I used only four ingredients to make these: unflavored gelatin, pure cane sugar, Hydrus concentrated electrolytes, and plain ol' tap water. For about half the batch, I also added artificial banana flavoring on top of the lemon-lime flavor of the Hydrus. You can use any other electrolyte source, but as many of them are powders, I heavily favored the liquid concentrate of the Hydrus as I thought it would mix in better and absorb better when eaten.
I started by mixing a teaspoon of gelatin with three tablespoons of water, just to get the gelatin dissolving a bit while I boiled another 1/3 cup of water. Once it was boiling I added the gelatin mixture to the hot water, to really get it started - this is the typical way to prepare gelatin. Once the gelatin granules were thoroughly dissolved, I poured in 1/2 cup of the pure cane sugar, then started the burner again to bring everything up to a low boil.
Keeping the mixture stirred constantly, I boiled it for about 16 minutes until I FINALLY noticed the liquid was starting to gel. I was worried I had left it on a little too long, but I pulled it off at the first sign of thickening and I think that was a smart move. Two teaspoons of Hydrus went in as soon as I took it off the heat, and I stirred very quickly before pulling out my mold: a 50 cavity GUMMY BEAR MOLD! Honestly, I'm so excited about being able to make my own energy chew gummy bears because they're going to be absolutely adorable AND (if all goes well) a great source of mid-run fuel.
The mold comes with an incredibly handy squeeze dropper, so filling the little bear shapes was a snap. Each dropper-full was enough for four wells, and I got my mold filled quickly before the mixture set any further. I did stop half-way through the mold to add some banana flavoring to the remaining mixture, just to see if the flavor made any difference. With all 50 wells filled, I wanted to move the mold directly into the refrigerator, but neglected to put the very flexible mold on a more solid and portable surface! So I had to let them set a little on the counter before relocating.
Disclaimer: I received the gummy tray at no cost in exchange for mentioning in this post.
A couple hours later: the moment of truth. I'd checked on the gummies a few times to see if they were setting, and while they had definitely firmed up a bit, every time I checked they were definitely not ready to come out of the mold. Finally I decided to leave them overnight and check in the morning pre-race. They'd firmed up enough to not be gooey to the touch, but weren't firm enough to pop out of the mold in any usable fashion! Instead I had a sticky mess on my hands.
I believe my error was in not heating the sugar mixture long enough. I had been worried that it wasn't firming up very quickly, then panicked when it finally started to get just a little more thick, and pulled the mixture off the stove right away. I'm going to be retrying my same recipe this week to see if heating a little longer works better (even though I'm worried I'll end up over cooking my next batch) and will report back on whether the retry is more successful! STAY TUNED!
What do you use to fuel your runs? Have you ever made your own fuel?