Dragon Fruit Blueberry Tea Gummies

The first time I discovered tea flavored gummies I was at Surfas, a true chef’s paradise and my favorite culinary store in Los Angeles. I found myself moseying through the glorious candy aisle, when bam!, there they were: blackberry hibiscus gummy bearstotally over-priced but quite possibly the cleverest tea & food invention around.

Since that first bag of tea gummy bears, I’ve taken to the kitchen several times to experiment with tea gummy recipes. With the weather heating up this week, I was inspired to make a tropical version of these treats using Tea of the People’s Blueberry x Dragon Fruit Dragon Well Green Tea. This vibrant Lung Ching blend is sweet, tangy, and packed with exotic fruit flavor. You can literally taste the antioxidants and vitamins in the brew, which takes on the most gorgeous shade of ruby-red after a few short minutes of steeping.

My best secret for flavor-packed tea gummies is to steep the tea in juice instead of water. Drop for drop, the candy base will pack equally concentrated tea and fruit flavor. An overnight, cold steep in the fridge produces a brew that’s pure in taste and not cloudy.

I have to admit that I find the shape of dragon fruits to be quite puzzling…attractive, yet rather odd. Dragon fruits actually come from cactus plants. In taste and texture, their flesh tastes a lot like bland kiwi. The color of a dragon fruit’s flesh is either white or hot pink, and is characteristically flecked with small, black seeds. If you’re lucky enough to find one, don’t be scared…try it! That being said, the less adventurous can easily swap out kiwi for dragon fruit in this recipe.

Just like regular gummy candies, these gourmet tea gummies yield a chewy, thick bite that you can really sink your teeth into. If candy molds aren’t your thing, then simply pour the liquid mixture into a baking dish, let it chill, and cut the jelly sheet into small squares. In less than an hour, you’ll be in tea gummy bliss. Guilt-free, antioxidant-packed snacks to munch on whenever you want…there’s lots to love about this adult take on a childhood favorite!

Many thanks to Joshua Caplan, Founder of Tea of the People for sharing his delicious teas with me! Check out the Tea of the People site for more enticing and unique tea flavors, including Acai x Goji Dragon Well and Pomegranate x Yumberry Dragon Wellalso great for making antioxidant gummies.

Dragon Fruit Blueberry Tea Gummies

Makes 5 cups of gummies.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups organic blueberry juice (no sugar added)

2 rounded Tbsp green tea (I used Tea of the People’s Dragon Well Green Tea, Blueberry x Dragon Fruit)

3/4 cup gelatin

1/2 dragon fruit or 2 kiwis, skin removed

1/2 cup organic blueberries

1/4 cup agave or honey

1 tsp stevia

non-stick vegetable oil spray

Equipment:

large pitcher

strainer

blender

candy mold or 9 x 13 baking pan

large pot

large glass measuring cup (with a spout)

Directions:

1.)  In a large pitcher, cold steep the tea by combining it with the 2 1/2 cups of blueberry juice. Mix in the tea leaves so that they are able to fully and freely steep. Set this in the fridge to chill for 6-8 hours, then strain the leaves from the juice until ready to make the gummies.

2.)  Purée the 1/2 dragon fruit (the white flesh only, not the tough pink rind) and 1/2 cup of blueberries in a blender on high. Set aside. Mix the gelatin into 1 1/2 cups of the blueberry juice tea, and allow it to bloom.

3.)  Pour the other 1 cup of blueberry juice tea and the dragon fruit-blueberry purée into a large pot and bring it to a boil over low heat. When it comes up to heat, dump the bloomed gelatin into the hot juice-tea-puree mixture and let it gradually and completely dissolve. Turn off the heat, then skim off and discard any foam off the surface of the mixture. Mix the agave and stevia in until dissolved.

4.)  Give the candy mold or baking pan a very light, even spray of vegetable oil. Pour the mixture from the large pot into a liquid measure. Fill each cavity of the mold, carefully pouring directly from the liquid measuring cup. If using the baking pan, pour the entire amount of the mixture from the large pot to the baking pan. Place the filled molds or pan into the fridge or freezer until the gummies are fully set and firm to the touch. In the freezer, it will only take about 5 minutes for the candy mold gummies to set.

5.)  Use your fingers to remove the gummies from their molds. If using the candy mold, repeat steps 4 & 5 as many times as it takes to use up all the tea mixture. If the gelatin tea mixture starts to set in the measuring cup, give it a zap in the microwave for 10 seconds to return it to a liquid state. Store gummies in the fridge in an airtight container.

French Tea Gummies

Artfully blended and bold, a good cup of French tea is the most decadent treat. Today’s recipe for French Tea Gummies is inspired by the gorgeous black and hot pink tin of tea that’s been hiding in the back of my tea cabinet since I bought it in Paris last year.

Fauchon’s Raspberry Macaron Blend has a perfume-like quality that makes it ideal for using as a base in simple and sweet food items like candies. If you are thinking that fancy tea should be left out of the cooking realm, this recipe will help to change your mind. When carefully selected, certain high-quality teas can take your food from one-note to extraordinary.

I became enamored by fleur di lys (literally translated as “flower of the lily”), a classic symbol of all things French, when I visited Quebec a few years ago. There are so many options when it comes to molds for gummy candies, but I must say that I was really excited to find this design. I don’t know who would have thought to make candy molds out of a motif so distinguished, but I’m glad they did because these gummy candies wouldn’t have half their charm without their artistic shape.

I hate to tell you this, but Fauchon’s Raspberry Macaron Blend isn’t available in the US. Don’t worry though, Harney & Sons Paris blend or Mariage Freres’ Marco Polo will both work great here. To put it simply, use any black tea that’s floral (roses) and fruity (berries), and has you coming back for more!

Adding milk into tea is a tradition in French tea-drinking. To honor this, I’ve introduced an option for a tea gummy that has a touch of milk added to it. This custom was started by none other than Madame de Sévigné, a French aristocrat who would add the liquid as a way to take the edge off of tea that had traveled for years before reaching her. It’s a custom that many still know and love, so I certainly didn’t want to skip it!

Instead of using corn syrup, which is typical for gummy snacks, I’ve used a combination of honey and stevia in this recipe. The honey helps to create a chewy texture, while the stevia gives a boost of natural sweetness to make these bites taste truly candy-like.

The black tea is steeped with triple strength here, so that it’s flavor is noticeable and shines through. This is a culinary trick anytime you cook with tea…steep it strong–very strong–much stronger than feels right! And even though we want a strong tea, we don’t want a tea that’s been over-steeped, so read your tea’s packaging carefully for brewing instructions.

Take my advice…get more than one mold and make plenty of these, because you seriously won’t be able to stop eating them once you start. Healthy, nutritious, and incredibly delicious, they are the most childishly sophisticated snack around. Kids will like these French Tea Gummies, but it’s the adults who will absolutely love them!

French Tea Gummies

Makes 2 cups of gummy candies.

Ingredients:

6 oz package organic raspberries

juice of 1 lemon (2 Tbsp)

4 Tbsp honey

1/4 tsp stevia

1 cup strongly brewed tea, preferably flavored, French, or French-inspired! (ratio of 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp loose tea leaves)

6 Tbsp gelatin

non-stick vegetable oil spray

5 Tbsp evaporated milk (optional)

Equipment:

Fleur de Lys candy/chocolate mold

medium pot

medium bowl

tea brewer

timer

medium mesh sieve

spatula

small spoon

Directions:

1.)  Place the raspberries and lemon juice in medium pot and place on low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the raspberries are completely broken down. You can use the back of the spatula to help with this process. Place a sieve over a medium bowl. Pour the raspberry mixture through the sieve to remove all the seeds. Add the honey and stevia to the strained juice and mix in. Set the raspberry juice aside.

2.)  Brew the tea. It’s typical to brew black tea for 4-5 minutes with water at 212 degrees F. Set aside.

3.)  Scatter the gelatin on top of the raspberry mixture and mix it in. Add the hot tea in and mix together until you get a homogenous mixture. If you notice clumps, add the mixture back into the pot and cook on low heat until the gelatin fully dissolves. Use a spoon to skim off and discard any foam off the surface of the mixture.

4.)  Give the candy mold a very light, even spray of vegetable oil. Using a small spoon, fill each cavity of the mold. Place the mold into the fridge or freezer until the gummies are fully set. In the freezer, it will only take about 5 minutes. Repeat the process as many times as it takes to use up all of the tea mixture. Meanwhile, if the raspberry-tea mixture starts to set in the prep bowl, give it a zap in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to return it to a liquid state. Store gummies in the fridge in an airtight container.

Variation:  If you like a bit of cream in your tea, add 5 Tbsp of evaporated milk to the tea after it has been brewed in Step 2. Alternatively, I like to add 2 1/2 Tbsp of milk after there is a half portion of the raspberry-tea mixture left (after you’ve spooned out 1/2 of the mixture). This way I get 2 types of gummies (one cup of clear gummies & one cup of milky gummies) from one full recipe.

Green Tea Jello with Honeyed Fruit

Just last year my mother-in-law introduced me to green tea jello.  This jello was much like the American version of gelatin that comes in a packet in powder form, where you simply add hot water to make it.  Looking for a way to make that same tea jello dessert with better and fresher ingredients, I came up with this easy Green Tea Jello recipe.  Topped with honeyed ripe fruits, these jellies makes a healthy, refreshing, and effortless spring or summer snack.

To make this Green Tea Jello you need just a few simple ingredients.  As a base for the jello, I’m using my one of my favorite bottled Japanese green teas, but you could easily use a black, white, or even herbal tea instead.  There is no water to boil or tea to steep, as I did say this recipe would be easy!

Other than the tea, there are two ingredients that will make this tea jello simply delicious.  I’ve had this bottle of orange blossom water sitting in my pantry for the longest time.  Since I bought it in the same section that you find rose water, I figured that it would have the same potency that rose water does, but after trying a dab I realized that it’s a completely different ingredient.

Orange blossom water is a by-product of the perfume distillation process.  It’s often used in Middle Eastern cooking, and is sometimes used in making baklava.  Where orange blossom water is soft and fragrant, it gives a light suggestion of beautiful floral notes instead of actually tasting flower-like like rose water does.  It’s optional in this recipe, but if you haven’t tried it before I highly recommend it.

Another yummy ingredient I’ve used in my tea jello is some good-quality local honey.  I received a jar of Bee Local Honey from my friend Yvonne over at Dress this Nest blog, when she sent me a care package as part of the 31 Days of Kindness Project.  I can’t tell you how amazing this honey is!  It’s so smooth and almost buttery in texture.  For this recipe, try to forgo the run-of-the-mill honey bear at your grocery store and hit up your local farmer’s market for the good stuff.

I like to ladle the gelatin into teacups so that it’s obvious that this dessert is made from tea. Top the jello teacups with any variety of fruits that look colorful and are in season.  After cutting the fruit, blot the pieces lightly with paper towel and then lightly drizzle them with a bit of honey to give them a nice glossy finish.

Green Tea Jello with Honeyed Fruits is an amazingly tasty and healthy refreshment or way to end a meal.  It’s deliciousness lies in it’s wholesomeness and the addition of some unique quality ingredients.  Give these a try and you’ll see how rewarding it is to transform tea into something you can actually eat!

Green Tea Jello with Honeyed Fruit

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

4 cups of bottled or canned green tea (I used Ito-En)

2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin

1/4-1/2 cup good-quality honey

2 tsp orange blossom water (optional)

fruits of your choice

extra honey, for coating fruit

Equipment:

medium microwave-safe mixing bowl

large mixing bowl

liquid measuring cup

microwave

small ladle

paper towels

6 teacups, for serving

Directions:

1.)  Place 2 cups of green tea in a medium size bowl and place in microwave on high for 3 minutes.

2.)  Meanwhile, add 2 Tbsp of gelatin to the remaining 2 cups of cold green tea in a large mixing bowl.  Stir the mixture and allow the gelatin to bloom.

3.)  Carefully remove bowl of hot tea from microwave and stir in 1/4-1/2 cup of honey, depending on the sweetness, until it dissolves.  Stir in the orange blossom water.

4.)  Add hot tea mixture to cold tea mixture and stir until everything appears evenly dissolved. Ladle liquid gelatin into teacups and set in fridge to chill for 3-4 hours until fully set.

5.)  Dice the fruit into 1/2″ pieces, then blot dry with some paper towels.  Drizzle and toss the fruit with the reserved honey to create a glossy look, then spoon atop the set jello and serve!