Candy is delicious and amazing, but have you ever looked at the ingredients and realized you don’t even know what most of them are and if they’re doing more harm than good? You might be tempted to give up candy altogether, but you don’t have to! These natural candy recipes are delicious and actually way better than the real thing!
1. Gummy Bears
Gummy candies are probably one the best candies ever. The only problem with them is they’re just so easy to eat! To make your own, gather together some maple syrup (if you want extra sweetness), fresh fruit juice, gelatin (or agar-agar if you’re vegetarian or vegan), and some candy moulds! If you want to use fresh squeezed juice, avoid pineapple, mango, kiwi, papaya, pawpaw, and guava as they won’t set with the gelatin!
-1 cup each pure apple juice, pure strawberry juice, and pure cherry juice
– 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp maple syrup, divided
-1 cup gelatin or agar-agar, divided
Combine 1 cup juice and 3 tbsp maple syrup in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the juice mixture is almost boiling. Then turn to lowest heat.
Gradually add 3 tbsp gelatin 1 tbsp at a time and whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved.
Using a dropper, pour the mixture into your moulds (silicone is best) and place in fridge to set. If you’re using small moulds, 20 minutes should be fine. If you’re using a large mould or pouring the liquid into a large pan, let it set for longer.
Experiment with flavours and create a strawberry lemonade by mixing strawberry and lemon or a citrus burst by mixing grapefruit, orange, and lemon juice!
Butterfingers are a classic candy bar that brings nostalgia for so many people. Make these delicious bars and skip the crazy chemicals!
-1/4 cup agave or honey
-1 tbsp regular or blackstrap molasses
-3 1/2 tbsp sugar
-1 cup peanut butter
-1 1/2 cups bran flakes, or corn flakes, or another flake cereal (56g)
-1/8 tsp salt
-topping: 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Combine the honey, molasses, and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir for about a minute. Remove from heat.
Add peanut butter and salt and stir until it gets thicker, like a paste. Add the flake cereal and stir well until evenly coated. Don’t worry about crushing the cereal as you stir – this is supposed to happen!
Press into an 8 x 8 pan and leave in the freezer until set. Melt the chocolate chips and pour over top. Remove from freezer once set and cut into bars.
3. Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut butter cups are actually the best candy ever made and I will personally fight anyone who disagrees. Recreate them by making this recipe!
For the chocolate:
-8-9 oz of dairy-free, dark chocolate
-1 tbsp coconut oil
-3 tbsp maple syrup or honey
-8-9 oz semi-sweet chocolate
Peanut Butter filling:
-1/2 cup chilled organic unsalted peanut butter (or any other nut/seed butter)
-1 tbsp ground chia seeds
-2 tbsp maple syrup
-pinch of fine salt
-1/2 to 1 tsp coarse grey sea salt
Line a mini-muffin pan with mini-muffin liners or grease it. Set aside.
Melt together the dark chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler and add the maple syrup.
Using about half of the chocolate mixture, add a bit to each cup of the muffin pan and swirl so that the chocolate adheres up the sides. You can also use a spoon or pastry brush to achieve this. Leave in freezer to harden.
Combine all of the filling ingredients together and mix well. Divide evenly into the muffin cups and cover with the rest of the chocolate mix. Sprinkle some of the coarse grey sea salt on top if desired.
4. Peppermint Patties
Peppermint patties are amazing and incredible and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. Make these homemade ones and share with your friends! If your friends don’t like peppermint patties, get new friends! Bonus: this recipe is paleo!
-1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
-1/3 cup raw honey
-1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
-1 tsp peppermint extract
-1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
-pinch fine salt
-8 oz dark chocolate
Combine coconut, honey, coconut oil, peppermint and vanilla extracts, and salt in a bowl. Once mixed, toss in a food processor or blender and blend until coconut is all chopped up and the filling resembles a very thick paste.
Roll into small balls and press into discs about 1/8″ thick. Toss in the freezer.
Melt the chocolate and dip your frozen discs in the chocolate so that they are evenly coated. Leave in freezer to set and store in the fridge!
5. Sour Gummies
Sour gummies are delightful and honestly, they are a lot easier to make than I would have thought! Try out this recipe to make sour candies!
-1/3 cup fruit-only juice
-1 tsp citric acid, divided
-1/2 cup water, divided
-4 (1/4 oz) packets unflavored gelatin
-1/4 cup coconut nectar
-1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
Combine the juice, 1/2 tsp citric acid, and 1/4 cup water. Mix well and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top of the mixture. Set aside.
Combine the coconut nectar and the remaining 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and pour over the juice mixture. Immediately bring to medium heat and stir until smooth.
Pour into an 8 x 8 pan and leave at room temperature for 2 hours. Cut into pieces. Mix the arrowroot starch and remaining 1/2 tsp citric acid and coat the candies in it. Leave for 8 hours or overnight.