I loved jello as a kid! Particularly cherry jello. A big bowl of cherry jello with Cool Whip on top. Now that I know better, that doesn't sound like the perfect dessert at all!
Check out the ingredients of Cherry Jello:
Sugar, gelatin, adipic acid (for tartness), artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, sodium citrate, fumaric acid, Red 40, Blue 1.
Yuck! You can bet your bottom dollar that sugar is from GMO sugar beets. And the chemicals, artificial flavors and colors? No thanks!
Am I doomed to a world in which I can't eat jello? Or introduce the delicious treat to my daughter? Of course not!! You can still eat jello in a Real Food world? Healthy, nutrient dense homemade jello!
And it is oh so simple to make!
How can jello be healthy? Well, because it has gelatin! And gelatin from properly raised, pastured animals is a very nutritious food. It contains collagen which is great for skin and joints. It can help heal your digestive tract and detoxify the liver. It is good for muscle building and over all care of the body.
One way for getting the benefits of gelatin in your diet is by using lots of bone broth in your daily routine. The benefits of bone broth are too many to list here, but check out the post I did awhile back on everything you need to know about bone broth. (Purchase bone broth at Wise Choice Market and have it shipped to your door!)
You can also get the benefits of gelatin by making your own jello! You just need to be sure you are using a quality gelatin (I like this one or this one), some quality fruit juice, sweetener (optional), lemon extract or oil (optional).
The general rule of thumb is 1 cup juice, 1 tbsp gelatin and 1 tbsp sweetener. Depending on what juice I am using, I often skip the sweetener!
If you want a firmer, more ‘jello jiggler' type consistency, use more gelatin (2 tbsp or so).
My daughter's favorite is a mixture of grape and cherry but you can use any juice you would like! I do recommend a juice with a lot of flavor to balance out the flavor of the gelatin. If you want a tart jello, a drop or two of lemon extract or lemon essential oil is a great idea!
You can double, triple, even quadruple this recipe depending on how much jello you want to make!
Healthy Homemade Jello
- Pour juice into a saucepan.
- Sprinkle gelatin on the surface of the juice and allow to sit for a few seconds. This is called 'blooming the gelatin' (so you don't get lumps)
- Whisk gelatin and juice together and let sit for a few minutes
- Turn the stove on and heat the juice/gelatin mixture over medium heat, until gelatin is dissolved and mixture is heated through.
- Turn off heat and add in sweetener and extract if using and stir.
- Pour mixture into a glass bowl, dish, jello molds...whatever you want!
- Put in refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or overnight)
- Enjoy your delicious treat!
What flavor jello will you be making??
Oh Lardy has also made jello before with fermented orange juice! That was a real treat. Share the jello you make in the comments
Here are some other amazing recipes for jello to get you started:
Homemade Healthy Jello Snacks from Primally Inspired
Homemade Jello from The Coconut Mama
Fruity Kombucha Jello Bites from The Paleo Mama
Homemade Jello from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
Homemade Jello Fruit Cups from Homemade Mommy
You can also get an entire recipe book full of healthy gelatin treats (Paleo friendly) from my friend, Caitlin, The Grass Fed Girl. Check it out!