Shiver me timbers, matey. Have I got a tale ta tell ye. You like Pirates? o’ course you do. You’re a little guy and Pirates be cool. Possibly th’ coolest. They sail th’ seven seas in their big old pirate ships with their motley crew and be nigh on invincible. Or be they?
(glad I got that out of my system!)
I know it’s the 21st century and in the developed world you won’t see anyone sporting a nasty case of scurvy, but for Pirates (sorry with 4 boys I’ve learned a lot about pirates over the years) scurvy was a real plague upon their plundering. It was a serious scourge for anyone in the Maritime world pretty much up until the early 20th century when proper treatments were developed and fresh food and fruit was able to be safely stored for long periods of time. Food? Why food? Because food, especially your greens and citrus fruit contain Vitamin C, a must have for our bodies in collagen production. Remember all those times your Mom was haranguing you about eating your greens and pushing an extra serving of fruit on you? You should thank her, since it could be argued that she’s a life saver. Well, duh, she’s a Mom, but you catch my drift.
Flash forward 20 years and now it’s my turn to try anything (be it sneaking in, I’m not above forcing upon, or even the occasional bribe, I know how very pirate of me) to hoist those ‘good for yous’ onto, and into, my own guys’ growing bodies. They may not grow up to be bad ass Pirates in search of treasure, and I do hope there’s no pillaging or plundering in the cards for them, but you can’t beat staying healthy. And there’s no arguing that copious amounts of C are a definite plus.
So what do I do? I buy orange juice. You know, because I think that’s the most logical way to get this stuff into their little bodies in addition to their solid diet. And what do you know. I’ve got plenty of orange juice, orange juice that has an expiration date on it, and Son 4 refuses to drink the stuff. What’s a frugal mama to do? Well, I suppose I could have drank it all myself, and been sick. Or I could have forced it on the older sons and the hubs, but none of them were out of vitamins and I already force a supplement on them, so I’d feel kind of bad.
So I MADE some Vitamin C supplements for Son 4, ahoy! And he was gonna like em! Thankfully, he did. Otherwise there might have been a situation with a plank involved.
They’re pretty fun, especially if you have several different silicone molds to choose from. They’re also tasty, so for him it was closer to getting a fruit snack than taking a vitamin. Perception is everything guys. Wondering how we got them out of the molds so easily? With the silicon molds you just invert the shape and the set gummies pop right out. We’ve even used our molds to make crayons and side walk chalk and (of course) candy. So they’re really a fun and affordable investment.
Orange & Honey Vitamin C Supplement Gummies
recipe adapted from Butter Believer
1 1/2 cups cold orange juice
7 tbsp gelatin powder
5 tbsp honey
4+ tsp of vitamin C powder
1/4 tsp orange extract (found in the baking aisle near the spices)
1/8 tsp vanilla
just a pinch of real sea salt
1. Add the orange juice to a small pot. Sprinkle 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.
2. Now that all the powder has been absorbed, heat the mixture on low and let it liquify. As the juice gets warm and just a bit steamy, stir in the honey and the other remaining ingredients until everything is equally incorporated. Once the mixture is totally liquid (not thick and pudding-like), it’s ready to be poured into your molds.
3. You can use the different shaped silicon molds like we did, 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 or even let the kids use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.
4. Place the filled molds or the baking dish in the fridge for about a half-hour, or until the gummies have completely set. The gummies should easily pop out when pushed from the bottom side.