Tart cherry sleep gummies are made with four simple ingredients of tart cherry juice, water, gelatin and magnesium powder to help support a restful night’s sleep.
With no added sugar they’re a great way to help your body’s natural production of melatonin and create a calming nighttime experience.
Chances are you’ve probably at least once bought a melatonin gummy or some “supplement” to aid with sleep.
With sleep being such an important component to overall health, it makes total sense and I too have done the same.
Without mentioning names though, one day I turned over the container of my sleep gummies to actually read the ingredients.
Novel idea right?
Well, when I found 5g of added sugar in the ingredient list, I immediately chucked the container in the garbage.
I should’ve known better.
Not for nothing but how is something that’s supposed to help bolster a peaceful night’s sleep going to do that with added sugar? I struggle to understand that rationale.
So, after thinking about it for many months and with the well established sleep benefits of tart cherry fresh in my head from making this sour cherry crisp recently, I decided to create my own tart cherry sleep gummies.
With just FOUR ingredients (one of which is literally water), making these natural sleep gummies is even easier than making jello.
There’s no added preservatives, dyes or sugars. You control everything start to finish.
With both tart cherry juice and magnesium powder, not only will these gummies help you rest well, they taste delicious too and create a fun nighttime ritual!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE TART CHERRY GUMMIES
Don’t blink because there’s just four!
100% Tart cherry juice – it’s best to find an organic brand and make sure you’re using juice not concentrate. Also, the juice should not be from concentrate. It may be referred to as sour cherry juice (tart and sour cherries are the same thing).
Water – not much to say here. It’s only 1/2 cup and not even totally needed but I like diluting the juice a bit.
Magnesium powder – many brands like Natural Vitality’s calm product are great for helping aid sleep on their own. Mixed in with the tart cherry juice in these gummies, it’s a 2 for 1 deal!
Gelatin – this is what turns the liquid into a gummy. Source quality gelatin for this recipe. I use Further Food unflavored beef gelatin but there are many high quality brands out there. Look for pastured, grass-fed gelatin.
HOW TO MAKE TART CHERRY GUMMIES FOR SLEEP
First, prepare a baking dish by lightly greasing it with coconut oil.
I used the same 9.5×6″ rectangular baking dish as in the chickpea blondie recipe. It’s my go to for almost anything but an 8×8″ or similar sized dish will work just as well.
Next, combine the tart cherry juice, water and magnesium powder in a small sauce pot over medium heat.
Stir gently until the foam from the magnesium powder dissipates.
Add the gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes then remove from heat.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool for about 2 hours until firm.
Once completely firm, remove and slice into squares using a sharp knife.
Remove the square gummies from the baking dish using a metal spatula.
GELATIN VS. COLLAGEN
A note here to emphasize that gelatin and collagen are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably in these gummies.
Collagen dissolves into hot or cold liquid and does not “gel” up. Gelatin will only dissolve into hot liquid and firms up as it cools.
Collagen is great for adding to things like a spirulina smoothie or even in cookies like gingerbread collagen cookies for added protein (besides typical uses like in your coffee, etc.) but gelatin should be used for applications like making these sleep gummies or grapefruit jello.
HOW TO STORE TART CHERRY GUMMIES
Place the squares into an airtight glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
CAN THE GUMMIES BE FROZEN?
I don’t suggest freezing these. The gelatin might get weird in the freezing and thawing process resulting in the gummies losing shape.
Much like you wouldn’t freeze jello, these sleep gummies are best stored in the fridge.
If you do decide to try keeping them in the freezer, make sure to separate the squares with parchment paper so they don’t stick to eachother.
TART CHERRY GUMMY BENEFITS
Let’s get to all the amazing natural sleep benefits of both tart cherries and magnesium in these gummies!
I’ve long touted the benefits of tart cherries from their ability to reduce inflammation, aid in muscle recovery after a workout to improving sleep, they’re an impressive little fruit!
Tart cherries are packed with antioxidants in the form of anthocyanins. It’s actually what’s responsible for that gorgeous red color.
These antioxidants are what make the cherries so helpful for fighting both inflammation and helping muscles recover from strenuous workouts.
In addition to the antioxidants, tart cherries contain naturally occurring amounts of melatonin and tryptophan, both associated with promoting sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone responsible for our sleepiness. Tryptophan is a compound that helps the body create melatonin.
Increased levels of melatonin can help improve sleep quality and duration.
This is a great article that discusses the benefits of tart cherries and what they’re good for in depth. And this study specifically talks about the positive impact tart cherry juice had on the sleep of older adults with insomnia in the pilot study.
The gelatin used in these gummies also has potential beneficial effects on sleep.
One of its amino acids, glycine, has been shown in studies to help promote better sleep quality and aid in falling asleep quicker.
Lastly, magnesium has been associated with better sleep quality as well.
While it’s recognized that magnesium plays an important role in sleep regulation it’s not completely clear why.
What we do know though is that a lack of magnesium negatively impacts sleep. (source)
Magnesium helps regulate your body’s production of melatonin and helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for kicking your body into a state of “rest and relaxation”.
But these tart cherry gummies are made specifically for enjoying right before bed to target healthy sleep.
WHAT DO THE GUMMIES TASTE LIKE?
Texturally, these tart cherry gummies are somewhere between a traditional gummy bear and jello.
They’re firmer than jello but not quite as firm as gummy bears.
You can easily hold them without the squares slipping unlike jello and they have a bit of a jelly candy consistency when you bite into them.
From a flavor standpoint, the tart cherry juice shines through. If you enjoy drinking tart cherry juice, you’ll like the taste of these gummies.
If you find tart cherry juice to be too tart you can always sweeten with a touch of raw or manuka honey to taste.
TART CHERRY GUMMIES FOR KIDS
These sleep gummies can easily be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
If making for children, either omit the magnesium powder or consult with your doctor about an appropriate dosage of magnesium powder for your child.
The recipe can be made without the magnesium exactly as written.
Another fun idea to make these for kids would be to use a silicone mold for the gummies instead of cutting them into squares.
Here are some cute traditional gummy bear molds that include a dropper for filling but there are a ton of shapes and designs available!
WHEN TO TAKE SLEEP GUMMIES
I like to take 1-2 squares about 30 minutes before bed.
The gummies can be eaten at any time during the day but I incorporate them into my nighttime routine after I drink my calming bedtime tea and before reading in bed for 20-30 minutes.
They’re a fun and delicious way to end the day!
Hope you give these a try before buying a nighttime sleep supplement again.
I always love using real whole foods before resorting to supplements when I can and these tart cherry gummies are the perfect way to do just that!
Looking for another natural way to ease into sleep? Try this lemon balm tea recipe. It’s easy to make yourself and incredibly relaxing and calming.
MORE TART CHERRY RECIPES TO ENJOY:
- Lightly grease a 9.5x6 or similar sized baking dish with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Add the tart cherry juice, water and magnesium to a small sauce pot over medium heat. Stir gently until foam from magnesium powder dissipates completely.
- Add the gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Simmer over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes whisking occasionally.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Transfer to the refrigerator for about 2 hours until set.
- Using a sharp knife, slice into squares and remove from the baking dish using a metal spatula.
- Keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
*Make sure to use tart cherry juice NOT concentrate.
**Gelatin should be from an organic, grass-fed source.
***I prefer unflavored magnesium powder so the tart cherry flavor from the juice is the most prominent flavor but flavored magnesium powder can be used in its place.
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Natural Vitality Calm #1 Selling Magnesium Citrate Supplement, Anti-Stress Magnesium Supplement Drink Mix Powder - Original Flavor, Vegan, Gluten Free and Non-GMO (Package May Vary), 16oz 113 Servings
Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin : Pasture-Raised, Grass-Fed, Non-GMO (16.4 oz) - Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Whole30 Approved, and Paleo friendly
Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 12Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.