Years ago, one of my favorite snacks was the Welch’s fruit snacks. I just loved their texture. While this brand is pretty clean compared to others, I stopped eating them a while back. On this note, Annie’s makes some organic fruit snacks which are pretty yummy.
Despite the fact that I haven’t eaten Fruit Snacks in a very long time, I still love that gummy texture. Thankfully, I discovered that making DIY healthy gummies is a cinch (only three ingredients).
I make my DIY healthy gummies with some gelatin made from grass fed beef.
If you do a bit of research, you will soon discover that the consumption of gelatin has many health benefits.
Gelatin is made of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is most abundant in our connective tissues, bones, and skin.
Our ancestors ingested a diet rich in animal gelatin, and therefore rich in collagen (which has a high amino acid content). It was common for them to eat the skin of chickens and eat foods made with bone broth or other gelatin-rich parts; most of which we no longer consume.
Benefits of Gelatin
I only listed the benefits backed by research. Many other health benefits have been attributed to the consumption of gelatin.
- Gelatin is a rich protein source (1)
- It helps maintain skin’s elasticity and reduces the visible signs of aging (1) (11)
- Gelatin has shown some promise in relieving the symptoms of arthritis as well as improve bone and joint health (2)
- In one study, collagen was shown to help normalize gut hormones in obese subjects (3)
- L-glutamate (found in collagen/gelatin) repairs the intestinal lining and regulates the secretion of gastric juices (4) (5) (6) (12)
- Gelatin can help repair gastric ulcers (5)
- Collagen also has a beneficial effect on inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) (7)
- The L-glycine in gelatin not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also helps to promote a healthy sleep pattern (8) (9) (10)
My son broke his clavicle in May (while playing on his bike). A friend mentioned to me that gelatin may be a good idea to help the bones mend more quickly. While I’m well aware of the benefits of gelatin consumption, this was something I hadn’t considered.
I made a batch of my DIY healthy gummies and had him eat them daily (an easy task, since he loves them).
His clavicle has since healed and he’s back to playing outside with his brothers. Did the gelatin help? Honestly, I’ll never truly know, but one thing is for sure–it definitely didn’t hurt him.
DIY Healthy Gummies: Tips and Notes
In theory, all gelatin will work. There are two brands of gelatin which I prefer to use, however. My favorite is made by Vital Proteins. This gelatin is derived from grass fed and pasture raised animals. It’s certified kosher, non-GMO, rBGH free, ractopamine and preservative free.
The other brand is from Great Lakes. It’s both kosher and non-GMO.
When making it for my son (or any of my children), I use raw honey as a sweetener. It’s their preference and I can’t argue with it. When making it for me, I prefer using monk fruit powder. You can read more about monk fruit here.
I prefer pure juice only. Our favorite juices are either from Trader Joe’s or Lakewood juices. Some of our favorite flavors are pomegranate, berries, cherry, or a fruit punch.
I also like to use Ningxia Red from young living. You may even use tea or vegetable juice. Your imagination (and taste buds) are the limit.
I have a couple of cute molds for the kids, mainly because it’s fun for them to see the various shapes. If not for my children, I would just use my 8-inch by 8-inch pan (which I do often). I find the simplicity of my square pan so much easier. I just cut the gummies into squares once the mixture has set.
DIY Healthy Gummies
Pour the juice into a clean pan. Add the gelatin powder and very gently mix with a whisk. Make sure not to make any froth or it will sit on top of your gummies when they set. While this doesn’t affect the flavor, it doesn’t look as appealing.
Place the pan on the stove top and slowly warm the juice. Once the juice is hot – but not boiling – remove the pan from the stove top (turn the burner off).
Add the sweetener of your choice and gently mix.
On occasion, I like to add some therapeutic grade essential oils like lemon, orange, and/or bergamot; but this step isn’t necessary.
Pour into your prepared pan and let your gummies set.
Once set, store your DIY healthy gummies in the fridge.
Sources for DIY Healthy Gummies:
- Collagen and Gelatin
- Effect of the novel low molecular weight hydrolyzed chicken sternal cartilage extract, BioCell Collagen, on improving osteoarthritis-related symptoms: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
- Oral ingestion of a hydrolyzed gelatin meal in subjects with normal weight and in obese patients: Postprandial effect on circulating gut peptides, glucose and insulin.
- L-Glutamate supplementation improves small intestinal architecture and enhances the expressions of jejunal mucosa amino acid receptors and transporters in weaning piglets.
- Studies on the antisecretory, gastric anti-ulcer and cytoprotective properties of glycine.
- Collagen synthesis by human intestinal smooth muscle cells in culture.
- Serum laminin and collagen IV in inflammatory bowel disease.
- L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.
- Glycine selectively reduces intestinal injury during endotoxemia.