My daughter is approaching school age, and consequently she is more frequently encountering kids who don’t have food sensitivities and who don’t eat the way that we do.
From “Lunchables” to bottles of rainbow-colored sugar water to packages of 20-ingredient cookies and pastries, a lot of today’s kids eat little more than highly processed, artificially colored junk all day. And this “food” is not only nutritionally bankrupt, and full of GMOs and other scary additives, but it’s also packed with allergens that can make those with food sensitivities quite sick.
But to my 5-year-old, it looks like a smorgasbord of brightly colored, cartoon endorsed, sweet-smelling Temptation.
Sigh. What’s a crunchy, Real Food Mommy to do?
Five-year-olds hate being left out. So, I set out to make an additive-free, healthier alternative that my daughter could enjoy while her neighborhood friends were eating their FD&C Yellow No. 5-laden gummy fish. (Ew.)
What I ended up with was a guilt-free gummy candy recipe that is Paleo-friendly and GAPS legal, and relatively low in sugar—or you can use stevia to sweeten it. These candies also have the nutritional goodness of real fruit and full-fat coconut milk for growing bodies, plus the gut healing benefits of gelatin and probiotics.
High quality gelatin not only contains amino acids and colloids that can improve digestion and nourish your intestinal lining, it is also high in amino acids and proteins which can feed and strengthen your skin, hair, nails and joints. We make a point of using a high-quality gelatin from grass-fed cows to get the most out of this nutritious ingredient.
For this batch, we puréed strawberries and raspberries, but you could use any fruit that you have on hand, or use some leftover smoothie. (And if you use leftover green smoothie, you can even sneak some veggies into your candy! Imagine that!)
These candies turned out so delicious that my whole family can’t get enough of them now. And they are so easy to make, I don’t mind obliging them.
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk (Don't use drinking/cereal coconut milks; they are too thin.) (where to find additive- and BPA-free coconut milk online)
- 1 cup fruit purée or leftover smoothie
- 1/2-1 cup honey or maple syrup OR 40-50 drops of liquid stevia, to taste
- 1/2 cup unflavored, grass-fed gelatin (where to find online)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 8-10 probiotic capsules or a Tbsp. of yogurt starter culture (Optional) (where to find online)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla or other flavored extract (Optional)
- Natural food coloring like beet juice, blueberry juice, etc. (Optional) (where to find online)
- In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk, sweetener and salt until blended. Bring to just below a boil.
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the hot mixture a little at a time, and whisk in until thoroughly dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool down to about 105-110 degrees F. This is important because you don't want to kill the probiotics.
- Once the mixture has cooled, thoroughly mix in the fruit purée/smoothie, vanilla extract, probiotics and food coloring, if using.
- Pour into candy molds or a cake pan and refrigerate about 30 minutes to an hour, until solid.
- Remove candy from molds or cut into small squares and store in a jar in the fridge.