Saturday, August 13, 2016

Good Gummies

   I'm not keen on daily vitamins or supplements. Too much filler, too many synthetic forms of natural substances that are hard on the body- sometimes even toxic in the long term. There are few exceptions to my reservations aside from short-term herbs and other remedies for issues, and those are really high quality, filler-free, no-gimmick, high potency probiotics, and food-based supplements. When we utilize the nutrients from foods to purposefully supplement our diet, we're taking the nutrients at their most natural, readily-absorbed state so they do the best good for the body.
   One of my favorite food-based daily supplements for my family's health is elderberry syrup(This is my favorite recipe, but I use an organic cinnamon stick and a 1" chunk of raw ginger instead of the dry forms). September through March, I always have a quart jar of it in the fridge, and try to remember to give them a dose every day. When some is feeling low, a fever starts somewhere, some one vomits, sniffles, or seems in any way sick, we triple up the syrup dosage for everyone. It's a great immune-boosting remedy that keeps us healthier and helps shorten the duration of illness when we do catch something. One way to improve the odds I'll remember to give the kiddos their daily dose and increase the immune-boosting nutrient value is to make them gummies. Ever seen the benefits of organic, flavor-free, grass-fed beef gelatin? Check it out HERE. I love THIS kind. I've tried lots of different recipes, tweaked to our liking, and settled on our version(recipe's coming! Hold your horses!).
   Another way to boost our immunities with food-based supplements is vitamin C. ALSO IN GUMMY FORM! Who woulda' guessed? I have always been a die-hard Emergen-C drinker, but am increasingly disenchanted by the highly processed ascorbic acid form of vitamin C and large amount of sugar it contains. The vitamin C gummy we're hooked on now is far superior in absorbable nutrients and wholesome ingredients. I choose to use Alive! purely food-based vitamin C powder. One of these a day is a great vitamin C supplement, and increasing it to three times daily helps fight illness when you catch something.
   Wait.... it's not September yet. And yet we have strep and scarlet fever. Getting on my regiment early this year, because my people clearly need a better boost already. Stupid germy playgrounds.

   So here's how we make them:

1.5 cups pineapple/orange juice(or elderberry syrup)
4 Tbsp unflavored grass-fed beef gelatin(5 Tbsp for the Vitamin C gummies)
2 Tbsp raw honey(for the Vitamin C gummies only!)
2 Tbsp food-based vitamin C powder(for the Vitamin C gummies only!)

Pour 1/2 cup of the juice/syrup into a small sauce pan. Add the gelatin, and gently whisk it until there are no more white clumps visible. Let the mixture stand for 5-7 minute while the gelatin 'blooms.' This is vital! Don't skip it! Once the gelatin blooms, the mixture will feel almost firm.

Put the saucepan on the stove over medium heat, and warm it just until the mixture becomes liquid.

For the Vitamin C gummies only- while the gelatin  mixture melts, mix the honey, vitamin C powder, and remaining juice, and whisk until it's all combined.

Once the gelatin mixture has melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the remaining juice(juice mixture for Vit C gummies) into the pan, and whisk gently to combine it all. 

Pour the liquid into silicone candy molds(I have THESE and love them) and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes until they're soft but firm. If you don't have silicone molds, pour the mixture into a glass 9x13 pan. Once it's firm, cut into squares instead. 

Once finished, these will keep fresh in a sealed package in the refrigerator for 2 or so weeks. They may very well keep longer. They've never lasted longer in ours because people gobble them up. 

Elderberry syrup gummies

Vitamin C gummies

Forgive the disjointed manner of this post. We've been dealing with sickness for our whole family all week. Hence the mass gummy-making in our house, which prompted the 100+, "Oooh, can I have the recipe?!" posts to my facebook and Instagram. My. Brain. Is. FRIED. But now you have the recipes. Enjoy! 

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