Did you know that around 1 in 3 people are deficient in vitamin C? Sure, you may not be walking around with a gnarly case of scurvy, but it’s estimated that many people aren’t even meeting the RDA for vitamin C, which is more like a bare-minimum recommendation, rather than the amount you’d need to be optimally healthy. A recent study found that 34% of men and 27% of women are deficient in vitamin C. I wonder how many more aren’t getting the optimal amount!
What’s optimal? Well, based on my research, to fully support immune system and cardiovascular health (yes, C is important for that, too!), along with vitamin C’s many other benefits related to its antioxidant properties, 500-1,000 mg per day would be optimal, especially during times of illness or weakened immunity.
But it can be hard to get enough vitamin C from your diet alone. Supplementation can be a great idea, but your vitamin C supplement should be chosen carefully.
Most Vitamin C supplements made synthetically from GMO corn
Almost all vitamin C supplements—or, geez, almost all vitamin supplements in general—are actually synthetic vitamins. Meaning, they were created in a lab, not created naturally from whole foods. I’m a little leery of synthetic vitamins in general, but vitamin C is particularly troublesome, because synthetic vitamin C is made from corn, usually genetically-modified corn.
And GMO corn freaks me out more than other GMO foods, because the corn is genetically modified to produce its own toxic pesticide. That’s right—GMO corn is engineered to serve as its own little pesticide “factory.” (And then they still go on and douse it with carcinogenic glyphosate. Thanks, Monsatan! Ahem.)
Anyway, so they use corn syrup to synthesize ascorbic acid, which is really actually not even true vitamin C—it’s more like the outer “shell” of the vitamin C complex. But it still has properties that do things for your body which vitamin C is supposed to do, so, the chemical vitamin manufacturers just call it good.
Well, I say that’s not really good enough. So for me, I use only whole-food form vitamin C supplements, which are made from fruits and plants that contain lots of naturally-occurring vitamin C.
And then, you can make your own chewy, tasty, vitamin C gummies with it! These are also made with the goodness of natural gelatin powder, made from grass-fed cows.
Sweet Orange Vitamin C Gummies
Makes about 2 liquid cups’ worth of gummies
- 1 1/2 cups cold orange juice
- 7 T grass-fed gelatin powder
- 4 T honey
- 4+ tsp vitamin C powder (this is the kind I used for this particular recipe—it’s organic and made from whole fruits. More varieties of quality, whole-food vitamin C powder and other supplements can be found HERE.)
- 1/4 tsp organic orange extract
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- Pinch real sea salt
First, pour your juice into a small saucepan. Sprinkle in the gelatin powder on top. Now, you’re going to let the gelatin “bloom”—this is key in getting good texture in your gummies and allowing the gelatin to fully dissolve. As the gelatin powder absorbs the liquid, it will cause the juice to swell up into a weird, wrinkled, brain-looking thing in your pot (kids always get a kick out of this). Let it do this for a couple minutes, and if the juice hasn’t totally absorbed the gelatin and you see white powder floating on top, stir it in. You can’t let any white powder on top stay there, or it will cause lumps of goo to remain (which are nearly impossible to dissolve) once you heat it up.
So, with all the powder absorbed and bloomed, heat the mixture at a low temperature and let it liquify. As the juice gets warm and steamy, stir in the honey and remaining ingredients. Once the mixture is totally liquid (not thick and pudding-like), it’s ready to be poured into your molds.
You can use cute little silicone candy molds like I did (find some cute ones here), or you can simply pour the mixture into a small glass baking dish or baking pan, and then you can cut it into squares after it’s set.
Once you’ve poured the mixture into your molds or baking dish, just stick it in the fridge for about a half-hour, until it’s completely set. The gummies should easily pop out of the molds if you just push them outta there from the underside. Sometimes they really do pop out of there and wind up shooting across the kitchen floor! And then your dog eats one. Oh well, it’s good for him.
Oh, and a note about the vitamin C powder — I used 4 teaspoons of the vitamin C powder, and I couldn’t taste it in there at all. Next time, I’m going to add even more—probably at least 6 teaspoons—so that there will be more vitamin C per gummy. Each teaspoon of the whole-food vitamin C powder I used contains about 500 mg vitamin C, so if you do a little math, you can determine exactly how much vitamin C is in each gummy, if you’d like to know.
Now, skip the icky fizzy (GMO) powdery drinks, and eat these tasty gummies next time you need a Vitamin C boost! Enjoy!