Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep

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Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN

I regularly make healthy gummies for my kids because they are a great way to get them eating healthy snacks, instead of sugar-laden chemical junk that they sell at the stores. I add fresh squeezed juices, kombucha, and sea salt to them to enhance their nutritional content. This week my kiddos were looking like they might be coming down with something, and they were not sleeping very well to boot! So I wanted to come up with something to help them sleep and boost their immune system. I whipped up some tart cherry and elderberry gummies!

Here is why this recipe works:

Tart cherries: Studies have shown that tart cherries have a sleep enhancing effect on the body!

“A glass or two of tart cherry juice before bedtime may improve sleep, suggest results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”(source)

“Tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep” (source)

Gelatin: Gelatin also helps promote sleep. Learn how amazing gelatin is for your health HERE

“Gelatin contains a high percentage of glycine, a non-essential amino acid and inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is known to decrease anxiety and to promote restorative sleep” (source)

Elderberry syrup: immune enhancing and protective against colds and flu. Get my recipe for Elderberry syrup HERE

“The bioflavonoids in elderberry syrup boost the body’s immune system by increasing antioxidant levels and viruses that damage cell walls. A daily dose can assist you in preventing both acute and chronic disease.” (source)

Raw Honey: Honey had been shown to be anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years. If you really wanted to step up your game, you could use Manuka honey! — find it here

So there you have it! These little gems should help the kiddos get the restorative sleep they need when fighting an illness and the immune boosting properties of the elderberries. Winning! Here is how to make them….


Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN


  • Heat 1/2 cup of juice until bubbling

Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN

  • In a glass jar combine gelatin and heated juice, stir briskly to dissolve gelatin

Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN

  • In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients and whisk until well combined. (Note: do not use honey in this recipe if you plan to share these gummies with anyone under the age of one year)
  • Pour into molds — like these

Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN

  • Put molds into refrigerator until set, at least one hour
  • Enjoy!

Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of gelatin, my friend Sylvie wrote an entire book on the subject. You will be amazed at the healing powers of gelatin!!! Check it out HERE.

CLICK HERE to Pin this recipe

Elderberry Gummies for Cold, Flu and Sleep | Real Food RN

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  1. Erin says

    Good morning! Would it be possible to make these without the elderberry syrup? While I love the idea of the syrup, I don’t have any on hand and I’d like to make these ASAP. Could I just increase the amount of juice to 1 1/2 cups? Thanks for your help!

      • Michelle Botha says

        Hi Kate! We have been using these gummies for a while now, and they really seem to work magicly!! Although I was wondering if we could substitute ” Cherry & Berry Juice ” for the ” Tart Cherry Juice ” ? ( in the case that we aren’t able to find it overseas ) Will this effect the recipie and results in any way?
        Thank you! Hope to hear from you soon! (:

        • says

          Hey Michelle, so glad you have been liking them! You could certainly sub another juice. The cherry juice is included to help with sleep. You will still have medicinal benefits, just not the sleep benefit :)

  2. Kelly says

    Hi Kate! This is great! How many does this recipe make? Also, what is your recommended serving size for kiddos? I have an 11 yr old, 7 yr old and 4 yr old.
    Thanks, Kelly

  3. Kim says

    If you are using raw honey in the elderberry syrup that goes in the gummies doesn’t that make the gummies a no-go for under a year anyway?

  4. tiffany hunsinger says

    Omgosh! Thank you so much. My daughter loves gummies but I hate givibg them to her. What is your recipie for regular gummies? She would love to have these & help

    • says

      No since the hot water is used to dissolve the gelatin and then cold water is added to it before combining with the rest of the stuff. The honey is the last addition so the liquid is cool by then.

  5. says

    Sara Fisher: Their website says: How are the cattle raised?

    Our cattle are grass fed and slaughtered in Argentina and Brazil which is controlled by their respective Department of Agriculture. These countries have the same type of rigourous tests and inspections as the United States. Beef hides are the only product used to manufacture gelatin in these countries.

  6. Auralia says

    Hello & thank you for this great looking recipe! I want to make them and have them on my station at work!!! I need to find a vegetarian option for the gelatin though, do you have any recommendations? Thanks in advance, Ann

  7. Kristin says

    Can you use store bought elderberry syrup, like from health food store…and use less? I think it would be more concentrated??

    • says

      I think so although I have not done it. Might want to measure out what about 48 doses would be, thats approximately how many gummies it makes (depending on your mold size)

  8. Jill B says

    Can I send in kids lunch or do they need to stay cold? And how many days can they be stored? Can manuka honey be used?

  9. Nanci Spurgin says

    I really like the berry mold you show here but I have scoured Amazon and can’t seem to find it.. Do you happen to remember where you got yours? Thanks so much for all of your wonderful recipes. I appreciate what you share with us!

  10. Donna says

    This sounds great, & I’d like to try these, But I can’t seem to find how much cold water you add after the gelatin has been dissolved,

  11. deborah s says

    Wow, my daughter and I love gummies. I am going to try to make these. And some for just snack purpose. Thanks for recipe

    • says

      The honey is added after the hot and cold liquids have been combined so it will not be hot enough to destroy the benefits of the honey. Add it last.

  12. Renee says

    I just got these same molds at Target a couple days ago! Mine are in the fridge setting right now. My 4 yr old keeps asking if they are ready!

  13. Tammi says

    Any tricks to getting the gelatin to dissolve? I keep getting clumps or so much froth on top from whisking that they don’t come out well.

    • says

      You have to make sure the juice that you heat up is really hot, then stir in the gelatin until dissolved. If you keep getting chunks, then heat it up.

  14. says

    I keep getting major chunks with my gelatin too. It was heated to boiling but as soon as I added the gelatin (same brand as above) it turned into cement clumps. Excited to try this once I figure that little problem out! I did just put a batch in the fridge but I’m guessing at least 1 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin was lost to clumping.

      • Lisa says

        If you “bloom” the gelatin first…stir into cold juice and let it dissolve, then add to the hot juice….it won’t clump. I’ve been using gelatin for quite some time in a variety of ways, and have found that stirring it into
        cold liquid first is key to no clumping.

  15. Angela says

    The tart cherry juice concentrate is mentioned in the article. I’m assuming you dilute the cherry concentrate per directions on the bottle to get the 1 1/4 cup of juice. Right?

  16. says

    I used candy molds, (plastic trays) I found at Michael’s craft store. Bought 5 trays, 2 hearts, 2 oval and 1 round. Made 74 of these gummies. I had a turkey baster I used to put the juice in the candy spots. Took up the entire top shelf of my fridge.

  17. says

    I wanted to add that the great lakes gelatin clumps easily if you stick it right into hot liquids. The directions on the orange label gelatin suggest that adding the gelatin to cold liquid and stirring and allowing it to bloom helps. So this time around I took the cherry juice and elderberry (both cold from the fridge) and added the gelatin, gave it a mix and then heated that mixture. Then added honey(mixture wasn’t that hot. Then put in the candy molds. This is the same method I use when adding gelatin to my green tea.

  18. Teresa says

    Mine didn’t set up, what did I do wrong? This is the first time I have used this Great Lakes Gelatin, very hard to dissolve. My Cherry concentrate came to a bubbling boil. It tastes so tarte, I don’t know that I could enjoy them. I used Fruit Fast Tart Cherry Juice concentrate, it is very thick and very expensive.

    • says

      You can use whatever juice you would like. I just use cherry juice because it’s a natural source of melatonin….which means sleepy kids :)

  19. Clara says

    I just bought gelatin powder from the health food store but ingredients say organic porcine gelatin? Also the cherry juice is it like drinking juice from concentrate steIght from the bottle?

  20. Allison says

    So if you’re using the tart cherry juice for melatonin properties for better sleep ,are you giving the kids the gummies as a snack closer to bedtime?

  21. Shan says

    I use a little rosé hip powder in my elderberry syrup too :). Good vitamins C :).
    :) thank you. These are great.

  22. Clara says

    So the Great lakes gelatin you buy is it bovine or porcine for this recipe?
    I cant seem to find great lakes in Calgary, Canada but found it on line
    at amazon.ca

  23. Allison says

    Hi Kate, I tried to make this tonight and used identical ingredients to yours. I made sure my juice was boiling and mixed the gelatin till smooth but when I added it to the other ingredients it started to get very clumpy! How do I avoid this next time? Thanks for sharing:)

    • says

      Allison, sometimes I get clumps too. Just reheat the juice with the gelatin and whisk. When you add the gelatin to the hot juice, always make sure that you are stirring vigorously the whole time. Hope this helps!

  24. Melanyann says

    I have the same molds you used here, but not one of mine came out looking as cute as yours. Every one of them tore when I tried to pop them out. Do you have any tips on how to get them out in one piece? Should I spray the molds with oil first? Any advice is appreciated! These are super yummy, btw!

    • says

      You need to make sure they are completely set. If they are still setting, they will tear apart when coming out. This happens to me when the kids want them NOW and they are not quite ready yet. Glad you like them :)

  25. Ginny Jones Jeffery says

    Just made these and they are so good! They look just like the picture and they popped out of the mold easily. I was using a silicone mold but can imagine how they might tear with a more rigid mold. I incorporated the gelatin by pouring it in slowly while constantly whisking when the juice was warm, not hot, and had no clumps. I don't have kids, I made them just for me b/c I have a cold and the picture looked so yummy. They did not disappoint : )

  26. Brandi Nadler says

    So glad I found your site. I'm looking forward to trying the elderberry syrup and gummies and also the dish detergent.

  27. Hillary Wallace says

    Hi! I made these today with my very excited 5 year-old. They came out well, but I will say a bit rubbery. Is that the type is gelatin I used? We love gummies around here, but would definitely like to figure out how to make them a little softer. Any thoughts? Thanks you!!!

  28. Lauren says

    Can I use store bough elderberry? I just don’t have the time to make my own right now, but my little guy has been having a difficult time taking his daily dose, so this would be perfect if I can get him to eat it in gummy form.

    • says

      People have done that. Read the comments on this post, there should be some info there. I have not personally done it so I cannot speak to how much to use. Hope your little guy is feeling better soon!

      • Lauren says

        I only found one post recommending to measure out about 48 doses. Should I mix all of the other ingredients, pour in molds, and then add the exact dose of elderberry to each mold? Can’t think of any other way.

        Also, Is the heating of the juice needed in order to make the gelatin form, or can I skip heating it? Thanks!

  29. says

    I made the elderberry syrup yesterday and it was great. Then I made the gummies and they never set up. I followed the directions, used the exact ingredients, but they’re still liquid. Can I pour everything back into a bowl, add more gelatin, and try again with the same batch? I don’t want to waste it.

  30. Ioana Pop LaFleur says

    I couldn't wait to make these for my kids; very easy to make, turned out well, but no one liked them. I used homemade elderberry syrup, and I think the elderberry taste/smell was too strong.

  31. Lili.D says

    Thank you for this recipe (and the elderberry syrup one too). We made the gummies today and they were a hit with my kids.

  32. Adriana says

    Hi. I would like to know if I should give my kids the syrup and the gummies at the same time in the case of a cold or flu. And how many gummies per snack please.
    Many thanks! I’m excited about to make this recipes;)

  33. says

    I was so excited to make these, but they didn't work at all! :( I don't know what I did wrong. I saw the comment about adding the gelatin slowly. I wish I'd done that because i had so many clumps. Also, that SMELL! The cherry juice and gelatin smelled exactly like a dog kennel to me. Anyone else think it smelled terrible? By the time I got the rest of the ingredients mixed in, it was too gelled to pour into a mold and had huge clumps of gelatin. I think I'll just try to elderberry syrup straight.

  34. Adriana says

    Hi Kate, thank you for your reply in my prior post 😉
    I finally was able to make the syrup today but I didn’t realize that for the honey I needed pretty much the whole jar (11oz) I just had a half of it. Do you think it’s going to be effective for the daily doses??
    And also do you use silicone molds or just ice cubes mold?

    • says

      Hey Adriana, I have had that happen to me before too. I think the most medicinal part of the syrup is in the berries. It’s just harder to get the kiddos to want to take it without the proper amount of honey 😉 I use silicon molds for the gummies, I don’t think ice cube trays would work because you can’t push the gummies out like you can with silicon molds.

  35. Adriana says

    Hi Kate! Thank you again for your reply. I’m sorry to disturb you again (I’m new in this) 😉
    I would like to know if you need to storage the jars in the fridge, because after 4 days mold started growing in the gummies or we need to eat them quicker?
    Also, do you know if I can freeze the Tarte Cherry juice? I don’t know what else to do with it and it was a bit expensive, don’t want to throw it away. So was thinking if I can use it frozen later to make some more gummies.
    Many many thanks!!

  36. happygirlfriend says

    where might I find unflavored gelatin? We have whole foods, sprouts and natural grocers but I was told none of them carry it …do I really have to pay for it online every time?

    • says

      Most health food stores should carry it. Ask, sometimes its in a weird location. I always order mine online because the stores usually mark the price WAY up!

  37. susan says

    Hi! I just found your site today, and I am loving everything I am reading!
    About the gummies – could you pour the mixture into a shallow pan and cut shapes out of that? I have a teeny kitchen, and really don’t have room for anything else (like a mold).


  38. Andrea says

    I accidentally bought the green can of the gelatin, Collagen Hydrolysate. Can I still use it for this? What is the difference between the 2? Thanks!

  39. Diana says

    Hi there! I have just finished making these in regular ice cube trays (only half full to keep the size smaller) but they seem to be sticking and I have to use a knife to sort of pop/scrape them out. Should I be giving the normal plastic trays a little non-stick spray? Any tricks you might know?

    I used grape juice instead because I’m not a big cherry fan. However, I am quite thrilled with how easy these were to make and how delicious they taste. I am a teacher and plan on keeping a stash of these at school to fight off all those germs. Do they have to be refrigerated? Can they be stored at room temperature in a mason jar (to keep them sealed well)?

    Thank you so much for the syrup and gummy recipes!

    • says

      you could grease the molds with some coconut oil. You could also try adding a little more gelatin to the recipe to firm them up more. I would not store them at room temperature, they might melt a bit or mold. Glad you like them! If you have a mini fridge in your classroom, that would be ideal.

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