If you’re on the paleo diet, chances are you’ve heard about the benefits of gelatin for skin and bone health. That’s good news for candy-lovers since gelatin is one of the most important ingredients in gummy candies. This collagen-based substance is what’s responsible for that semi-solid chewy goodness of sour gummies.
Ready to explore a whole new meaning to the idea of “gummy vitamins”? We’ve put together the ultimate guide for how to make gummy candy for paleo diets. Scroll down to learn more!
What is the Paleo Diet?
The paleo diet has become immensely popular in recent years for people who want to lose weight, prevent diabetes and heart disease, or simply eat more in harmony with their environments.
Based on the idea that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were fitter and healthier due to their whole foods-based diets and active lifestyles, the paleo diet is designed to mimic what humans ate before the advent of agriculture. That means lots of animal protein, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, but no dairy products, legumes, grains, added sugar, or processed foods.
So what does this mean for paleo candy? Luckily, there’s a whole wealth of amazing, creative paleo recipes not just for mains and desserts, but also for delicious candy based on natural ingredients. Because of its reliance on gelatin, one great candidate for paleo candy is sour gummies.
Paleo and Gelatin
As we’ve mentioned, gelatin is a staple of many paleo diets. That’s because gelatin is made from collagen, the fibrous protein that connects bones, muscles, skin, and tendons inside all animals.
To make gelatin, the bones, cartilage, and skin of an animal are boiled to extract the collagen. Then, the collagen is processed to produce a colorless, flavorless, jelly-like substance that can be dissolved in hot water: gelatin. Gelatin’s consistency and solubility make it an important thickener in jelly and sauces and gravies, soups, gummy candies, and other sweet treats.
But gelatin isn’t just great for thickening foods. Collagen is high in amino acids, compounds that make the protein your body needs for proper organ functioning and energy production. When collagen is processed, those amino acids aren’t lost, making gelatin a good source of these amino acids. Many paleo dieters swear by the benefits of gelatin protein for skin and bone health.
How to Make Gummy Candy: What You’ll Need
While ingredients vary by recipe, the fundamentals of any paleo sour gummy candy are:
- Grass-fed unflavored gelatin
- Fruit (preferably high in citric acid, malic acid, or ascorbic acid, for the sour flavor)
- Silicone molds if you want candy in specific shapes, like bears
While many sour gummies also contain corn syrup, acid-infused granulated sugar, and/or palm oil, these processed foods won’t do for a truly paleo-friendly candy. The result is a more natural, “whole” food anyway – can’t complain about that!
If you find you need that extra sweet kick, though, raw honey is perfectly paleo.
Three Paleo Sour Gummy Recipes to Try at Home
We’ve scoured the net for the best guides for how to make gummy candy adapted to paleo diets. These whole foods-based candies aren’t just for paleo dieters – they’re also great for anyone trying to stave off diabetes, reduce their gluten intake, or just stay healthy without sacrificing their sweet tooth.
Scroll down for some seriously mouth-watering homemade gummy recipes you’ll want to try ASAP.
1. Paleo Blueberry Sour Gummies
Over at the gluten-, dairy-, and processed sugar-free recipe blog What Great Grandma Ate, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Jean offers a famously easy recipe for Paleo Blueberry Sour Gummies. We had to give a shout-out to a candy featuring such a unique flavor.
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp raw honey
- 1/3 cup grass-fed gelatin
- Combine blueberries, lemon juice, and honey in a blender, blend until completely mixed. Pour out the contents into a saucepan on the stovetop.
- Add gelatin, and whisk until it thickens.
- Turn on the heat to low and whisk for 5 minutes, or until the mixture thins out.
- Pour into silicone molds (I have these), or a small baking dish.
- Transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour until the gummies firm up.
- Remove the gummies from the molds. If you used a baking dish, cut them into bite-sized squares.
- Enjoy immediately or store them in the refrigerator.
2. Paleo Sour Strawberry Lemon Gummies
Vanessa from Plaid and Paleo offers a twist on traditional sour flavors with a recipe for gluten-free, sugar-free Paleo Sour Strawberry Lemon Gummies.
- 1 cup quartered strawberries
- 1 cup Meyer lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin
- Quarter your strawberries first, then measure out the cup.
- In a small saucepan, heat strawberries and lemon juice until the strawberries start to release their juice and breakdown.
- Place sauce in the blender and mix until smooth.
- Let cool for a couple minutes and then add in the gelatin.
- Pulse a couple times then pour into molds. I used these cute flower ones.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. I set mine out in the garage because it is so cold outside!
3. Tart Cherry Lime Gummy Candy
This kid-friendly recipe for Tart Cherry Lime Gummy Candy from Paleo Running Mamma has all you could want from a paleo sour candy, complete with natural and truly mouth-puckering ingredients. As usual, it’s gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free while combining two amazing fruit flavors we can’t get enough of.
- 3/4 cup 100% organic tart cherry juice
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice strained
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 3 tbsp grass fed gelatin
- In a saucepan, heat the juices over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Lower the heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the honey until fully dissolved.
- Now, whisk in 1 tbsp at a time of the gelatin, adding another only after the others dissolve. Continue to stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved, about 10 mins.
- Once you have no lumps, just liquid, remove from heat and carefully transfer the liquid into your gummy molds (sometimes a dropper is provided with the molds, which is helpful.) If you don’t have molds, you can use a mini muffin pan lined with mini liners, or a very lightly greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
- Refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours depending on the size of your gummies) then pop out and enjoy! If you used a baking dish, you can cut into squares or use cookie cutters.
- I stored mine in the refrigerator, but these will remain solid at room temp. Enjoy!
Need inspiration for your own twist on how to make gummy candy, paleo or otherwise? Check out some of Candy Club’s mostly sour candy boxes and let your imagination run wild.