Did you know that once upon a time, gummy bears were healthy treats? Before the days of the sugar or corn syrup-laden versions, gummies were made from fruit juices. Also, the gelling ingredient, gelatin, is high in protein and supports healthy joints. We’ve been making our own gummies often enough I finally bought an inexpensive set of gummy bear molds, complete with a dropper to make the job extra easy, and it’s been a fun snack for us and the kids.
If you’ve never made gummies before, the process is just like making homemade Jell-O, except you use more gelatin for firmer results. Firmer gummies are also easier to pop out of the molds, bear bodies intact, although I still place mine in the freezer for a bit before unmolding to make the job fool-proof.
Please note these homemade gummy bears are not nearly as sweet as the store-bought kind. I used a pink lemonade and tangerine and pineapple juices that contained just enough sweetness to overpower the relatively mild taste of gelatin, but not enough to read as candy. If you prefer a sweeter result, you can add honey to your juice, or dissolve sugar into the mixture.
Homemade Gummy Bears
1 cup fresh or bottled juice
2 tablespoons gelatin (I use this brand)
Add the juice to a small pot over medium heat, and heat until just warm. You should be able to comfortably dip your finger into the liquid. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the gelatin.
Place the gummy bear molds on a baking sheet or large plate. Use a dropper to fill molds with the liquid. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill until firm, anywhere from 2-4 hours.
Move the molds to the freezer for ten minutes, then gently push each gummy bear from the molds. Serve cold or room temperature, and store in a lidded container in the refrigerator.