Jello is not just for kids and old people anymore!
Articles about the health benefits of gelatin and bone broth and have been all over the internet lately. A bone broth shop popped up in NYC last week to keep people warm and healthy through the winter. See ya, coffee!
The paleo diet has unearthed tons of classic recipes and revamped them in a healthy way. When it comes to gelatin, it doesn’t have to be full of sugar to be good either!!
I just learned that it is great for hair, skin, and nails, and it helps with digestion. (That last one has always been a biggie for me!) It is great for dessert because it calms the stomach, and guess what? It’s full of protein and amino acids for mega body repair mode!!!! And if you make it with unsweetened fruit juice, it’s a perfect work out snack or pick-me-up. Nope, you don’t need sugar!
The best thing about gelatin is that it’s not as labor intensive or seemingly off putting as bone broth. I KNOW it’s one of the best things I can feed myself to help my skeletal muscles and bones, but I think I might start with a chicken carcass rather than cow knuckles… I love the idea that it’s good for me, but I haven’t gotten over that hurdle yet, I mean I just figured out that I prefer meat in things, or not in it’s original form—grosses me out less. Well, you know, unless it’s fancy in a restaurant. I just don’t like touching meat. (Here is a recipe from Louise Hay, renowned affirmation lady and mind/body/spirit health guru)
The only reason I considered making my own jello is because my awesome friend Venus, of ravenousvenus.com shared some gummy snacks with me when we were taking an early morning ballet class years ago. They’re super easy, and I thought they tasted really good too! Like, she literally told me in class and I just followed the proportion recipe on the knox gelatin box. (Knox is available at most grocers, but it’s not grass fed beef) I don’t keep kosher, but apparently it’s all about the grass fed beef. So I bought great lakes from the interwebs.
I originally planned to make pumpkin pudding bites, but they had way too many ingredients to find, so I was over it immediately.
But I did try making pear spice jello,with unsweetened spiced pear juice and I put them in festive Hanukah silicone forms I found at the Japanese dollar store? Living in northern California is beyond bizarre, after growing up in Studio City, i.e. “Little Jerusalem”, Los Angeles where I can buy legit Hanukah paraphernalia on any street corner.
Can you tell I’m excited for Hanukkah?
In any case, there are endless possibilities with gelatin and the recipe differences are not complicated, so this is pretty much a win-win-win. Except that it’s not vegan—I mean, there are plenty of recipes with Agar Agar flakes, but the nutrient difference is non-negotiable. But again, it doesn’t look like animal parts, so I’m kind of okay with that…
Chanukah Christmas Coconut Blueberry Layered Jello (i.e. coconut amazingness)
I used this recipe, but it was in an annoying format and used SO MUCH SUGAR. So, like most recipes I find, it was adapted (and successful!!—I mean, at least it tasted amazing….) Also, you can easily use one can of coconut milk for the whole recipe 😉
“Blue” Layer (Green)
- 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin powder (I used kosher, grass-fed beef gelatin from great lakes)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup blueberry juice
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (Trader joes has a great one in a brown wrapped can!)
- 1 cup coconut sugar (I can’t tolerate processed sugar, I become a vampire…)
- blue food coloring.
“White” layer (Red)
- 2 tablespoons of unflavored kosher gelatin powder (same as above)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- Medium bowl
- six-pointed star cookie cutter. (or whatever you have. I like playing that game!)
- rectangular Pyrex dish (The jello doesn’t stick too badly to glass, don’t use metal. Ever. Unless you want to scrub forever.)
- In a medium-sized bowl, sprinkle the unflavored kosher gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Allow the gelatin to absorb the water for two minutes. (I would stir this immediately but gently, and add a teaspoon of water at a time because it can get chunky!)
- In a saucepan, whisk together the blueberry juice, coconut milk, and coconut sugar and bring just to a boil. Transfer the boiling coconut blueberry mixture to the gelatin bowl and whisk until gelatin is fully dissolved. Stir in several drops of blue food dye to turn the mixture a light blue. (This was unsuccessful with coconut sugar—turned green, thus the Christmas divergence)
- Pour into a glass baking dish and refrigerate until it cools to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sprinkle the unflavored kosher gelatin over 1/2 cup of the cold water and, again, allow the gelatin to absorb the water for two minutes. (keep in mind the possible chunkiness and gently stir and/or add enough water so the gelatin has something to absorb.)
- In a saucepan, whisk together 3/4 cup of water, the coconut milk, and coconut sugar and bring just to a boil.
- Transfer the boiling coconut mixture to the gelatin bowl and whisk until gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Pour the “White” mixture into the pan the coconut/blueberry mixture is in. Check the bottom layer is firm before doing this, or it will become swirly. However, if you like that, pour it on in whenever! Mine did a cool layering effect AND swirly because it wasn’t completely set in some areas.
- Refrigerate the whole pan for 2-3 hrs then use cookie cutters and maybe a butter knife to retrieve your shapes!
Voila! Enjoy! Bon appetit!
I plan on trying every fruit juice and method on the internet because this is such a perfectly yummy and healthy snack.
Kombucha Jelly Snax (challenging because I wont be able to use heat—I’ll keep you posted)
Tea+Stevia jelly Snax (No sugar, lots of herbal flavor!)
(Pinterest has TONS of recipes for the healing properties of gelatin and for using it as a replacement in some!)