Vegan Gummy Bears
These vegan gummy bears are naturally sweetened with fruit juice and maple syrup, and free from artificial sweeteners and colours. They’re a great healthy alternative for anyone who loves candy!
I am a HUGE foodie and will try anything at least once. And since going vegan, I’ve had so much fun trying plant-based versions of my old favourite foods.
But there’s one thing I haven’t had since going vegan… Gummy bears.
Although I’ve always been more of a chocolate gal, gummy bears were a close second when it came to eating sweet treats.
Especially Haribo, which for some reason always took me back to watching “Free Willy” in the cinema at the age of 5 with a bag full, every time I ate them… weird.
As you’ll probably know, traditional gummy bears are made with gelatine. In other words, ground up animal parts. YUCK.
Plus, they contain lots of E numbers which are sometimes not vegan-friendly, and not so good for your health either.
So how exactly do you make vegan gummy bears if you don’t use gelatine?
How To Make Gummy Bears Vegan Friendly
By using agar-agar powder!
Agar-agar is a jelly-like substance derived from algae. It usually comes in flakes or in powder form and when boiled with liquid, it sets in a similar way to traditional gelatine.
I first discovered agar-agar powder whilst attempting to make a no-bake cheesecake with condensed coconut milk.
Unfortunately, my filling didn’t set properly (even after a whole day in the fridge!) so I began looking into ways to rescue it. I was told that adding Vege Gel or agar-agar powder might help the filling to set.
Unfortunately, using Vege Gel didn’t work so I ended up having to dispose of the poor cheesecake. But it got me curious about agar-agar powder so I ordered some online.
When it arrived, I decided to scrap the cheesecake idea (I will try again one day!) and attempted to make some vegan gummy bears instead.
I ordered the cutest little gummy bear mold from Amazon which will allow you to create 50 vegan gummy bears at a time.
But the great thing is, because the gummy bears set so quickly, you can pop them out and refill the mold to make as many batches as you like. Which means you only need one mold!
Want more easy vegan dessert recipes?
- 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge
- Low Carb Chocolate Mousse
- Brownie In A Mug Recipe
- Cookies And Cream Milkshake
You can make these vegan gummy bears whichever flavours you like. Here are some of the flavours I tried…
Vegan Gummy Bear Flavours
I used Innocent’s new “Bolt From The Blue” smoothie which is a mix of different fruit juices and some blue spirulina for the colour. The main flavour I could taste was guava and I really liked these gummies!
For blue vegan gummy bears, you can either use this same smoothie or mix a small amount of blue spirulina with a super sweet juice such as guava or apple.
I also made a second batch and replaced ½ of the juice with almond milk. I liked the way these turned out because the colour was much more vibrant thanks to the lightening effects the milk had.
I had high expectations for the grape flavour but sadly it was my least favourite. The flavour just wasn’t strong enough for me personally. If you decide to make grape gummies, I’d recommend adding an extra tablespoon or two of sweetener.
I LOVED the flavour of the cherry juice and I liked that it produced translucent, red vegan gummy bears! They looked just like the real deal.
I also made a batch of cherry gummies with almond milk but feel that this took away from the flavour a little. Lovely colour though!
The mango ones were by far my favourite flavour. They were just the right amount of sweetness and the flavour was so strong!
I made an almond milk mango batch too and they tasted just as amazing. I HIGHLY recommend making mango vegan gummy bears!!
**I will say that the sweeter, richer juices such as mango and orange work best for vegan gummy bears because the taste of the agar-agar powder is quite strong.
Regardless of which juices or smoothies you choose to use, these vegan gummy bears are a much healthier alternative to the traditional ones. You still get to eat a nice sweet treat, but this time there’s no cruelty involved.
How To Make Vegan Gummy Bears
The first step is to clean and dry your gummy bear mold to make sure it’s free from any dirt or dust.
If you don’t have a gummy bear mold, you can purchase one from Amazon. I used the HENGSONG silicone gummy bear mold.
Alternatively, you can use whatever else you have to hand, such as a loaf tin. If you’re not using silicone, I would recommend sprinkling your mold/tin with cornstarch first. This will help to prevent the gummy mix from sticking when you try to pop it out.
Take your smoothie or fruit juice of choice and mix it with your agar-agar powder. I find 1/2 a cup of liquid mixed with 2 tablespoons of agar-agar powder works perfectly for 50 small gummy bears.
You’ll also want to add a tablespoon or two of sweetener to help enhance the flavour, as it can be quite weak without. You can use maple syrup, agave or white sugar.
I tried all 3 variations and they all tasted good. But personally, although it’s not as healthy, I found white (caster) sugar to be the best.
It really brings out the flavours of the fruit juice and helps the gummy bears to become more “chewy” once they’re set. 1-2 tablespoons of sugar per 1/2 cup liquid is the perfect amount.
Give everything a good mix together in a small pot.
Now, place the pot over a very low heat and stir continuously until it begins to thicken. You need to make sure you allow it to heat up long enough to get thick otherwise the gummy bears won’t set properly.
On the other hand, if you heat it for too long, you’ll burn the mixture and end up with “grainy” gummies.
1-2 minutes on a low heat should be just the right amount of time.
Using a small teaspoon or two, gently transfer the mixture into each gummy bear hole.
If you make a mess and the mold holes overflow, you can scrape any excess off using the side of the spoon. Watch the video at the bottom of the page to see what I mean!
Once you’ve got your mold full, pop it into the freezer for 5 minutes. Then just pop your vegan gummy bears out and enjoy!
How To Store Vegan Gummy Bears
These gummies can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. You can also keep them in the freezer if you’d prefer, and they’ll last like this for up to 3 months.
I hope you love these healthy fruit gummies! Please leave me a comment below and let me know the flavour combinations you try- I’d love to know!
Vegan Gummy Bears
A vegan-friendly alternative to gummy bears made with gelatine.
- 1/2 Cup Smoothie or fruit juice of choice (120ml)
- 2 Tablespoons Agar-agar powder
- 1-2 Tablespoons Sweetener of choice**
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small pot.
Put the pot over a very low heat and gently stir until the mixture begins to thicken, around 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to under or overdo this part- too thin and the gummy bears won't set, and if you burn it, they will become grainy.
Spoon the mixture into your bear molds, scraping off any excess using the side of a teaspoon.
Place the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes, then pop out your gummy bears.
**I personally find that white sugar works best for texture and flavour but maple or agave syrup will also work well too.
*Calorie info shown is for mango flavour gummies made with caster sugar.
*Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.