Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homemade Gummy Bunnies!


We're just getting back from a little road trip down the coast (LA) and into the southeastern interior of California (Mojave/Colorado deserts), Arizona (Flagstaff, Grand Canyon) and Nevada (Vegas).  

We drove over 2 thousand miles in 4 days but it was worth every neck cramp, backseat brawl, and early morning rise. There was a jacuzzi at dawn in a pine forest (complete with a visit from a wild rabbit), roadside frisbee under dark desert skies and some rather colorful scenery on the Strip to keep us all amused. There was also an amazing night of eats and entertainment to kick it all off here.  

So while I gather and organize the photos from our trip and we settle back into school, work and life, I'm sharing a simple and festive recipe for homemade gummy candy with you today!

If you like gummies (or know someone who does), this is a really fun idea -- you can use any mold you like and with all the online shopping options that exist these days (read Amazon), it's easier than ever to find just about any shape, size or theme you're looking for (and quick delivery too ;-), so have fun exploring.

I strongly recommend that you seek out silicone molds wherever possible because they make the task of unmolding - which turns out to be not such a small task at all - much (much) easier. You can certainly make this recipe using a traditional chocolate/candy mold (plastic) as I have done here but you might find yourself pulling out your hair and a toenail in the process.  I have included tips in the Nutrition & Cooking Notes below to guide you through the later, just in case.

This recipe uses only four basic ingredients with a base of natural fruit and vegetable juice.  I went with a company headquartered around the corner from us here in Half Moon Bay but you can work with any quality juice of preference.  The resulting gummy candy is slightly softer than the commercially processed candy but I think we can agree that's not a bad thing.  My teenage boys had no trouble gobbling these love bunnies up. Hope you and yours enjoy them too!



Homemade Gummy Bunnies

Homemade Gummy Bunnies!

Per Batch (use a different colour/type of juice for each batch):
  • 1/2 cup all natural fruit or vegetable juice
  • 4 Tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice 
  • 1 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin powder dissolved into 4 Tbsp boiling water, (consider agar-agar for a plant-based gelling agent)

Each batch makes approximately 50 mini bunnies (using a 1-1/8"- 1-3/8" by 1/4" mold) 


Nutrition & Cooking Notes:
  1. As mentioned above, silicone molds are preferred for unmolding however if you cannot find one you may wish to gently spray the interior of a candy/chocolate (plastic) mold with a touch of olive oil before pouring the gummy mixture. This will help enormously with unmolding. A little dab will do and you can work the oil into all the nooks and cavities of your mold with your index finger.  The oil taste dissipates quickly once the candy is unmolded.  The trick is to allow the gummies to get nice and cold/hard in the fridge before trying to release them (doing otherwise is an exercise in complete frustration that may lead to inadvertent utterances ;-).
  2. Choose an assortment of fruit and/or vegetable juices as desired for your base.  Some natural juices have extraordinary colours, so you can really have fun with it.  I used mango, carrot, strawberry and blueberry. Adding the lime/lemon can change the colour of the juice (tends to make it lighter) but that too can create a beautiful effect. We found the carrot juice really dazzling.
  3. If you like your gummies on the sour side, and who can blame you, adding more lime or lemon juice is the trick. The current recipe offers a little kick but if you prefer predominantly sour, you can increase the citrus content relative to the juice base (try a half cup lime or lemon and a quarter cup frut/veg juice) for a more pronounced pucker effect ;-).


Directions:
  1. Be sure to have your molds ready as the gelatin will set fairly quickly once added to the juice mixture.  If you are using a plastic mold, you may wish to gently spray the interior with olive oil to assist with unmolding - just a little dab will do and you can work it into all the nooks and cavities of your mold.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve 2 Tbsp of gelatin powder into 4 Tbsp of boiling water - whisk the gelatin until it is fully dissolved into the water.  Set gelatin slurry aside to hydrate (or 'bloom').
  3. Meanwhile, place fruit or vegetable juice of choice in a bowl and whisk in lime (or lemon juice) and honey (or maple syrup).
  4. Give the gelatin slurry a final whisk before adding it to the juice mixture, whisking to fully integrate.
  5. Working quickly but carefully, transfer the mixture into a pouring device (I used a large measuring cup with a pouring snout) and begin pouring the gummy mixture into the molds just until almost full.
  6. If the mixture solidifies before you have finished pouring it into the molds, you can reheat the remaining mixture in a pot on the stove top for a moment and continue pouring.
  7. Allow the mold/s to sit for a moment before carefully transferring to the fridge and allowing the gummies to solidify fully before unmolding (the gummies should no longer be sticky when you touch the backs).  If you are pressed for time, you can cool the molds in the freezer but be careful not to burn the little guys.
  8. We find the gummies store best in an airtight container in the fridge.
  9. The nutrition facts below are based on a generic all natural mixture of fruit juice (not a particular brand).

© Inspired Edibles

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22 comments:

  1. Sandra @ Kitchen ApparelApril 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    These are so adorable and the boys would LOVE them! We are gummie addicts in this house. I love that you used the odwalla juice. Always trying to sneak those veggies in my boys...please tell me it gets a little easier as they get older?

    Sounds like you had a great road trip. What awesome places to visit. It is my goal to get our family out that way on a road trip one day. When my husband gets back into teaching college we want to plan a summer cross country trip. It would be wonderful not only for my children, but for myself, because I have never seen that side of the country. Can't wait to see more pictures!

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  2. Oh, dear.... do you know where we were last week? Tucson & Sedona, first for the PhD defense of one stepson and then for the wedding of his twin brother (in Sedona). I intend to make a short post about it, but my heart missed a leap when I learned we were so close!

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  3. Sounds like such a great trip! A jacuzzi at dawn creates an image in my mind straight from a Pinterest travel board ;-) And that restaurant sounds amazing!!


    These little bunnies are soo amazing! I have a confession...I LOVE gummy candies...especially sour ones. They are a major vice of mine and every 6 months or so, I have to go to 7-11 and get a little bag of sour candies. Whew...feels good to get that off my chest ;-)


    I would MUCH rather have these natural candies instead. I would love the citrus sour-ness and the nutrition from fresh juices. I would probably dabble around with agar agar, too. I'm with ya on the silicon molds...the plastic ones are just too tricky! I've been thinking about making my own gummies for a little while now, and you make it seem much easier than I expected the process to be. I can't wait to play around with these!!

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  4. These are exceptionally adorable! I'm going to try to find a good bunny mold before Easter! My Mom used to make fruit juice jello squares and these really remind me of them! What an amazing treat.

    That place you went to on your vacation looks great too, love the salads and the ambiance is wonderful. It sounds like you had a great time.

    Eva https://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

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  5. Sounds like you had a fun road trip, Kelly.
    These little bunnies are so adorable and fun to make too!
    Have Easter!
    Angie

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  6. Sissi_Withaglass.comApril 16, 2014 at 4:05 AM

    Kelly, you are a genius! I think it's the most creative and surprising Easter-themed post I have ever seen. It's also the cutest one :-) If I saw these in my supermarket, I would snatch several bags before the special Easter gummy bunny edition ends! I love Haribo bears, so I'm sure I would get even more addicted to this cute animal shape (have I told you I used to have a big rabbit pet?). On the other hand, I'm sure your home version tastes hundred times better than the factory produced gummy things (I don't even mention health benefits). Your cute bunnies made me even forget for a while about chocolate treats...
    I agree that jacuzzi at dawn with a visit from a wild rabbit is totally worth driving so many miles!

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  7. Well I better find a silicone mold because I definitely don't want to lose a toenail!! Haha... What a creative and adorable idea. You come up with the most ingenious twists on the every day Kelly. It's so neat to think that you can create a fun and satisfying candy out of 4 simple ingredients and that they are natural too. Amazing. I hope you share some of the photos from your trip with us! I would love to be inspired by your warm climate (and maybe even a wild rabbit ;-).

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  8. How fun! I love this idea! Perfect timing for a fun Easter treat. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I just discovered your site on Pinterest via your gummy bunnies and wanted to drop in and tell you how encouraged I am by what I'm seeing (I just spent my lunch hour going through a number of your recipes). As a working mom of 3, I often feel caught between my desire to do what is 'right' for my family dietarily but never feel I have the time to execute those time intensive recipes I come across. It's overwhelming and discouraging. What I love about Inspired Edibles is that your recipes are not only healthy, they also seem straight forward and no fuss. Food I can actually imagine making for my family! I'm so excited to try some of your recipes and your photos are beautiful too. Thank you Kelly!

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  10. These are SO cute!!! I know some kids and adults that would love them and the fact that they are made from natural juices and not a bunch of sugar make them even better. You're so clever my dear! Your trip sounds like fun! Personally, I'm a huge fan of road trips and have been on many of them myself. Going into Arizona, sounds like you got a little taste of the southwest - my home. :)

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  11. So disappointed, the only molds I found were so expensive and we're not bunnies. I'll put it on my list for the Ashley sale next week.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

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  12. Hi Eva, I got my bunny molds from Amazon -- they did not have any silicone bunnies available unfortunately but they did have a few choco/candy molds (the plastic ones) to choose from in bunnies and other Easter themes. Ah well, plenty of other possibilities in the future I;m sure. I'm glad you like them! And yes, Industriel [sic] was a real find. We got lucky because we were in the business district of downtown LA at night which means completely dead after 6 pm and a bunch of closed lunch spots... we happened upon Industriel, a French style urban farm cuisine, fantastic ambiance (great cocktail lounge upstairs), friendly staff and delicious food. I don't think I've ever ordered gnocchi before in my life (I eat pasta maybe twice a year) but it was recommended and it literally melted in my mouth -- exquisite. Would also highly recommend their cheese plate. *Great* spot.

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  13. Thanks MJ -- I know kids and adults in this family who love them too! (in fact I know a certain adult who may like his gummies more than our kids - lol - always been his fave). The road trip was so much fun and very worthwhile... it's our second since moving here and I think I'm getting the hang of them too... they have their own unique charm, don't they ;-).

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  14. Clare... your note lit up my entire week!! Thank you so much for connecting. I'm delighted to hear that the recipes resonate with you... one of my biggest goals as a nutritionist and food blogger is to try and keep things as simple as possible. I know it wouldn't work for my life either to spend an hour or two on dinner so I focus on quality ingredients while keeping the process as basic as possible. That doesn't mean boring though, we just like to skip all the fuss :) (whenever possible). Please let me know if you have any special requests and if you get a chance to try some of the recipes -- I'd love to hear your feedback. Thank you kindly for taking the time to write... I know how precious time is so your gesture is greatly appreciated! ♡

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  15. HI Patricia, how nice to see you here! Thanks for dropping by; I'm happy you like the bunnies; they make us smile too :).

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  16. Toenails are precious, aren't they? ;-). Thank you so much for your kind words Elizabeth... yes, I have to get back to the photos and see if I can pull together a few to share... some of the scenery was truly spectacular and share worthy :). Thank you, as always, for stopping by. You are such a bright presence and always make me smile.

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  17. Sissi, where have you been all my life? I think you could single-handedly support my self-esteem with your flattery!! ;-). Thank you my friend for your generosity.


    My husband also *loves* gummy bears! Too funny, if we're out on the town and he sees a candy store -- off he scoots to snatch a little bag of gummies -- he can't resist! I have to say that morning jacuzzi was very memorable -- we had the place to ourselves and we were surrounded by beautiful pine trees and wild life... gorgeous!

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  18. Hi Angie, Happy Easter to you Too! I hope you have a great weekend full of fun and delicious eats.

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  19. You and my hubby Koko -- gummy central :) He likes them super sour too! Heeheeh. All good, bring your sins forth, always happy to receive your confessions ;-).


    Yeah, the plastic molds just about drove me up the wall. In fact, I thought it was going to tank the whole thing :( (which made me sad because I had the gummy bunnies going in my head for a while to feature at Easter) but anyhow, the dab of olive oil saved the day! Hope you a version of this a try sometime; they're fun to make (particularly in silicone ;-).

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  20. Ah, yes, I see that Sedona is right around the corner from Flagstaff -- What a hoot! We could have shared a Jacuzzi together at the Little America ;-). I hope it was a good trip for you Sally!

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  21. You should absolutely do a road trip out this way! So much to see and do, flanked by desert, mountains, forest and ocean... hard to go wrong. I'm not sure how well our boys would have done in their younger years on this type of road trip though... (we were driving about 8 hours a day on average) but you just have to customize it to your needs and the stage they are at and it's all good. Make more frequent stops :). Glad you like the gummies! I think your boys would enjoy the project (plus, they would get those dazzling colours they were after in the pastel egg project -- heeheeh :)

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  22. Haha, how cool are these? I'm not such a fan of "small gummy things" or candies in general (though I love chocolate), but I should definitely make these for my wife. Her (along with the rest of Sweden) is completely obsessed with candies. Kids eat vast quantities of this pick and mix candy junk every year! :( Would be so much better to get them eating home-made stuff like these beauties!

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