Love gummy bears but want to eat healthily? Here are 3 gummy bears recipes that are! These have a great variety too, so you don't get bored quickly. One is filled with honey and ginger, one with kombucha tea, and one fruity with raspberries!
For more healthy snacking, I would go for homemade jello, protein mug cakes, these trail mixes, and chia yogurt bowls.
Why you’ll love this recipe
You will love this recipe because it is
- You get variety
- And not to mention - they are delicious!
It's actually as simple as that.
3 Different Gummy Bears
So I decided to go for a couple of gummy bears recipes for this post because I love variety. Eating just one flavor generally isn't going to cut it for me.
I decided to go for 3 different health boosts as well.
- Kombucha tea gummy bears can be good for your tummy. Kombucha tea contains lactic-acids which may provide probiotics, in addition to being high in antioxidants and all the benefits of green tea.
- Ginger-lemon gummy bears, for an immune-boosting treat. Ginger is both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, lemon contains vitamin C and antioxidants, and honey can help fight infections and relieve pain.
- Raspberry gummy bears for an extra antioxidant kick. The USDA developed a list of the top 20 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants, and raspberries come in at #10. Many other berries are also on this list, and you can use whichever you want. Wild blueberries actually have the most antioxidants (out of the berries and fruits), but I didn't have them on hand.
Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. This helps prevent vision loss, accelerated aging, certain cancers, and arthritis. You can read more about antioxidants at Better Health Channel.
There are 3 main ingredients when making gummy bears:
- Liquid: You need some warm liquid to dissolve the gelatin. This is where the differences in the gummy bears lie. For the kombucha tea gummy bears, I naturally have kombucha tea. For the ginger-lemon gummy bears, there is water, and ginger and lemon juice. And for the raspberry gummies, raspberries, and water.
- Gelatin: Are what make the gummy bears gummy. Homemade gummy bears do not have the same bite as store-bought gummies, let me just put that out there. However, the bigger the gummies you make, the more of a chew they will get. Hence, why I actually prefer to use my chocolate molds instead of gummy bears molds, which I will get back to.
- Sweetener: To make the gummy bears more enjoyable to eat. Of course, you can completely leave out the sweetener, but they will taste incredibly tart. Add as much honey as you want. And for the ginger-lemon gummies, you can swap out the honey and use this ginger syrup instead. So good.
No need for food coloring
All of these recipes get different colors naturally. I really love the delicate and elegant look of the kombucha tea gummies, the tea almost looks like little gold specks (like the pears in this ginger pear bellini). And the raspberries give such a bright red color!
To make these healthy gummy bears, you first need to dissolve the gelatin. For all of the recipes, you need to hydrate the gelatin in cold water first. Add the gelatin leaves to a bowl of cold water, and let them soften for about 5 minutes.
For the kombucha tea, brew the tea according to the instructions*. Let the tea cool for about 10 minutes or so. Then add the gelatin leaves, one by one (squeezing out the water), stirring in-between each. Add honey to taste.
* If you got store-bought kombucha tea, already brewed, just gently heat it and you don't have to wait for 10 minutes.
For the ginger-lemon, gently heat the water, lemon, and ginger juice. Then add the gelatin leaves and honey for the kombucha tea.
For the raspberry gummy bears, add raspberries (fresh or frozen) and water to a saucepan and gently heat up. Stir to break up the raspberries (1). Strain, while pressing a spoon into the mixture to bring out all the juice (2-3). You should end up with about 1 cup (250 milliliters) of liquid (4).
Quickly rinse the saucepan and pour the liquid back into the pan (5). Over low heat, mix with honey and gelatin as the two others (6).
To fill the gummy bear molds or any other mold, use a dropper (7-8). Chill in the refrigerator until the mixture has set, at least 4-6 hours.
Be careful when taking them out of the mold, as they can be hard to get out without breaking them, as the molds are so small. Larger chocolate molds are better for this, but both work.
These are the gummy bear molds I used (not an affiliate). As you can see, they are quite small! To make it easier to take them out, we spray the molds with cooking spray first.
These gummy bears can be stored in a jar, both in the refrigerator and on the counter. On the counter, they will dry out a little, making them a little more like store-bought candies. Should be consumed within a week.
Not the same texture as gummy bears in the store
First of all, traditional gummy bears are loaded with sugar. Sugar is one of the things that provide the right, chewy texture.
Sorbitol is a kind of sugar that is particularly important for the texture, however, I'm not a fan of adding very unusual ingredients to my food. It should be relatively approachable!
I did a quick Google search and it wasn't easy to find sorbitol powder in Norway, although Amazon does have it. You could try to add a couple of tablespoons of sorbitol to this recipe, but I have not tried it (as I can't find it!).
Using gelatin powder instead
You can use gelatin powder instead of gelatin leaves if you want. 1 teaspoon gelatin powder equals 2 gelatin leaves (or sheets).
For this recipe, add 6 tablespoons of the liquid* to a bowl, and sprinkle over 6 teaspoons of gelatin powder. Carefully stir so that all the powder is in contact with the water, without incorporating air into it. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes (to bloom).
* For the kombucha tea, this is easy. Use 6 tablespoons of cold tea. Always use cold liquid for the gelatin to bloom. For the ginger-lemon, you can use one of the juices and 2 tablespoons of water. For the raspberry, use 6 tablespoons of the water.
Do not increase the amount of liquid, simply "steal" from the liquid you are going to heat up. When it has bloomed for 5 minutes, add the gelatin to the heated liquid.
When using gelatin powder you actually don't have to heat the liquid (but rather just melt the bloomed gelatin for a few seconds in the microwave), but I think it is easier to incorporate the honey this way.
Health benefits of gelatin
Gelatin (and collagen) contains several important amino acids. Amino acids are compounds that combine to make proteins, and they are essential to various organs.
The human body needs 20 amino acids, and 9 of them are considered essential. This means that the human body doesn't make it, and must be obtained through our diet.
And the best way to do that is by eating animal protein aka collagen or gelatin. I speak more of the health benefits of gelatin and its differences from collagen in this homemade jello recipe.
Sorry to say that these raspberry ones look a little extra broken. I had to rinse them under water (don't ask!), and lost some of their texture, becoming softer.
What is kombucha? What are the health benefits?
Kombucha tea is a fermented drink consisting of tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. The kombucha contains vinegar, B vitamins, and several other chemical compounds. Although more evidence is needed, there appear to be some lactic-acid bacteria that may have a probiotic property.
And probiotics are good for your tummy and gut health. Kombucha is also made from green tea, which is an incredibly healthy drink. It is also rich in antioxidants, but the antioxidant effects of kombucha on humans have not yet been studied.
Kombucha tea gummies.
The fun thing about gummy bears is that you can practically use whatever flavor you want!
Other berries: You can substitute any berries for the raspberry one, for example. And as I mentioned above, using wild blueberries will give you the most antioxidants. Other options include cultivated blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
All sound very much delicious, right?
Ginger-lemon gummy bears.
Other fruit juices: You can also use any kind of fruit juices you want instead of the ginger-lemon version, although the health benefits may (most likely) differ.
Other teas can also be used if you don't want to use kombucha. Simply use green tea, black tea, white tea, rooibos, or even herbal teas - all would be yummy!
There are infinite ways to make healthy (and unhealthy) gummy bears recipes, but these are my 2 cents! Which would you go for?
Did you like this recipe? Here are more healthy snacks I think you’d love:
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