by Texas Homesteader ~
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Did you know you can make a sweet gummy-chew candy from excess garden squash? It’s TRUE! Making the candy is simple, we loved the cherry flavor best.
(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)
What To Do With Too Much Squash
Squash is a prolific veggie. Summer gardens are often so overloaded with zucchini & yellow summer squash that although you anxiously enjoy it the moment it’s harvest-able in the spring, soon your family tires of squash every night.
You then attempt to preserve some for winter months but still that squash harvest keeps coming
Every. Single. Day.
Finally in a futile attempt to dodge being consumed by the giant growing mountain of squash you start giving it away to grateful friends and family… for a while.
Soon even they run when they see you coming toward them with yet another squash harvest in hand.
You can’t stand to see that beautiful garden produce go to waste. But “What’s a girl to do?” you wonder to yourself as you slowly disappear beneath the growing squash harvest pile…
Can You Make Candy From Squash?
RancherMan is a grazer, and he loves to grab a handful of something to snack on throughout the day.
Lately he’s really enjoyed dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins. But, you know, that gets expensive after a while.
I saw on my FB newsfeed that Common Sense Home had turned their excess squash into a sweet gummy candy. I wondered if this would satisfy RancherMan’s sweet/chewy snack urge.
So I sat out to experiment.
Test Batches For Gummy Candy Flavors
I first tested with two flavors – lemon and grape.
Lemon Flavor – simple syrup and lemon juice – not enough fruit flavor, still too much squash flavor.
Grape Flavor – simple syrup and two packets of powdered unsweetened grape drink mix. Stronger fruit flavor, but still not wowed.
(back of hand to forehead in dramatic Gone-With-The-Wind flair)
I’ll not be deterred, I’ll NOT!
Cherry Flavor Candy Syrup
I thought perhaps I should use a stronger-flavored fruit such as cherry. So I made cherry-flavored syrup:
Simple Syrup made with 1 part sugar, 4 parts water,
Cherry Flavoring – two packets of unsweetened cherry drink mix.
Note: Since I had black cherry concentrate in the fridge I went ahead & added about 2 tablespoons of the concentrate too. Use Whatcha Got, y’all!
I just simmered the syrup stirring until all sugar was dissolved and then turned off the heat.
Preparing Squash For Gummy Candy
Wash, trim ends & peel squash.
Cut squash into quarters lengthwise.
Scoop out the seed section with a spoon.
NOTE: Some of my ‘normal sized’ squash were just thin boats by the time I scooped out the seeds. So now I allow the squash to grow into larger overgrown Franken-Squash before I harvest them for my gummy treats.
Cut the squash to 1″ – 1.25″ chunks
Cover squash chunks with cherry-flavored syrup.
Simmer squash for 30 minutes until lightly tender.
Dehydrating Squash Cherry Gummies
I thoroughly drained the cooked squash and laid it onto my *Excalibur Dehydrator trays. I tried to evenly space them without allowing them to touch each other.
Dehydrate flavored squash until tacky but no longer sticky.
The time for this step varies based on your location, your humidity level, how thick you cut your squash chunks, etc. It can be anywhere from 8 to 12 hours.
For my Excalibur dehydrator I set the temperature to 135 degrees. Mine were about right in 8 hours.
How To Make Sure Cherry Gummy Candy Is Dry
When the cherry candy was dehydrated I turned off my dehydrator I left them on the trays inside the dehydrator overnight. That just helps assure the pieces are completely air dried.
Finally, I put them in jars but left them on the counter for a couple of days with the lids loose in the event any moisture remained.
Now that my cherry chews are done I can store them in the fridge to enjoy over the next 30 days or so. But mine never even got there!
RancherMan raved and kept coming back again and again grabbing handfuls of these treats until they were GONE.
We Love Cherry-Flavored Gummy Chews Candy
I’d say this was certainly successful – he’s still raving! I’m able to provide RancherMan’s sweet chewy treats but I’m not having to purchase them.
Plus this cherry-flavored gummy chews candy is making delicious use out of my mountains of garden squash (both yellow summer squash and overgrown zucchini).
And, you know, my friends and family no longer run from me when they see me approach with more garden squash! LOL Here’s the recipe as I made it:
Did you make these cherry chews candy? Please rate the recipe in your comment below!
Cherry Gummy Chews
Is your garden giving you TONS of squash? Have you ever heard of making a sweet treat with it? OMGosh y'all - you're gonna love these cherry gummy chews made from squash! #TexasHomesteader
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- 2 envelopes unsweetened cherry drink mix
- 2 Tablespoons Black Cherry Concentrate, optional
Prepare squash by washing, trimming ends, and peeling. Cut squash in half and then in half again longways. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and cut into chunks of about 1 to 1 1/4 inches.
Make enough simple syrup to barely cover your prepared squash in a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. (For a medium-large saucepan - dissolve 1 cup sugar into 4 cups water) Add 2 packets of unsweetened cherry drink mix and optional cherry concentrate if desired. Simmer while stirring to thoroughly combine & completely dissolve sugar.
Add prepared squash to cherry syrup until squash pieces are just barely covered by syrup. Simmer 30 minutes until squash is lightly soft. Remove with slotted spoon into colander.
Place cooked squash onto dehydrator trays, spacing evenly without pieces touching each other. Place trays in dehydrator set to 135 degrees. Rotate trays every couple of hours for even dehydrating. Gummy chews are ready when they are soft and lightly tacky but no longer sticky.
Store in glass jars in the refrigerator and consume within about 30 days or so.
Snacks We Love
- Homemade Honey-Graham Crackers
- Fresh Pico de Gallo
- Homemade Hummus
- Rosemary Crackers w/Olive Oil & Garlic
- MYO Pita Chips Using Flour Tortillas
- Pumpkin Bread (with Cake-Mix Shortcut)
- Cantaloupe Bread w/Pecan Praline Glaze
- Easy Blueberry Muffins
- Fresh Pear Cake
- Rice Krispie Treats With A Chocolate Twist
- Healthier ‘Ice Cream’ Using Bananas & Fruit
- Easy Cookies-n-Cream Ice Cream Cake
- Easiest 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- Cake-Mix Cookies – Only 3 Ingredients!
- Double Chocolate Banana Chunk Cookies
- Sugar-Free Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
- Triple Chocolate Truffles
- Getting Your Family To Snack On Healthy Veggies
- Watermelon Smoothie (or Daiquiri)
- Rich & Creamy Fudgesicles
- …And MANY MORE!
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