Healthy Homemade “Jello” Recipe

How about a delicious and healthy treat this summer, instead of the cheap gelatin mix from the box. Why bother switching, you ask? Here are some things in Jello (or other brands of gelatin mixes) that we really don’t want to be eating or feeding our children…

  • Artificial Colorings: Many of them are known carcinogens and none of them have any redeeming health value. Several of them cause reactions and health issues, such as headache and ADD/ADHD symptoms. It is intended to make the food more appealing.
  • Artificial Flavorings: These are chemicals combined in laboratories to trick your tongue into thinking that you are eating something with nutrients. In real food, different flavor indicates different nutrients, so we are hardwired to enjoy many different flavors. Artificial flavors lie to us, since they have absolutely no nutrients.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Unless you get the ones with refined sugar (or make it using your own refined sugar), you’re eating artificial sweeteners. Many of them cause reactions and some cause (or are suspected to cause) serious health problems. If it’s a choice between the two, I’d go with the refined sugar.

Here’s the thing. There is an option that not only tastes better, but it good for us!! Here’s what to use instead of the junk listed above…

  • Organic Fruit Juice: Get the real, organic fruit juice. Fresh squeezed is absolutely the best, but not many of us have that option. If not, just make sure it’s organic and unsweetened. There are real vitamins and minerals in these juices and the healthy components give the beautiful color and delicious flavor!
  • Gelatin: Gelatin from grass-fed cows is so healing to the digestive system and it’s good for skin and joints, too. It’s also a good source of amino acids.
  • Natural Sweeteners: Raw honey is a fantastic choice, if the juice isn’t sweet enough on it’s own. Lemon or lime juice, for example, really do need something sweet added. You could also use a bit of dehydrated cane juice (sometimes known as rapadura or sucanat), which has all of those wonderful minerals in it.

Are you wondering what flavors you can make? The possibilities are huge! Even at our little Safeway grocery store (*not* a gourmet health food store!) I had well over a dozen organic fruit juice options to choose from. Some were solo flavors and other ones were mixtures. Feel free to mix up your own blend, but here are some ideas…

  • Lemon and Lime
  • Pear and Apple
  • Peach and Mango
  • Pomegranate and Apple
  • Cherry and Lime (Cherry Limeade!)
  • Blueberry and Pear
  • Orange and Mango

That’s just a few of the possibilities from my little grocery store. Be creative with what you have. Now, let’s get started!

 What To Do

  1. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of gelatin into a medium glass container. (Feel free to use a bit less for a softer jello).
  2. Pour 1 cup of cold juice over the gelatin and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 3 cups of juice until very warm, but not simmering.
  4. If adding honey or other sweetener, do so now (just sweeten to taste).
  5. Pour the warm juice into the cold juice/gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  6. Refrigerate overnight.


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9 thoughts on “Healthy Homemade “Jello” Recipe

    • lemniskate says:

      you may want to look into agar agar; it’s a seaweed based thickening agent. I bought it online, you can find it sometimes in asian stores. It’s used as a vegan substitute for gelatin quite a bit 🙂

      • That might work, but the whole point of this recipe is to get all of that fantastic gelatin. 🙂 The health benefits of gelatin can’t be substituted by the agar-agar, even if it works.

  1. April says:

    I made this for the first time using the gelatin you recommended. It has a use by date of 2018. While heating the juice, I noticed the cold juice mixture that was sitting on counter smelled less than appetizing. Have you noticed an odor from the gelatin? Thanks for recipe.

    • That’s a good question! Yes, when I first start the gelatin softening in the cold juice, there is a bit of a smell. It seems to completely go away by the time the jello is chilled and ready to eat. We also haven’t been able to taste anything except the juice, so it doesn’t seem to affect the finished flavor or smell.

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