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.
You can find sources of quality, whole-food supplements HERE.
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!
jules m says
yum!!! excited to make these! do you have recommendations for a dosage for kiddos?
thank you! love your blog! 🙂
Thanks so much! I think if I had kids, I’d want them to get about 500 mg a day (during the winter, especially), but that’s just me. You can always check with your doctor/healthcare professional! And then you could do the math to figure out how many mg are in each gummy, by dividing it up, and you’d know just how many to give per day. 🙂
These look wonderful! You put “7 T cup grass-fed gelatin powder” what do you mean by that?
Oh dear! Thanks for noticing the typo and letting me know. 7 tablespoons is what I meant—just shy of half a cup. 🙂
How important is the organge extract? It is the only ingredient I don’t have
Probably not absolutely essential, but I find that any kind of gelatin treat requires a strong flavor while liquid in order to taste right once it’s set. If I didn’t put in the orange extract, I would probably want to increase the amount of sweetener, and/or add some lemon juice for more flavor.
just wondered how long these would keep? in the fridge?
although they might not last long 🙂
I find that we usually eat up all the gummies before they’d have a chance to go bad! But foods with a lot of gelatin keep in the fridge for quite a while—you’ll notice if you’ve ever made a soup or stew with bone broth that gels solid in the fridge, that it keeps for MUCH longer than a regular soup made with broth from the store (with no natural gelatin). I think gelatin must act as somewhat of a natural preservative.
If I were to guess, I’d say these would keep for at least a couple weeks in the fridge.
Ioanna Nalbani says
Can I use apple juice instead of orange? My son has an allergy issue…
You can try pretty much any juice you would like, however, I have heard that apple juice doesn’t work so well with gelatin—that it has a funny taste once it’s gelled. I still haven’t tried it myself (out of curiosity), but I would encourage you to experiment with another type, such as grape, cherry, etc. I can vouch for those that they are tasty!
I just made these; they’re gelling in the fridge now. For an extra orange boost (plus more Vitamin C!), I used a large TB of finely grated orange zest from a fresh organic navel orange. They smell very orangey! I still used about 4 tsp of Vitamin C powder.
Great idea! Thanks, Suzanne!
Won’t the heat destroy the Vitamin C though?
“Vitamin C is the most easily destroyed vitamin there is. It is destroyed by oxygen, heat (above 70 degrees) and it leaks out into the cooking water because it is a water soluble vitamin.” via: http://www.dietitian.com/vitaminc.html#7
If it’s destroyed by heat above 70 degrees, then it would be destroyed the second it enters your 98.6 degree body. 😉
They are referring to 70C, or 158F when the vitamin denatures. http://www.vitaminable.com/at-what-temperature-does-vitamin-c-denature.html
If you put it all in a big baking dish and have it get solid, you can then pull it out in one big sheet. We use little cookie cutters and make fun shapes with them… something the kids LOVE to do themselves.
I’ve also seen a posts on pouring gummies into straws in a vase. Then when they solidify, roll them out with a rolling pin for gummy worms. FUN! Thanks for the tip to add the vitamin C to it!
Will regular gelatin work too? I had never heard of grass-Fed.
the top of mine were foamy so the bottom 3/4 looked fine but the tops stayed white, how can I avoid this?
Hi could I use coconut sugar or stevia as the sweetener? We are on an anti Candida diet and need very minimal sugar. We use a lot of vit c supplements here and have been concerned about the quality for a while. I think my kids will love these. Thanks!
Anything I can use instead of gelatine s it’s animal based and we don’t take gelatin?
Sure, I have no experience with this, but I understand that “agar agar” is a good vegetarian substitute.
Is there anyway you can link to the mold you got? I LOVE your mold, but not sure which one it is on Amazon. Thanks so much! 🙂
Hi! Sorry about that—there is this one that has multiple shapes, and one of them was one of the ones I used:
And then the flower-ish shapes I *think* I got from Ikea… I think! I have so many of these dang molds now I can’t remember, haha!
What do you think about using orange essential oil intead of the extract?
I don’t know very much about essential oils at all, sorry! I don’t think they’re all edible, but I would guess that orange would be. I really don’t know though!
How do you get those gummies out of the mold? Do you spray the mold with an oil? coat it with starch? The gummies I have made in the past sticks to the mold and won’t come out. I had to scoop them out with a spoon, which ruins the shape.
How do you get those candies to come out of the mold in shape? Do you use spray?
No I don’t, I just invert the silicone mold and pop them out. Actually there’s a little trick I have to making that easier—I will make a video post to show how! Basically you use your thumb to sort of detach the gummy from the side of the mold, then invert it and pop it out. Hard to explain. I’ll do the video! 🙂
they don’t taste as good as they look, and yes, you can definitely taste the vit. c powder.
I was trying to figure out the math on this. You said that this recipe makes 2 cups of vitamins, and the mold that you used had 30 molds at about 1 tsp each. This means that you would fill the mold up 1.5 times, approximately. Anyway, if you used 6 tsp that means that there would be 3000 mg of Vitamin C in the entire batch, which would leave about 62.5 mg plus about 4 mg from the orange juice. My math must be wrong here… Please help! Just trying to get enough Vitamin C to fulfill the RDA.
Chris G says
Gelatin powder? That’s not cool, not vegan in the least, could we substitute pectin in there I wonder?
…did you think that this was a vegan-based site? Did you notice the name of it, by any chance?
First time reader! I have some grass fed gelatin and these looked fun! How do you think these would work out if you left out the Vitamin C powder? And maybe used orange zest instead of orange extract. It would make them more of a candy than a vitamin pill I would presume.
EmergenCe is much more than Vit C. Check the package for what else, so while cute and yumma, they lack the health benefits.
Maria Nanda says
Can I make it without using honey because i don’t have honey