There is always a jello salad on the table for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions in our family. I remember making jigglers – those shapes you got to cut out – with babysitters as a fun activity while my parents worked and we were home from school in the summer time. And of course, you gotta have jello when you’re sick. Because there isn’t anything that jello, saltines, chicken noodle soup, and 7UP can’t cure. Now that I’m a mama, I think more about what I’m putting into my body (seen that image floating around FB talking about how people are counting calories but not chemicals?). Serafina was sick recently and I wanted to make her jello just like my mom (and grandmas) would make me. But when I looked on the ingredients list, I cringed. How could that possibly help her heal? I work my tail off planning and cooking healthy meals for our family on a limited budget yet I am going to give my child a bunch of sugar and unpronounceable synthetic additives? I don’t think so.
So I set out to make healthy, homemade jello. I knew I needed something fruity as the base (juice?) as well as gelatin (obviously). I wasn’t sure if I needed anything else but instead of Googling it I just decided to wing in. Why not? :) The gelatin container said 1 T gelled 1 pint (2 cups) of liquid. I wanted firm shapes, though, so I lowered the ratio to 1 T gelatin : 1 cup liquid. Plus, the daily recommended serving on the container of gelatin I bought was 2 T per day. After much research, I purchased this one by Great Lakes for joint health seeing as my hubby and I destroyed our joints with college athletics but still want to stay active! And, seeing as I want to put the best stuff into my sick kiddo’s body, I also sought out my favorite juice: R.W. Knudsen’s Organic 100% Juice. We drink this on occasion (it’s spendy but worth it) and it happened to be on sale at our local co-op! Here is the [successful and tasty!] result of my experiment…
Homemade, Healthy Jello
- 2 cups juice
- 2 tablespoons gelatin
- Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sweetener: honey, coconut sugar, rapadura, etc
- Measure out juice and gelatin into a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium for 5-10 minutes, until liquid is bubbling slightly but not boiling.
- Remove from heat (if adding sweetener, do so now).
- Pour into desired container. You can use bowls, cups, ice cube trays, or, for shapes, into a quarter baking sheet or 8″x8″ pyrex.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- If cutting out into shapes, use your favorite cookie cutters.
Notes: I prefer R.W. Knudsen juice (or something like it) because it is 100% juice, no sugar added, organic, and non-GMO certified. I chose Great Lakes bovine gelatin because of their sustainable practices and quality of product.
This is a great activity to do with kiddos! Even the littlest ones. Take a look at this video of my 20 month old daughter and I making homemade jello.
What is your favorite jello flavor?
How did your kids like it?
Shared over at Nourishing Joy