Move to SoCal, they said.
You’ll drink green juice and do yoga, they said.
Fast forward to me, wearing yoga pants (not for, like, real yoga, but because with a 21 weeks pregnant bump they are far easier to chase a toddler in than real pants), shamelessly loading a cello bag to the hilt with turquoise sharks, sugar crusted grapefruit slices, and some shimmery “disco bears” that had a plasticky way about them but that in the moment I found oddly irresistible nonetheless.
Vices. We’ve all got em, right?
Gummy candy. I just love it. I know it’s a totally fake frankenfood and that it’s laden with all kinds of icky artificial this and red-dye-will-kill-you-that…yet that doesn’t even faze me. I find nearly nothing as satisfying as chewing through a big bag of bouncy gummies – enough so that I have to seriously limit the frequency and volume of my acquisition of said confections, as I posses very little self control in this regard and will make quick work of the whole dang bag.
…and, I even love black licorice gummies – maybe even most of all! (BOO….HISS!!!)
Another “vice” of mine? Those aforementioned green juices, and to that end really all fancy-schmancy cold pressed juice, which is undeniably expensive but makes you feel all virtuous and stuff. (And that’s what’s important, right?) I’m not so much into ‘juicing’ as a lifestyle or meal replacement as I am as a here and there treat (a nice cold bottle makes a pretty damn satisfactory substitute for a happy hour beverage these days), and when I do snag one I look for a blend that’s heavy on the veggies and low in sugar; if you aren’t careful, suddenly your “healthy” juice habit can pack as much of a sugar punch as my illicit electric-green gummy frogs. (Those are the best, aren’t they?)
I’ve been putting beef gelatin in our morning smoothies for some time now to add a jolt of protein for our little string bean, and also in hopes of reaping the health benefits of gelatin myself – shinier hair, stronger nails, glowy skin, improved joint health, and many other lovely digestive and immune benefits. After realizing how awesome it is for you and how easy it was to sneak into a smoothie, I started to investigate other ways to incorporate this stuff into our diet. Since beef gelatin will essentially ‘gummify’ and thicken any liquid it is put into if added in the correct volume, I happened upon a few methods for making some quick and easy to make “protein” gummies using fresh fruit juice.
Wait…healthy DIY gummies? Obviously I had to make these. Given that Beatrix is only 18 months old and I am *trying* my damndest to keep her eating very healthily, she hasn’t had much candy, and she definitely hasn’t had any gummy candy (I’m still scared of choking. #FIRSTTIMEMOMPROBLEMS). That said…real life happens and toddlers have meltdowns in supermarket checkout lines, and if a little lollipop here and there is going to keep her both busy and smiling – it’s on. Unsurprisingly she thinks lollipops are just about the best thing going, and I had a hunch these sweet treats would be a total win in the babe department. Thanks to the Amazon Prime Gods I had a gummy bear mold (this bad larry) on my doorstep less than 48 hours after this idea had gelled in my mind (pun – obviously – intended), and I snagged a few bottles of fresh cold-pressed juice from one of my favorite local juiceries.
I figured that the fruitier flavors would obviously taste good, but what I was really excited about was the prospect of a green juice gummy bear – the ultimate confluence of sinful and virtuous; the nexus of my two vice-universes! (Reference for Seinfeld fans – it’s my 1st and 1st!) Given that the only two ingredients in these gummy bears are fresh juice and gelatin, these “candies” are going to taste….exactly like your juice! No more sweet and no less, and I kept that in mind when picking out the flavors:
– green apple, kale, spinach, celery, lemon, and cilantro
– grapefruit, orange, ginger, and mint
– orange, carrot, lemon, and turmeric
– watermelon and fresh mint
These were so fun to make! And seriously even more fun to eat. Bea was immediately drawn to the bright colors, sweet little “beah!” shape, and fun gummy consistency, and was gobbling them down faster than she could sign for “MORE!”
Of course, there is a catch. These are not going to be *exactly* like your favorite variety of Haribo; they are best kept refrigerated, and since they lack all of the ingredients that make your favorite gummies hard and chewy, they are a bit softer than a bagged gummy – more like a fruit snack in texture, or a very very firm Jello. That said, they most definitely scratch the gummy itch, and they make great protein packed treats with tons of ancillary health benefits that you can feel so good about offering to your kiddos (these would be an awesome potty training reward for the very wee ones!). They come together super quickly – the hardest part is having the patience to use the eyedropper to fill the bear molds – and you absolutely do not need to run out to purchase a mold to make these; I made an additional batch in the bottom of a lightly coconut oiled ceramic baking dish, and then simply cut them into small squares. So easy.
I’m already scheming a rosé-spiked juice bear for next Spring…just add that to the list of my vices!
The possibilities are seriously endless with these guys.
- 1 cup organic cold-pressed juice of your choice
- 3 Tbsp grass fed beef gelatin
- In a medium saucepan, heat the juice until it is very warm but not boiling (boiling can change the nutritional content of the juice). Slowly and in a steady stream whisk in your gelatin (this will help prevent clumping).
- Allow the juice mixture to cool until almost to room temperature, then pour into your gummy bear molds.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or pop into the freezer for 12-15 minutes to speed up the process (just don't forget them in the freezer and leave them there to freeze solid!)
- Gummies will keep in an airtight container, in the fridge, for at least a week, and probably longer.