I originally made these Fruit and Veggie Gummy Bears to top the Chocolate Gummy Bear Rainbow Cake my little one requested for her fourth birthday. Since then, I’ve made these cute little guys on a couple of other special occasions.
Why wouldn’t I just buy gummy bears you ask?
Well, in short, I truly believe in voting with my dollars. There are many things that I simply will not spend my money on, because when I take a moment to reflect on it, I don’t believe in what that specific product stands for.
In the case of your run-of-the-mill gummy bears, they are made almost entirely of questionable or concerning ingredients:
- Gelatin – This gelatin almost definitely comes from factory-farmed animals. Factory-farmed animals are subjected to antibiotics, hormones, and/or GMO feed, not to mention the deplorable living conditions. I am careful to purchase organic, local, free-range and humanely raised animal products whenever possible – gelatin is no exception. This is the one I like.
- Sugar – Most North American’s consume an enormous amount of sugar each day. 20 gummy bears contain the total amount of added sugar any one person should eat in a day. Plus, the sugar in products like gummy bears is often GMO. Our family avoids eating cane sugar in general, and works hard to limit the other sweeteners we use. I also feel strongly that GMOs should, at the very least, be labelled on products, and for this reason, I avoid buying products with “hidden” GMOs.
- Artificial Flavours – Artificial flavours can be made of nearly anything, but most commonly petroleum. Petroleum is not food. Let me repeat, petroleum is not food.
- Artificial Colours – Artificial colours are also made of all kinds of nasty things, again, like petroleum. Many are contaminated with known carcinogens. Most of the world recognizes their link with neurological symptoms included hyperactivity in children, but there is no warning label for artificial colours in Canada or the US. My daughter and I both have sensitivities to food colouring, so we avoid them for that reason – but personally, I wouldn’t eat them, or serve them to my family, even if we weren’t sensitive.
- Preservatives – Preservatives are in foods to preserve their shelf life. Does that mean they extend your life as well? Absolutely not. Preservatives like BHA are known carcinogens and banned in many countries across the globe.
So, instead of eating all of the above, I opted to make my own gummy bears with these molds (no affiliation).
The ingredients are simple:
- Fresh pressed fruit and/or vegetable juice – Let’s celebrate a rainbow of healthy colours, natural sweetness, and loads of antioxidants!
- Optional sweetener – When adding your own sweetener, you can control the source, the quality and the amount!
- Grass-fed gelatin – (I like the one from Great Lakes!) Grass-fed gelatin is actually a very healthful food. It’s an amazing source of protein and diverse amino acids which promote gut health and healing, healthy skin, strong bones and a good, stable mood.
- Optional natural vegetable/fruit colouring – (I used a couple drops of IndiaTree natural food colouring.) Fruits and vegetables come in so many different colours, why not use their natural pigments? I used a couple drops to deepen the colour of these particular gummies since my little one requested a “rainbow” themed birthday, but when we typically make them, we don’t add any extra colouring, just the juice!
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30-120 mins
Total Time:60 mins average
Serves:2 per 1/2 cup liquid
6 parts liquid – I used 5 parts juice and 1 part honey
1 part grass-fed gelatin
Optional: a few drops of natural food colouring
- In a small pot, heat the juice, but not to a boil.
- Stir in honey (optional) until well combined.
- Whisk in gelatin until well combined.
- Add a few drops of natural vegetable/fruit colouring, if desired, and incorporate well.
- Portion the mixture into the molds.
- Place on a flat surface in the fridge to set. The juice affects the setting time, but it typically takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours.