Sugar-Free Jolly Ranchers
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Why Xylitol Candy
It is interesting how I get emails and comments stating I am too extreme for some and then I get comments on the other side, stating that I’m not extreme enough. Well, my goal is for everyone to stay on track and stick to this lifestyle and that includes children too. You may be thinking, why do kids need to be on a ketogenic diet? Well, there are a lot of reasons. One of which is the story of this mother which brought tears to my eyes!
“My 8 yo son was diagnosed with Epilepsy in November. Through the guidance of our doctor, we immediately put him on a modified ketogenic diet to reduce the number of seizures he would get. As the holiday approached and the kids in his class were eating candy and decorating cookies, he would come home and cry in his room. Then I stumbled upon your website. With his doctors approval, I made this cookie for him, so that he could enjoy a decorating party with his brother and sister. As a new mother of a special needs child, it brings tears to my eyes that I found your site. With the help of people like you, I can start to give my child some of the things he felt like he was missing. To say you have improved my life is a huge understatement, you have brought the spirit of Christmas back into our house. So grateful, thank you.”
It is stories like this that make me want to create recipes like these suckers. Also, now that I have kids, I see Micah and Kai longingly look at other kids “treats” and I want to give them goodies too. Nothing makes me happier than to be able to provide tasty snacks that they love so they do not feel left out.
What is xylitol? It is a naturally occurring low-calorie sweetener found in fruits, vegetables and certain hardwoods. Our bodies can produce up to 15 grams of xylitol per day from the foods we consume. Xylitol produces a lower glycemic response than sucrose or glucose so it has minimal side effects on blood sugar and insulin. It is not as low as erythritol (Swerve), but sadly erythritol doesn’t work in this recipe because it will not melt down properly (it crystallizes as it cools). Also some people prefer the taste of xylitol as compared to erythritol.
Here are some of the Benefits:
1. 40% fewer calories than sugar.
2. Researchers found that kids who consistently chewed xylitol gum had 40% fewer ear infections than those who did not.
3. Pregnant women benefit from xylitol to keep their teeth healthy especially during the third trimester, when teeth are especially soft.
4. Chewing xylitol gum or mints stimulates saliva flow. This will protect your teeth because it brings the PH levels close to neutral. (diet soda has a pH 2.2)
5. Reduces tooth decay: If you drink acidic sports drinks frequently, eat carbohydrates often and spend hours dehydrated and breathing through a dry acidic mouth, such as athletes and teenagers, these are risk factors for tooth decay. Xylitol inhibits cavities by denying plaque bacteria the fuel (sugar) it needs to erode tooth enamel.
6. Studies show that a consistent use of at least 6-8 grams if Xylitol daily can reduce cavities as much as 80%. If you already have gum disease or cavities, these problems can be reversed. Regular use of xylitol can stop things from getting worse (along with a grain-free diet and increased consumption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K).
Click HERE to find xylitol made from a birch tree .
Click HERE to find candy molds and ingredients.
Sugar-Free Jolly Ranchers
- 1 cup allulose or birch tree xylitol
- 1/3 cup Strong Brewed Tea (strawberry/cherry/lemon/raspberry/blueberry/chocolate)
- 1/4 tsp watermelon oil or other oil like green apple
- 1/2 to 3 teaspoons citric acid natural sour taste
- Place the xylitol and strong brewed tea in a medium sized saucepan over high heat. Bring to 300 degrees. If you get too hot, the xylitol will burn.
- Remove from heat. Stir in oil flavoring and citric acid (depending on how sour you like your candy).
- Pour the hot liquid into candy molds. If making suckers, place a stick in the middle of the mold, then top with a little more hot liquid.
- Place in fridge to set up fast. Let cool before consuming. It is best to let them setup over night.
Gonna try these!
Super excited about this! I have trying to find candy to make for my kids!
Some questions, xylitol causes upset tummies here, any other ideas to exchange? Also, are these hard and can I use silicone candy molds?
You can try it but I don’t think erythritol will melt and crystalize like xylitol. 🙂
Can you make these cinnamon flavored??
That should work. 😉
Would I use a cinnamon tea with the green apple oil?
I think that would work, yes. 🙂
The problem is that most people, unless they have a special needs child, are not going to feed their kids this way. And even then, I think the diet is the last thing to be considered. Too much profit for the drug companies and big companies like Monsanto! There is still so much misinformation out there and such a long way to go!
These look delicious! BUT be sure to keep the xylitol and candies away from your dogs!! It is toxic to dogs even in small amounts!!
Hi Maria: So glad you are talking about xylitol today!!! You spoke of how great xylitol gum is; this is the only food I cannot find a “good” version of. I don’t chew it all the time but when I do I want it to be “Keto Approved”. Could you please tell me where to find it and what brands are okay?
Thanks for all you do!
I have some options here. 😉
Off the subject posted today, but I see a lot of recipies online with pork rinds in them. Is the something u agree with or should I avoid? If u agree what do I need to watch for when picking them out?
They are a good option, yes.
Does this mean xylitol gum is okay during a fast? 🙂
Hi :). Pls help if u can. Since starting a keto lifestyle, my lips have a rash, are chapped, burn, hurt and itch :(. Not sure if related but was sure wondering if u had any ideas? Thank u sooooo much for all u do!!
Some people can experience rashes in the early stages of keto. It is something called the healing crisis where things get worse before they get better as the body heals and detoxes. It should pass over time. Try some coconut oil on your lips to keep hydrated. 🙂
Thank u so much for the info. I already thought of coconut oil too, with no success. But it is good to know it will prob pass with a little time 🙂 thank u so much for your research and recipes!
Your tea link isn’t working for me. Could you tell me the brand/type you recommend?
I fixed it above. Thanks! 🙂
Xylitol is a good choice for people but a deadly choice for dogs. Please when you suggest using it also add the reminder that it, even in small amounts, can be deadly to dogs.
the xylitol link goes to Now Xylitol, which is corn based. I can’t use anything corn based (erythritol is so out), so I use Xyla brand xylitol.
Oops, put the wrong link in there. I updated it above. Thanks! 🙂
When making the tea would you just double the tea bags? I know that may be a stupid question, I jsut want the flavor to be right ;).
Yes, that will make the flavor stronger. 😉
Maria, can you please please please make a recipe for fruit tootsie rolls???
I wonder if you could make a hard caramel candy such as werther’s original with this recipe using caramel tea and extract?
That might work. Let me know if you try it. 🙂
We don’t have access to xylitol in Greece. Can we use erythritol in the exact same way as you use swerve in your desserts?
For this recipe, you need xylitol. Erythrtiol won’t melt like xylitol. 🙂
Christine, I am finding Xylitol at our health food stores here in Thessaloniki. It is rather expensive, but not too outrageous!
Maria, is this really tricky to make? I tried it twice, and both times it crystallized really strangely as it cooled. It was super brittle, and just kindof crumbled in my mouth. Is this how yours is, or do you think I did something wrong?
Mine just stayed really gummy – rather like a stiff gel or goo! It didn’t crystalize or harden at all. Super bummed but not giving up. Just have to buy some more xylitol first.
Actually after sitting out on the counter for close to 14 hours (since yesterday afternoon when I originally posted) about 2/3 of them have hardened. I don’t understand it – but I’m not complaining either!
Weird… Wonder if part of it wasn’t to temperature…
Mine never got hard in the fridge. So I just poured it all back onto a glass bowl, thinking I’d need to rework it and reheat and actually use a thermometer this time… But overnight it’s partially hardened in the bowl on the counter. Perhaps it needs to be room temp, not refrigerated, to harden??? And the residual goo left in the mold, hardened quickly as it sat in the sink waiting to be washed… Hmm…
Bummer. Did you heat it high enough? Some thermometers are totally off.
xylito gives me tooth pain. I’d like to see something like this with Stevia if it’s keto, if possible. thanks.