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Sour Gummy Sweets Recipe

sour gummy sweets in a jar

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This recipe is gluten-free, refined sugar-free AND dairy-free of course – all Mila’s Meals recipes are.

Reasons to add this to your nourishment toolbox:

  1. Only 5 ingredients
  2. Quick & Easy to make
  3. Cook once, eat many times
  4. Easy to make flavour variations (see options below recipe)
  5. Nutrient-dense, brain food (see details below recipe)
  6. Lunch box friendly
  7. Anytime, filling snack
  8. Kids love them!
  9. You’ll easily learn the recipe by heart
  10. Great recipe to make with the kids – #kidsinthekitchen!

Knowing how to make wholesome food and being comfortable in the kitchen is a life skill!

Get your kids in the kitchen!

It is also an opportunity for quality time and real connection. I am constantly amazed at the creativity and pure joy that Mila expresses while cooking with me.

Start with something quick, easy and fun – like a gummy sweet recipe!

Mila's Meals making gummy sweets recipe

Gummy Sweets aka “Jelly Babies” in South Africa!

A healthy alternative to store-bought sweets – and oh-so-easy to make.

These are such a great protein-rich snack food to have in the fridge and they make an excellent addition to lunch boxes.

I have also made a Vitamin C Gummy Recipe specifically for Mila’s lunch box so that she can get a dose vitamin C while at school.

Mila's cousin Lily loves the gummies as much as she does the sauerkraut!

These were the very first sweets Mila ever had and I first made them for her second birthday party (you can read the full story of that party here).

These gummies are a really great alternative to the store-bought ones (or Jelly Babies as we call them here in South Africa).

Homemade gummies do not contain any harmful food colourings, sweeteners, flavourings or preservatives – they actually have healing properties!

This is thanks to the gelatine (see more below).

It is important to note, however, that not all gelatine is created equal (as with most foods!).

Where possible buy organic gelatine from grass-fed animals. I say where possible, because I have been unable to find a locally produced one here in South Africa.

The gelatine brands I have found all contain the preservative Sulphur Dioxide and I fear they come from conventionally raised animals who are fed GMO corn, in feed lots under terrible conditions.

Not all Gelatine is created equal!

Where possible buy organic gelatine from grass fed animals.

I only use Great Lakes Beef Gelatine

Great Lakes Beef Gelatin is a time-trusted ingredient that every foodie should have in their pantry. It’s just so versatile. Thicken soup and broth, whip up mousse, make marshmallows, and get your gummy on! It’s also 100% pure, free from additives, colouring, flavouring and preservatives. And... it's medicinal!

sour gummy sweets in a jar

Sour Gummy Sweets Recipe

AvatarCatherine Barnhoorn
A nutrient-dense, healthy alternative to store-bought sweets – and oh-so-easy to make! Only 3 ingredients! These are such a great protein-rich snack food to have in the fridge and they make an excellent addition to lunch boxes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Setting Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 22 gummies


  • 1 citrus juicer or squeeze by hand with a fork, pass juice through a sieve to remove the "bits"
  • 1 small saucepan
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 silicone gummy mold tray or individual silicone sweet molds & a tray to place them on


  • 3 tbsp grass-fed gelatine
  • 80 ml lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 80 ml orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp raw honey


  • 1/2 tsp orange or lemon extract optional – for a stronger flavour
  • 1 tbsp vegetable juice as food colouring – see notes below


  • Place the fruit juice, gelatine powder and honey ina saucepan and whisk until it is lump-free.
  • Heat over low heat, stirring constantly for approximately 4 minutes or until it has a creamy / velvety consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in your orange or lemon extract and food colouring (aka veggie juice!)
  • Place your gummy molds onto a baking tray.
  • Spoon the mixture into the molds one at a time.
  • Place the tray in the fridge for 1.5 hours to set (or in the freezer for 10 minutes if you are in a rush!).
  • Once set, they will stay firm at room temperature (unless it is a very hot day). If you are putting them in a lunchbox, remember to include an ice-pack.
  • Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks,


Mama’s Notes

You don’t have to make sour sweets – its the lemon juice that makes these sour. If your child doesn’t like sour-sweets, simply use any other fruit juice (except pineapple).
I love how freshly squeezed vegetable juice works beautifully as food colouring!
Here are some natural colourant options:
  • Orange – carrot juice
  • Green – kale juice
  • Red – beetroot juice
Keyword dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, lunch box, nut-free, refined sugar-free

Mila & I make a lot of gummies!

Blood-Drop Gummies for Halloween 🙂

When it comes to gummy sweet flavours you are only limited by your imagination!

You can use any freshly pressed fruit juice – except pineapple juice that is. The digestive enzymes in pineapple juice prevent the gelatin from setting.

These are a great protein-rich addition to school lunch boxes!

(Just make sure to include an ice-pack in the lunchbox bag as these will melt in warm weather)

Ingredient & Nutrient Glossary

mila's meals cookbook

Highlighting the health benefits and nutrients of the main ingredients used in this recipe.
Information taken from my book 'Mila's Meals: The Beginning & The Basics' unless otherwise stated.

Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of folate.

They also provide:

  • vitamin B
  • iron
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • silicon
  • copper
  • potassium.

Vitamin C is vital to the function of a strong immune system.

The immune system’s main goal is to protect you from illness, so extra vitamin C may be useful in conditions like colds, flu and recurrent ear infections.

Although lemons have an acidic taste they actually have a strong alkaline reaction in the body (excess acidity in the body leads to an ideal playground for viruses and other diseases).
Lemons are a source of phytonutrients that have both antioxidant and antibiotic effects. They also have anti-cancer benefits.
Lemon essential oil has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
SOURCE: ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ 

Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, and a very good source of dietary fibre.

They are also a good source of:

  • vitamin B1
  • pantothenic acid
  • folate
  • vitamin A
  • calcium
  • copper
  • potassium

Additionally they provide some magnesium and iron.

Oranges provide antioxidant and immune support, have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering benefits, relieve constipation and promote healthy digestion, keep bones and teeth strong and provide protection against cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
SOURCE: ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ 

Gelatine powder is a flavourless, translucent substance derived from the processing of animal connective tissue and bones to extract collagen, an insoluble fibrous protein. 

Gelatine contains easy-to-digest (bio-available) calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, amino acids and trace minerals.

Gelatine helps restore a healthy mucosal lining of the stomach and the colon and balances digestive enzymes and stomach acid which are necessary for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.

Gelatine is made up of about 98% – 99% protein in the form of amino acids.

It’s particularly high in amino acids glycine and proline which are critical for giving connective tissue throughout the body its strength and durability.

Glycine also supports our gluthathione production and detoxification processes, helping our bodies to detoxify heavy metals and other toxins we come into contact with through our diet and environment.

Yes, honey mainly consists of glucose and fructose but natural whole-food sweeteners are more than just the sum of their nutrients…

They contain various substances that work synergistically to nourish and positively affect health in ways that science is just beginning to uncover.

Raw, organic honey contains:

  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • sulphur
  • sodium
  • chlorine
  • phosphate
  • antioxidants
  • vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C
  • digestive enzymes
  • amino acids
  • carbohydrates

Darker coloured honey has more minerals.

Honey also contains a type of complex sugar that acts as a prebiotic to support friendly probiotic bacteria populations in your gut microbiome.
Raw, organic honey naturally supports the immune system due to its anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and antibacterial properties.
For centuries it has been used in the treatment of burns, eczema, wounds, rashes, gut issues, bronchitis, sore throat, bleeding gums, morning sickness and more.
A teaspoon of honey will soothe a sore throat and ease a dry cough (and your child will love it!).
Honey mixed with cinnamon is an excellent constipation remedy.
SOURCE: ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ 

Like this ingredient & nutrient information?

Find even more detailed info in my #notjustacookbook cookbook!

The Mila's Meals Ingredient Glossary

The how, what & why to buy, store & use 156 whole-food ingredients.
"Yes, preparing all your little one’s food yourself is time-consuming. But you have a decision to make. Does the convenience of store-bought processed food outweigh the costs?"
Catherine Barnhoorn
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What people say?

This is a delightful and well-informed feast of a book that is especially written for children that suffer with food intolerances. Catherine is especially mindful of gut health too. The book comes with some great advice on eating for the soul.
Remember when we were told not to play with our food. Wow, I wish I could have a do-over. This book will shed light on how you look at your child’s moods, foods, toxic exposures, colic, constipation, ear infections, runny nose, asthma and so much more.


Its as much about learning how to feed your child as it is about re-learning how to feed yourself
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