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Zucchini Gummy Candy – A Fun and Easy Zucchini Recipe

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Need a new easy zucchini recipe? Make some zucchini gummy candy! This zucchini gummy candy recipe is made without jello or pectin tastes like commercial gummy treats with no artificial flavors, colors or refined sugar.

I saw a recipe online that made them with drink mix and sugar, and coated them with more drink mix – more sugar and artificial color and flavor than I prefer. So I decided to experiment with a simpler version using fruit juice concentrate. It worked out great!

zucchini gummy candy with no Jello or pectin

Naturally Sweetened Zucchini Gummy Candy Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 cups summer squash or zucchini, peeled, seeded and cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can fruit juice concentrate (11.5 ounce)
  • 1 can water

Directions

Prepare zucchini. This is a good use for overgrown garden zucchini – just cut around the seed cavity.

zucchini on cutting board
chopped zucchini in hand

Place cubed zucchini in a large, nonreactive stockpot. (I use an 8 quart stainless steel stockpot.)  Pour in juice concentrate and water.

pot with zucchini and fruit juice concentrate for zucchini gummy candy

Cook gently until translucent and tender, about 30 minutes. Drain in a colander, spread out on dehydrator sheets so the pieces are not touching. In the photo below I have three flavors (top to bottom):  cranberry-raspberry juice concentrate, blueberry juice, and strawberry-kiwi juice concentrate.

zucchini gummy candy in dehydrator

Dehydrate at 135° F for 8-12 hours or until tacky but no longer moist. I usually do mine overnight. As you can see, they shrink dramatically. The dehydrator shown in the photos is my nine tray Excalibur, which I invested in a couple of years ago to keep up with the garden bounty. I also have an older Snackmaster dehydrator, which is a great beginner dehydrator for around $50.

zucchini gummy candy recipe in dehydrator, no gelatin

The original recipe I saw called for rolling these in powdered lemonade mix to do a sweet/sour gummy, but the juice provides plenty of sweetness for me. I'd suggest storing these in the fridge and eating them within a month, or freezing for longer storage. With the sugar content and water content, it's tough to get them dry enough to ensure long shelf life without cooler temps.

And there you have it – summer squash gummy candy made with no artificial flavors or colors and unsweetened fruit juice.

homemade zucchini gummy candy on white plate

How Many Gummy Candies can you make with one Zucchini?

One large zucchini will probably yield 8 cups with careful cutting. To get some different colors for the photos, I tried two different types of juice concentrate and plain blueberry juice (without added water). You may notice that the blueberry gummies are less shiny than the other two. They were also less sweet. The texture and taste is amazingly similar to a commercial gummy candy. I used the leftover juice concentrate to flavor kombucha.

zucchini gummy candy

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Zucchini Gummy Candy – A Fun and Easy Zucchini Recipe

This zucchini gummy candy recipe without jello or pectin tastes like commercial gummy treats with no artificial flavors, colors or refined sugar.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Stove top Cooking/Dehydrating
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 cups zucchini or summer squash, peeled, seeded and cut into roughly 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can fruit juice concentrate (11.5 ounce)
  • 1 can water

Instructions

  1. Place cubed zucchini in a large, nonreactive stockpot. Pour in juice concentrate and water.
  2. Cook gently until translucent and tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Drain in a colander, spread out on dehydrator sheets so the pieces are not touching.
  4. Dehydrate at 135F for 8-12 hours or until tacky but no longer moist. I usually do mine overnight.
  5. Enjoy right away or pack for snacking. For longer storage, place in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within one month. Makes around 2 cups.

Notes

This is a good use for overgrown garden zucchini – just cut around the seed cavity.

Keywords: zucchini, snacks, gummies

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More Zucchini Recipes

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If You You Don't Have a Dehydrator

Check out “Home Food Drying – 6 Things You Need to Know to Dehydrate Food at Home” for an assortment of DIY dehydrator options. If you can get your oven cool enough (around 135° F), you could try trying these on cookie sheets, stirring every hour or so until dry.

Originally published in 2012, updated in 2014, 2018.

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99 Comments

  1. That is so awesome! Grape sounds perfect. I wonder if cherry concentrate (from a brew supply) would be good, too.

    (Now if only our zucchinis will accept this morning’s rain as a sign to put out some fruit. )

  2. I’m curious if you’re using Paraflexx sheets in your dehydrator for this. I was trying to figure out from the picture. I’m drying tomato leather at this moment on parchment paper, which I’ve never done before, and I’m curious what you use for this situation. Also, I guess if you have any other thoughts on which method is best.

    Thanks for the cool idea!
    Sarah

    1. I’m using the sheets that were listed on Amazon with the dehydrator, they’re not the Paraflexx. I’ve seen the material referred to as reusable parchment paper before, but it’s fiberglass coated with Teflon. Not great, I know, but I don’t cut on it and I don’t use it at high temps. The American harvest units have plastic inserts for small foods. You could probably dry it on the mesh safely, but some of my pieces were pretty small.

  3. I wonder if you could roll them in some citric acid, which is the main component of sour gummies.

    My autistic son is a very oral child, and I am always trying things to fill his need to chew and not give him crap like licorice all the time. Raisins are his fave, but we will definitely try these.

      1. Thankfully K is not into sour things, but for another child who it it may work. Or I might try it for myself as I have the occasional craving for sour patch kids.

    1. Careful! Citric acid is now made from GMO mold. Some people are linking GMO’s with autism, although no human studies have actually been done, because the companies that hold the patents don’t allow human studies (but, tell us GMO’s are safe. Huh?) You will have to do your own research. Not enough room here. But, you might want to start with the film ‘Genetic Roulette’. Then do some web searches. Here is a link about citric acid and GMO’s.
      http://www.nogmo4michigan.org/hidden_gmo_exposed_citric_acid

  4. these are great! i made both grape and apple and i did dust them with a store brand lemon drink mix which made them even better! i’m so excited that i now have a way to get my son to eat zucchini!
    thanks for sharing

  5. Elaine – I believe that with the sugar soaking from the fruit juice, further reduction of sugar from cooking and the extended cooking time, the zucchini is serving as a carrier and no longer has real food value as a vegetable and should be treated as a candy treat, not dinner side.

  6. Just found your site and am IN LOVE! So thank you. My question is, would the ratios be the same if using organic bottled grape juice versus concentrate? Thanks!

    1. Welcome, Tami, and thanks for your enthusiasm. 🙂

      The organic bottled juices I’ve tried have been fairly strong, so I think it would probably work, although I haven’t tried it. Drying will concentrate the flavor, and if that’s not enough you could cook down the juice a bit before cooking the summer squash in it.

    1. lol – thanks, Jacquelyn. I wish we’d get some rain so my zucchini would get bigger and I could make some more to try and get prettier pictures. They look funny, but they taste really good!

      1. I make blueberry concentrate with a pressure cooker. Place 1/2 C water in the pressure cooker, then a steamer basket, then your blueberries. Cook on high pressure for about 1 minute and the berries will be juiced. If you use enough blueberries (about 4 pints) you get a strong juice. Works just as well with chili peppers to make hot sauce.

    1. I use heavy duty stainless steel. Glass, ceramic or a coated pan of some sort would be fine. I would not use an uncoated aluminum pan. The aluminum may react with acidity of the fruit juice to produce an “off” flavor.

  7. I was wondering if you have ever tried this recipe using yellow squash. I didn’t plant zucchini this year but will soon have an abundance of yellow squash. I also have a 4 year old boy who loves fruit snacks, but I’ve been forbidding them lately, due to all the sugar and artificial additives. I’d love to try it out and use up some yellow squash. Think it would work?

    1. Yes, the first time I made it I used yellow squash, and called it “summer squash gummy candy”, but more people recognize zucchini than the other summer squashes, so when I updated the photos, I changed the title.

  8. I made these with pineapple orange concentrate, they are delicious. My husband thought that it was dried pineapple. The next batch I am going to puree in the ninja after they have simmered and pour them out to make leather. I see you have the calorie count down but dont see where it says what a serving is. I would be interested in that as they are addicting and I’m sure I’m eating more then I should. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  9. I really want to try making these, but I do not have a dehydrator. Do you have any recommendations for making them using an oven? Thanks!

    1. You can find it frozen, bottled or canned. What your looking for is juice with less later, because during the cooking process, quite a bit of water comes out of the summer squash. If you just use juice, it won’t give a strong flavor.

      1. Thanks so much I just found this recipe this morning and I am going out now to get all the ingredients to make it. Also I got a dehydrator at a yard sale and there is no manual and the ones I found online don’t tell me what to set the vents on? Do you have any idea? I have a Ronco model 187-04. Thanks for your help and a great recipe!

      2. Have you ever tried to cut the zucchini into thin planks and making the gummy that way? My cubes shrunk up into nothing so maybe next time I’ll try it that way.

        1. I did cut it in strips the first time I made it, but it didn’t photograph well. Zucchini has a LOT of water in it, so keep that in mind for sizing. The only thing you really want to avoid is a huge mix of sizes, because then some will be dry and some won’t.

          1. By the way these were great! I will have to borrow another dehydrator to make multiple batches! My 2 year old loves them!

  10. I have a question related. Can you use cucumbers to do this with too? I have an abundance of those and if this works for those too, would be outstanding.

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I suspect the texture and flavor might not work out quite as well. Squash tend to be more bland and a little mealy in texture, while cucumber have a more distinct flavor and crunchy texture. There’s only one way to find out for sure, by trying it. If you do, I’d be very curious to see how it worked out for you.

  11. Okay these are in the Excalibur right now! I’ve been swimming in squash from my CSA box, I did half zucchini and half pattypan squash, I’m hoping the pattypan works out!!! 🙂 They should be grape flavored, I’ll update when I pull them out tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe I love that this is such a unique idea!!

  12. These sound fantastic! What a great idea! We’re a foot deep in snow right now but the zucchini in the summer is always prolific. I’ve let more giant zucchini go to the chickens than I can count. (or the compost) This is a wonderful option. I have a question for you. Do you think that these little gummies would freeze. I’m wondering if I could use a food saver & freeze some while the zucchini is on so that there are some available during these gardenless winter months. Any thoughts?

  13. Just wondering. Can you RE-dehydrate zuchinni? I ask because what if you dehydrate then soak them in a juice concentrate (I put my blueberries in my pressure cooker in a steamer basket with 1/2 C water for 1 minute to make a blueberry juice concentrate) let them soak up the juice then dehydrate them again.
    Not sure if it’s worth it or not. You think soaking the undried cubes in juice in a vacuum sealed mason jar (foodsave sealer here) might get the juice in without first dehydrating? Vecuum sealing works well this way with marinades for meat an veggies.

    Just some thoughts for those wanting to stay away from the sugar and koolade.

  14. Curious if drying simply on a committee sheet out in the hot summer sun would work the same? I make fruit leather that way, so I assume it could written? Has anyone tried?

    1. Our humidity levels are so high most of the time that I don’t try air drying, but if you used small pieces and fruit leather works in your area, the odds are good that it would work.

  15. These were great – a keeper thanks! I just need to find some flavoring that doesn’t have as much sugar as juice concentrates but that will be no problem. 🙂

  16. Well color me intrigued…. I’ve pinned this & will be sharing on my FB page too. Hubby is a big fan of dried fruits, and zucchini usually is quite prolific in the garden. Wouldn’t it be great if I could provide him the snack he craves at a mere fraction of the cost using excess from the garden? Thanks for sharing!

    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~
    Texas

  17. Loved these! I’ll try them with reduced homegrown orange juice next time. I used pineapple concentrate and took advantage of our heat wave (116F) yesterday to dry these in the sun and they came out fantastic. Very addictive, too! Great recipe, thanks!

  18. My grand kids love these!! But they don’t visit often and I wonder if these could be vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer.d

  19. I just finished dehydrating marinated zucchini slices with the peel on and when they were finished it occurred to me that they look similar to apple slices. With that my thought my brain started pondering how to make mock apple slices with zucchini. I don’t want to mess with simmering. I have a vacuum marinator, so marinating is an option. In your experience, do you think raw zucchini would take on the flavor of apple juice if it is just marinated? Do you think the addition of a bit of salt would help with the marinating? I also need to consider the best step to add cinnamon – during marinating, or dusted lightly with cinnamon/sugar before dehydrating. If they end up sticky afterwards I plan to dust with arrowroot powder – that always keeps my mandarin orange slices from sticking together.

    1. I’ve never used a vacuum marinator, but they seem to work pretty well for infusing flavors on the cooking shows. Why not try a small batch with apple juice and cinnamon in the marinade, and another with apple juice in the marinade and cinnamon sprinkled on right before dehydrating and compare the results? That’s usually what I do when experimenting with new recipes.

      1. Thanks for the speedy feedback! I’ll try both, first using plain apple juice as a marinade and then stirring in a little cinnamon to see if it is picked up by the zucchini. This will be a weekend project.

          1. Update: I tried marinading zucchini slices in apple juice concentrate and then dehydrating them. Meh. Bland, very little apple flavor. I tried.   Then I cut up a bunch of zucchin in “gummi” sized pieces and simmered the in the leftover juice concentrate. My intention was to not waste the apple juice and try the natural fruit-flavored gummis. It didn’t get that far. I tasted one of the zucchini chunks after it was simmered in the apple juice. After they cooled I measured out enough for an apple crisp recipe. Hubby declared it almost impossible to tell from apple pie. I’ve had mock apple pie made with zucchini slices before, but it was just OK, very bland in flavor. The apple-juice infused zucchini chunks improved the flavor, and the texture of the chunk zucchini vs slices is very good in the crisp. I have another batch of chunk zucchini simmering in the apple juice to get one more use out of it. I will measure out the zucchini and mix it with the other filling ingredients before putting it in the freezer. This wasn’t a win for dehydrating, but it was a homerun for using giant zucchini and cheap apple juice for a terrific dessert. 😀

          2. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve made the zucchini mock apple pie, but had good results without using apple juice. (https://commonsensehome.com/zapple-pie/) I do precook the zucchini with lemon, sugar and spices, so it probably gives similar results. The boys wolfed the last one down and I’m waiting for the zucchini to get bigger. Our plants were hit by hail this year and have had a heck of a time recovering.

    1. I used my leftover concentrate to flavor kombucha. You could try using it for another batch, but it’s not likely to give as much flavor because the water from the squash has diluted the concentrate. If you wanted, you could mix it with water to taste and drink it.

  20. This is one of the most unique uses for zucchini that I’ve seen yet! I made a delicious mock crisp myself, and that was so incredible that I had to share it on my blog, too. We no longer have zucchini popping up so this will be a fun project next summer- but thank you for the really unique and neat recipe idea!

  21. I just brought in my first 5 yellow and zucchini squash. And I am dying to try this, as my granddaughter always wants treats.
    But I am wondering if I can put the zucchini and juice in my electric pressure cooker. Just so I can be a little lazy and sit back and wait for it to finish.
    Ha’s anyone tried this and how long and what setting do you us?

    1. I don’t think it’s sticky enough to hold together and set up into the shape of the mold, but I may be wrong. If you try to dry it in the mold, it would take a really long time to dry.

      If you decide to try it, test with a small batch. If you get it to work, I’d love to hear how you did it.

  22. Hi there!
    Im doing the keto diet and came a cross this recipe. Wondering if you have tried cooking the zucchini in sugar free jello or sugar free kool aid? Don’t want to use Splenda or stevia. Splenda does have some carbs and I don’t like the taste of Stevia. But I do like sugar free Jello which has no carbs. I think If It was cooked and dehydrated with those it would have very little or no carbohydrates. Just looking for a little something to satisfy my sweet tooth. 🙂 Whats your thoughts?

    1. I’m sorry, I try to avoid artificial colors and most artificial sweeteners, so I don’t have any experience with these products, but I would think you should be able to use them. Try a single batch and see how you like the results. Zucchini, jello and kool-aid are all fairly inexpensive, so it wouldn’t be a huge investment.

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