Healthy Probiotic Gummy Candies

homemade gummy candies in a glass dish on a light blue table

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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 mother to do?

Make substitutes!

Little ones 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 pasture-raised cows that have never received hormones or antibiotics to get the most out of this nutritious ingredient.

For this recipe, you can 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!

homemade gummy candies in a glass dish on a light blue table

Probiotic Gummy Candies

This gummy candy recipe is low in sugar with the nutrition of real fruit and full-fat coconut milk, plus the gut healing benefits of grass-fed gelatin and probiotics.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Chilling Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: GAPS, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian
Approx. Cost: $3
Servings: 40 gummies
Calories: 27kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • 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.

NUTRITION

Calories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 20mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin C: 2.2mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.2mg

82 thoughts on “Healthy Probiotic Gummy Candies”

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  1. Lynette Espinosa

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I absolutely love candy and have been searching for a healthier alternative. Would you be able to share the actual ingredients you used. Ex. specific brand. I have never bought or used grass fed gelatin and would be interested to see what you used. Thank you again! I will let you know how I made out and if the kids enjoy them as well.

  2. I’ve made several different recipes and they all come it like hard jello. How do these compare to the fruit snacks from the store.

    1. As you probably could guess from the ingredients in all those recipes, homemade fruit snacks are hard gelatin. You can’t make them like the ones from the store because home cooks don’t have access to the chemicals and industrial machinery used to make that junk. Homemade fruit snack recipes are meant to be a similar, but significantly healthier, whole-food substitute.

  3. I just thought I’d add that this paragraph of yours:
    “Gelatin not only contains amino acids and colloids that can improve digestion and nourish your intestinal lining, it is also high in collagen and proteins which 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 food.”

    Is completely wrong and misleading. Gelatin, where it comes from is a set of repeating amino acids of Glycine-X-Y where X or Y is usually a Proline amino acid. Yes, it is involved in the structure of collagen, but when gelatin enters the stomach of pH ~ 1-2, it denatures and the respective amino acids are broken down to their individual residues. Thinking that using grass fed gelatin or any other gelatin for that matter will some how improve your skin, hair, nails, etc. is completely misinforming the consumer. Furthermore, glycine is widely accepted as a nutritionally low amino acid. Gelatin is absolutely NOT a nutritious food.

    Sincerely,
    a biochemistry graduate.

    1. The gelatin and gelatin hydrolysate I recommend are whole protein products that contains a full spectrum of amino acids, including proline and glycine, the two major amino acids involved in collagen synthesis. Proline and glycine have many beneficial effects, including assisting with digestion and calming the nervous system. Furthermore, there is evidence that various forms of gelatin and gelatin hydrolysate can provide benefits to the skin,joints, joint-related conditions, and bone conditions. There is more scientific evidence for the benefits of consuming gelatin in this well-cited article.

      Anecdotally, women have been swearing by bone broth and gelatin for healthy nails, skin and hair for eons.

      The complete protein, grass-fed gelatin and gelatin hydrolysate I recommend are indeed healthy supplements to a whole food diet.

  4. hi
    please help me if u know
    We decided to enrich our products with probiotics.
    Our products are candy cooling regime.
    Please tell me how and at what stage of probiotics should be added to the pulp candy
    Thank you very much

  5. Michelle Larsen

    Do you break up the capsules before you put them into the mixture? Trying to understand how to incorporate the probiotic.

  6. Just made them! They are amazing, great idea, thank you so much. Im planing to serve them for my boy’s birthday, how long an they last outside in the room temperature? Would they melt or will they keep the shape and not stick?

    1. They will hold the shape at room temperature, but might melt in heat. It’s best to keep them refrigerated until ready to eat, simply because the ingredients are perishable.

    1. Depending on the ingredients a week or two in the fridge. They are made with perishable whole foods!

    1. You could give it a try! It might be a little high in sugar comparatively, but let us know how it works out for you!

  7. How many does this recipe make and how many is usually a serving?
    Thanks for this. I’ll surely be making this for my 6 yr old daughter!!!
    Marilyn in MS

    1. It depends entirely on your mold. There really isn’t a serving size since they are made from whole food smoothie, but use your discretion as to how much fruit sugar your child can handle.

    1. You could try it with agar-agar or chill over powder from Mary Jane’s Farm ( I’ve been wanting to try that myself). You’d have to experiment with the amounts. I think that because agar is a starch, it might not do as well with being stirred up during the setting process (letting it cool and then adding probiotics). Still, you could use it to make juice gummies. Some kids might benefit from the slight laxative effects of agar.

  8. Could I use my homemade kefir or whey drained from that for yogurt starter culture? Which would be a better sub?

  9. Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that your candy recipe is featured today on Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love as the submission that received the most views last week. Thanks for coming to the party!

    http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com/2013/04/allergy-friendly-lunchbox-love-42613.html

    Lisa

  10. YUM! My husband is on a paleo diet, and when I told him I found a recipe for gummy candies that would fit in his diet he snorted derisively. Then I read him the ingredient list and he rescinded his snort. Can’t wait to make these!

  11. I hope to make these this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing them with us! Thanks for sharing your post with us! I featured them on my blog!

    Please join us again today (yeah I know it’s a day late… linky issues) at Eco-Kids Tuesday!!

  12. Those look like perfect gummy candies! What a great idea to add probiotics. Thanks for sharing this at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

  13. Awesome recipe! Thanks for sharing your post on The HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you again this week!
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/04/the-homeacre-hop-16.html

    1. It will probably change the taste, but give it a try and let us know how it works! These can be a fun delivery method for any type of probiotics, so the culture you choose is up to you!

  14. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Hope to see you soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. My son is 4 months old now so this would be a recipe for the future…he is on Baby Life probiotics powder -twice daily (we mix it with breastmilk for now until he is at least 3. Doctors orders.

    1. That’s up to you! I give my 5-year old a few pieces at a time, but my candies are a little on the big side.

  16. These look great. I feel so lucky to learn all these great ideas and recipes now while my little one is only 1.5 years. So when she does start to get exposed more I can be proactive. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Rachel @ day2day joys

    Wow, I’ve been thinking about making these for a while, do you think they taste good with the stevia? Hope you’ll link up this post to H2W this week!

    1. I don’t love the stevia version compared to the honey or maple syrup, but if you use a good brand of stevia they are alright. You will need to adjust the stevia to suit your taste though. Different brands taste differently, so start with less, and add more to taste.

  18. Jamie H @ coffeewithus3.blogspot

    Stopping by from Growing Home. This is such a great idea! We don’t do fruit snacks, but for some reason they seem to be a snack that many moms actually believe to be “healthy” when they are basically just fruit flavored sugar! Because of this, my little ones see friends eating them all the time. I would love to make some fruit snacks that actually have fruit in them, and the addition of probiotics is genius! Thanks!

  19. Great idea! I have everything to make it in the house accept the coconut milk. Thanks for the efforts in making this.

  20. What a fantastic idea! Would look great with a few different colours, I guess green veggies, maybe blueberries and perhaps lemon rind for a yellow batch?

  21. What is the texture like on these? I made some today with orange juice, honey and gelatin and they were so gummy. It only had 4T to 2/3 cup liquid. I am wondering how these willmbe with that much gelatin. None of the kids liked the texture. Closer to a gummy bear or to fruit snacks or somewhere in between?

    1. Wow! 4 tablespoons is a quarter cup to 2/3 cup liquid. No wonder they were gummy! This is a half cup gelatin to about 3 cups liquid. I don’t think you’ll find them too gummy at all. 🙂

  22. I can’t wait to try this…my daughter loves gummy candies so I’m very excited to find this “real food” version. Thanks for the post!

  23. Do you know the amount of probiotics in each serving and the other nutritional content? Also was curious if mattered if the smoothie had dairy in it and at what thickness would it work best? Sometimes my smoothies tend to be a little runny 😉 Thanks!

  24. Hi! This is great. I did have trouble, however, following the link for the yogurt starter. I got to Village Green Marketplace, clicked on Yogurt…but it took me to another website. What is the name of the yogurt starter culture that you use?

    1. I get my cultures at Cultures for Health, which is linked through the marketplace. You can choose any you like; they have several, including non-dairy, if you are allergic to dairy. For this recipe, I personally used probiotics instead of yogurt culture (also available in the marketplace), though both work great. Or you can leave probiotics out altogether if you don’t have any on hand. You’ll still have a great whole food gummy candy. 🙂

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