Halloween is fast approaching!
Are your kids excited?
I love Halloween but I do not like the overload of GMO laden, artificially colored and flavored, chemical filled, heavily processed candy that takes over the holiday.
Gummy worms are always a favorite candy and these delicious and nourishing candies look very realistic. Perfect for your Halloween party or haunted house!
A friend of mine sent me a link to homemade gummy worms made with not so real ingredients and asked me to ‘Real Foodify' it! (Have any other recipes you want Real Foodified??? Email Us!).
These were a fun recipe to try and I think they taste good and are firm like gummy candies. The darkness of the color of the juice you use will determine the color of your worms.
This recipe is a great way to get extra gelatin into your or your children's diets. Homemade marshmallows, gummy snacks and jello are all great vehicles for nutritious gelatin. You can even add grass fed gelatin to your coffee or tea!
Why do you want to add gelatin to your diet? Gelatin has many health benefits! So, eating these gummy worms can be healthy! (yep, that is right…healthy gummy worms!)
According to Nourishing Traditions, gelatin is:
- Gelatin is a great source of dietary collagen.
- Gelatin contains certain amino acids that are beneficial to muscle growth.
- Gelatin supports joints and can aid in recovery from a joint related injury.
- Gelatin helps hair, nail, and skin growth and can tighten up loose skin!!
- Gelatin is great for digestion and liver function
So, how did I make these delicious gummy worms, you ask?
For my first experiment batch, I used cherry juice, but I did not use enough gelatin so they were more jello-y and melted fairly quickly. I did like the color combo, though. Very realistic!
The second batch was made with blueberry-pomegranate juice and the color is a lot darker. I used enough gelatin to make them firm like a candy, though! Success!
What I did was, I made my gelatin mixture on the stove top. I added the cream (which is optional) to give some lightness to sections of the worm and to add a little realistic touch. I added liquid chlorophyl to tone down the bright red of the juice.
I put my straws, with the bendy part extended, in a tall, skinny jar. (This picture shows 50 straws, a half batch). Really shove the straws in there. If I had used a taller jar, I would have had longer worms but this is what I had on hand!
Slowly pour the gelatin mixture into the straws and container. It is very wise to have the container on a plate or a tray to catch the inevitable overflow!
Place the container into a refrigerator until firm. When firm remove the straws (You really need to yank on the first few to get them out but the rest should come out easily).
To remove the worms from the straws, I found the easiest way was to use a rolling pin. I slowly pressed from the empty end of the straw, rolling until the worm squeezed out. It was fun! If you had a few rolling pins or bottles, you could get your whole family to help out!
Upon researching homemade gummy worms, some people had success squeezing them out with their fingers or briefly running the straws under hot water to release them from the straws. Do whatever works for you!
- 3 cups organic juice, red in color. (organic, concentrated juice works very well)
- 3/4 cups organic whipping cream (optional. If you don't use it, I would use about 1/2 cup more juice)
- 9 tbsp grass fed gelatin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract or a couple drops of lemon essential oil (optional)
- 1 tsp or so liquid chlorophyll (or other natural green food coloring) (optional.)
- 100 bendy straws
- Put the juice in a saucepan.
- Slowly add 9 tbsp of gelatin, whisking while you add.
- Turn on heat and bring up the heat, while stirring until warm and all gelatin is dissolved.
- Take off the heat and add the cream if using.
- Add the vanilla, lemon extract and liquid chlorophyl (if using).
- Extend the bendy straws and put them in a tall skinny container. (A 1/2 quart paper milk carton would be perfect! or a pint and a half mason jar.).
- Pour the gelatin mixture into the straws and container. Be sure to place the container on a plate or a tray to catch overflow.
- Place in refrigerator until firm.
- Take straws out of container.
- Roll worms out of straws using a rolling pin.
- Will last for at least a week in the refrigerator. If you don't use the cream, they will probably last longer.
**Update:I have been asked if these are tricky to remove from straws. No, it is not. Using a rolling pin works well, as does pinching the straw with your fingers and pushing them out. Running the straws under warm water very briefly is very helpful too. They just slide right out then!
There will be a bit of waste…gummy candy not in any shape but you can cut it up or just eat it!!
Here is an option for ‘decent quality' gummy worms if you don't want to make your own!
This post is featured at: Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Fight Back Friday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Mostly Homemade Monday, Real Food Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday
I can’t wait to try this!! I dread this holiday because of how my children act and feel for the week that follows! 🙁 UGH!! But this will be perfect! Who doesn’t love gummy worms!!?? Thanks for the recipe! ~Sarah
Thanks and it is fun for the kids too!!
Thanks for this post – I can’t wait to make with my kids….any particular juice you have found to work best, or is it all about the taste preference? I was thinking of using apple juice, for example? Or could you make elderberry syrup flavoured gummy treats to eat as a daily dose of gelatin (reading from your other article about gelatin as a daily supplement)? I’ve just ordered the gelatin and some elderberries from amazon….can’t wait for them to arrive so that I can get started!
I’d make it with something stronger tasting than apple juice or mix apple and cherry or apple and grape. Or you could use apple cider? I find gelatin has somewhat of a flavor and I like to make my gummies very juice flavored. You could also add essential oil or extract of your choice. Adding elderberry to the mix would be great!!!
I’ve never made gelatin before, but I’m excited to try this recipe. I have organic grape juice conc. in the freezer. Do I dilute this to make 3 cups? Also, how long does these keep. I’m having a party and I want to make them in advance.
These should keep for at least a week in the fridge. You can melt the grape juice concentrate and add water until it is a flavor you like. I wouldn’t dilute it as much as you would to make a drink as you want these worms to be strongly flavored. Good luck!!!
Hi how long do they last
They should last in the refrigerator for a week or so. If you don’t use the cream, they probably will last longer than that.
Do we really use 9 Tbsp?! That seems like an awful lot. I use 2 Tbsp for my regular jello and it’s pretty well held to together. 9 just seems like it wouldn’t taste good.
Yes. You could try 8. I used less (4-5) and they ‘worked’ (see the first picture) but were very ‘jello-y’, not gummy worm candy like. That would have worked but they melted fairly easily.
I was looking for more of a candy consistency and that is a lot of liquid to add gelatin too.
The reason I suggest a juice concentrate or strongly flavored juice is the key..:because there is so much gelatin. When I used a thawed out organic frozen concentrate juice it was fine!
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OMG we so love this idea! We have a Great Lakes gelatin co-op here in Australia, and we host a paleo/primal/real food meetup group, so all our members will be stoked with this worm recipe, it’s sensational!
Awesome! They are so realistic looking, especially if you add the cream (or coconut cream) to make them more opaque. And if you use the right juice, they taste delicious!!!
Can these be set out in a bowl for a Bday party? Or would they start to go bad right away being out of the fridge?
Yes, that will be fine!
I tried these for my kids as a treat and they were excited for them. I was eager to try them and they failed so horribly. Taste wise they were ok, I used a tart cherry juice which my kids later told me they didn’t really care for that much. But the worst part was the worms wouldn’t come out of the straws very easily and what I was able to get out was mushed up and didn’t look like worms but rather chopped up jello. I tried to soften it with a little warm water on the straws and it helped get them out nicer but they melted before the kids could even eat them. Very disappointed in my results with this great idea.
Bummer! Did you use enough gelatin? When I first started with these they were too soft and did just what you described. But I upped the gelatin to make them more firm.
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the lemon extract …. Can u use lemon juice??
What is the purpose of the lemon used for in this recipe?
Yes, you could use lemon juice. The lemon gives it a nice tart flavor. Makes the gummy more tasty!
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These look absolutely disgusting… in the best way possible! I can’t wait to try it. Great idea using straws.
Thanks!!! I LOVE the way the bendy straw makes them look so realistic! So gross 😉
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I tried making these today and they were a success. They are yummy and totally gross-looking (in the best way possible). It is absolutely delightful to watch the worms slither out from the straw!!!
My only concern is how WASTEFUL this process is. Perhaps it was my mistake but I made the worms with homemade elderberry syrup, organic tart cherry juice and my pricey grass-fed gelatin…even added some raw honey. It was so depressing to see how much of the mixture gets stuck to the sides of the straws, in the jar or even squirts out from any tiny holes the straws may have. I salvaged as much as I could and will eat the weird looking scraps myself but much of it ended up in the trash. Very sad…very wasteful! I suggest trying this as a fun tasty activity but would not use your finest ingredients…store bought juice is the way to go!!! Maybe I’m just frugal but seeing of those nutrient rich scraps in the trash is hurting my heart ; )
Hun, you can re-melt it and re-mold it all you like… so no loss! If there isn’t much, then put into ice cube molds… as many as you have extra for.
That’s a great idea! Melt it and if you have a little left make small gummy candies or something!!
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You can fill your straws full to the top! pour a little in (maybe an inch or so, and let it firm up (It seals the bottom of the straws) before adding the rest.
Don’t forget to melt the scraps (in a bowl over boiling water is best) and re-mold, so you don’t have any waste!
What’s up, just wanted to say, I liked this blog post.
It was helpful. Keep on posting!
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