Whether it’s a treat for your kids or a way to satisfy your own craving for retro dessert, making homemade jello is a fun experiment. The recipe couldn’t be easier – add 1 tablespoon of unflavored, powdered gelatin to 1 cup cold liquid then stir in 1/3 cup boiling water and chill until firm. The experimental part comes in when we start talking about flavor.
One hundred percent fruit juice is the easiest option to use as a cold liquid, and offers plenty of different flavors, but watch out for the sugar. Get a little experimental by blending in tea to cut down on the sugar level. Herbal teas can add intriguing, and kid friendly, flavor. Or, you can get really experimental and blend up some beets and berries until you have a slightly sweet, bright-hued juice full of antioxidants, folate, vitamin C, and potassium and turn that into homemade jello.
Beet and berry jello is lightly sweet with just a hint of earthiness from the beets and lots of fruity, berry flavor. Put a generous dollop of unsweetened, whipped cream or coconut cream on top and you’ll have a fun, full-fledged dessert.
A word about unflavored, powdered gelatin: Ideally, the best way to add gelatin to your diet is through bone broth and gelatin-rich cuts of meat. However, powdered gelatin is really convenient and can be added to just about anything, not just homemade jello. Add it to soup broth, stews and smoothies or make salmon mousse. What else? Share your ideas in the comment board!
Time in the Kitchen: 15 minutes, plus 2+ hours to chill
- 1 medium-sized or a few small raw beets, peeled (about 1/4 pound/113 g of beets)
- 1/2 cup berries, fresh or frozen (50 g)
- Optional: slice of apple or mango for more sweetness
- 1/2 cup cold water (120 ml)
- 1 tablespoon unflavored, powdered gelatin (15 ml)
- 1/3 cup boiling water (80 ml)
In a high-powered blender, blend beets, berries, other optional fruit, ice cubes and water until smooth. Adjust the flavor to your liking, adding more berries or a squirt of lemon.
For jello with a smoother, lighter texture pour the juice through a fine mesh strainer so it isn’t quite as thick and the berry seeds are gone. You should end up with 1 cup (240 ml) of juice.
Pour the juice into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin evenly on top. Let set for a few minutes, until the white powder has dissolved and become clear. Stir well then slowly add the boiling water and mix until the gelatin dissolves completely.
Pour the liquid into your container of choice. Optional: Add pieces of fresh fruit to the liquid.
Refrigerate until the jello is firm, at least 2 hours. Eat plain or top with whipped (coconut) cream.