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup boiling water
1. Mix the gelatin with 1/4 cup mango juice, 1/4 cup cold water, and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a pan. Mix well.
2. Leave mixture for 20 minutes, off the stove, for the gelatin to soften.
3. Add 3/4 cup of boiling water to the mixture, and whisk well.
4. Add the rest of the mango juice and lemon juice.
5. Bring pot to a simmer, over a low flame, stirring constantly.
6. Heat until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
7. Pour the gelatin into molds. You can either pour them into silicon molds, which I did to make the gummy flowers, or you can pour them into a silicon baking dish, or a pan lined with parchment paper.
8. Stick in the fridge or freezer to cool down and harden. Takes only 15-20 minutes in the freezer, longer in the fridge.
9. Remove from freezer/fridge once hard, and pop them out of the molds.
10. If using a silicon baking dish, use kitchen scissors to cut these into very thin strips. I cut strips <1 cm wide, and then turned those strips to the side and cut those so they were <1 cm as well. The thinner the strips, the better they were. These now are your gummy worms!
11. Store in the fridge or freezer. Frankly, I have no clue how they last, because we finished them too quickly!
This batch makes 450 grams, or 15.8 ounces of candy, in case anyone is interested.
I have not done a price comparison to compare to store prices. But these sure are healthier, and I'm sure cheaper than any store bought healthy gummy candies.
Are your kids (or you) fans of gummy candies? What is your favorite flavor? Does this look like a recipe you'd be trying out?