Growing up, we always had freshly squeezed orange juice on the table at breakfast, and I bet a lot of you did as well. Lately, however, fruit juices have been getting a bad rap, so I’ve seen this less and less often.
Last week, Tropicana invited me down to visit their orange groves and plants to help bust the myths, celebrate the brand’s 70th anniverary, and teach me how juice is made. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a bottle of OJ again! I have a newfound appreciation for it, and am even sharing a fun little recipe for healthy gummy bears that you can make with Tropicana orange juice below.
It was such a nice treat to get two days of sunshine, and to make some new blogger friends! I was also surprised when my friend Hallie ended up there too. We hadn’t caught up in person since Napa last fall, and it was much needed.
One of my favorite facts that I learned on the trip is that their OJ is made from literally one ingredient: fresh oranges. There is no sugar or anything else added, and it’s been that way for 70 years! We visited one of the 400 groves in Florida that produces those oranges and I can say first hand that they’re handled by people who really care about the product, and keep it as natural as possible. To take it a step further, they time all of their trucks so that each batch of oranges is juiced within eight hours of harvest. They seriously don’t mess around!
Side note, the orange blossoms had bloomed at the groves when we got there, and the smell was out of this world.
Another fun fact is that orange juice is packed with folate, something important for pregnant women and women trying to conceive, as well as Vitamin C and potassium.
After visiting the groves, we checked out the actual plants where they juice the oranges. It was quite an operation, and I honestly appreciate food and beverage companies so much more now that I know how much work and care goes into their processes.
I was surprised, while tasting oranges and orange juice that I didn’t get my usual pregnancy heartburn. It inspired me to make a fun recipe using some of that juice. I’ve been craving gummy candies 24/7 lately, but they’re packed with added sugar and lots of yucky artificial flavoring.
I found this recipe for gummy bears made from three ingredients: Tropicana orange juice, Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Gelatin (which is also very healing for the gut), and honey. That’s it! You can buy the molds and droppers on Amazon for under $10.
Healthy Gummy Bears
– 1 cup, Tropicana orange juice
– 2 tablespoons, honey
– 4 table spoons, Vital Proteins Grass-Fed Gelatin
– In a small saucepan, combine the juice and honey and heat over medium heat until steaming hot (just before boiling)
– Lower the heat to low.
– Whisk in the gelatin one tablespoon at a time, making sure each tablespoon is fully dissolved in the liquid before adding the next.
– Once the gelatin is fully dissolved, remove from the heat and use a dropper to put in your gummy molds.
– Put in the refrigerator to firm up completely – if your molds are small like my gummy bears, it should only take about 10 to 15 minutes for them to firm up enough to pop out.
Thank you to Tropicana for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are my own.