You say Jello I say Jelly. Either way, here are 3 delicious, natural Jelly recipes.

You might be wondering why I’ve specified ‘natural’ jelly here. Well, that’s because the average store bought jelly is rather toxic, packed with petroleum derived chemical colouring, harmful stabilisers, factory farmed animal gelatin and carcinogenic fake sugars. It’s crazy what’s going on, and I’ve profiled the best selling jelly brand and flavour here, to show you what’s really in it!

To make a natural jelly you have 2 options for setting it.

Option 1: Agar agar powder / flakes. 

A vegetarian option, seaweed derived and very high fiber. 2 cups of liquid will need 2 teaspoons of powder or 2 tablespoons of flakes, to set the liquid. Dissolve the agar agar into a little water first before heating and then add liquids and heat to a simmer, and then pour into moulds. Agar agar is available here on line in Australia, or extensively through health food shops and whole food stores. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, simply substitute the quantities below, based on the amount of liquid. Agar agar sets more firmly than gelatin. Think Asian jelly dessert texture. Still, lovely things can be achieved, so no one’s missing out!

Option 2: Gelatin powder, often beef derived. Totally flavourless, otherwise that would be a little odd, wouldn’t it?

The one I trust the best is the awesome Great Lakes Gelatin Powder, as it comes from grass fed cows and is 100% single ingredient. Nothing added. This is a protein power house, packed with nourishment from a vast variety of amino acids and awesome to take into your daily smoothie or soup, or even a glass of water, if you have joint aches and pains.

1 level tablespoons sets 2 cups thin liquid to a very wobbly jelly and 2 sets it firm – great for making jelly square bites for example.

1 tablespoons sets a purée consistency like a berry purée or coconut banana purée as below.

What to do for basic jelly?

All you do is heat 1/2 a cup of your purée or liquid to a simmer. Switch off the heat. Whisk in the gelatin quickly into it. Add rest of your liquid. Once well mixed, pour into moulds and refrigerate to set for an hour for small ramekins, up to 3 hours for larger, deeper containers. There you have it. Endless flavour possibilities.

The big secret on jelly / jello making is out – IT’S EASY! If you’re in the US / Canada, click the above link to go through to their site. If you’re in Australia, you can grab some Great Lakes Gelatin here. Don’t panic at the price tag, either. I’ve made 10 batches of jelly so far, used in the odd smoothie on a busy day, and hubby been taking it daily for 2 weeks to get ready for a marathon this weekend – the jar is only half finished! Besides, worry more about the price one pays later for the freaky crystals from the supermarket.

So, while I’ve given you the basic 2 setting ratios and methods for jelly above, I’ve created 3 more, delicious jellies today to inspire you to push the limits on your own creations. So easy. So delicious. So definitely, without a doubt, additive free!

Banana Smoothie Pudding Jelly

jelly banana 2

Say no more, right? Show me a baby that wouldn’t devour this pudding-like jelly, packed with nourishment. Show me the kids that wouldn’t down this at breakfast? Show me the ME who couldn’t stop dipping into the stash, to the point of practically having none left to photograph today. Who me?

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INGREDIENTS

  • 180 g bananas (3 small, very ripe ones)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Great Lakes gelatin powder
  • 1/2 fresh lime (optional. I like a little underlying zing)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (also optional if on a budget or you prefer without. Still delicious!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put bananas and 1/2 cup coconut milk into a blender with your lime and vanilla powder. Blitz into a creamy smoothness.
  2. Put the other 1/2 cup coconut milk into a saucepan, medium heat, and as it comes to the boil, switch off the heat. Sprinkle your gelatin over the coconut milk and whisk into it well, until you can’t see any anymore.
  3. Add the thick banana coconut mix and combine all well. Then pour into little individual bowls, moulds or a simple serving dish for a big family presentation.
  4. If you have a thermomix, you can do the whole process in the one thermomix bowl.
  5. Let it set for 2-3 hours. You’re done.

 

Calming Chamomile and Apple Jelly

apple jelly

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chamomile tea, brewed with 2 teabags
  • 1 cup freshly pressed apple juice (with an optional 1cm chunk of ginger for zing)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, all spice, nutmeg type mix. You could just use plain cinnamon though too)
  • 1 tbsp honey / maple syrup or rice syrup if you’ve reduced fructose in your diet. There is still fructose in the apple of course.
  • 1-2 level tbsp gelatin powder, depending on how firm you want it.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put 1/2 cup of chamomile on the stove, with the sweetener of choice and sweet spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Turn off heat. Whisk in gelatin, fast. Add apple juice. Pour into moulds.
  3. As this jelly is a boring colour (to kids), you could add 15ml liquid chlorophyll to get a more vibrant green colour, or do what I did, and get creative on the garnish top, alternating little wedges of fresh green and red skinned apples.
  4. Either way, with all that lovely camomile and blood sugar levelling cinnamon, it’s a great companion to the apple’s fructose component and a really refreshing, cleansing jelly. My husband says it would do well with gin, but that’s perhaps not suited to this post so I’ll leave that there.

As this jelly is a boring colour (to kids), you could add 15ml liquid chlorophyll to get a more vibrant green colour, or do what I did, and get creative on the garnish top, alternating little wedges of fresh green and red skinned apples.

Either way, with all that lovely camomile and blood sugar levelling cinnamon, it’s a great companion to the apple’s fructose component and a really refreshing, cleansing jelly. My husband says it would do well with gin, but that’s perhaps not suited to this post so I’ll leave that there.

 

Pear and Beetroot Jelly

jelly pear beet and pomegranate

No, there’s no typo. Pear jelly is the most boring colour – it’s kind of brown. Seeing as a few of you might be trying to compete with the petroleum derived, brightly coloured carcinogens for your family’s approval of wholefoods, I reached for the beetroot powder from Herbie’s for this one, to give a gorgeous purply pink colour. You could of course just juice a half beetroot in the mix of making your fresh pear juice, for the same result. Up to you!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large ripe pears (yielding 1 1/2 cups of pear juice. Give or take 50ml will not matter in the slightest)
  • 1/2 whole tsp ground cinnamon* (depending on how much you love cinnamon)
  • 1 tsp beetroot powder
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp Great Lakes Gelatin powder, depending on how firm you want it.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Juice your pears. If you don’t have a juicer, buy a small fresh pear juice from your local juice bar and bring home.
  2. Place 1/2 cup of the pear juice, the cinnamon and the beet powder into the saucepan until almost reaching the boil. Turn off the heat and whisk in your gelatin powder.
  3. Once all combined well, add the rest of the pear juice, stir through well, and then pop into your preferred serving moulds. I chose little jars for this and topped with fresh pomegranate seeds, because I couldn’t resist the local $1.50 pomegranates at the market. You don’t need to garnish at all if you don’t fancy. Simple is sometimes best.
So there you have it. Basic jelly procedure for gelatin and agar agar and 3 exciting flavours to try. It’s such a wonderful way to get great nutrition and a real treat at the same time. Especially if you have a fussy eater. These are gorgeous natural puddings for all and, thanks to being inspired to create a few for you guys, we now have a stash to last the whole week in our fridge!

Please try and use fresh squeezed, unpasteurised juices, or puréed smoothies of fresh fruit and nut milk or coconut. Bottled juices for jelly sadly have little nutrition and a whole lot of fructose, and while it’s still miles better than a fake sweetener in a supermarket jelly, fresh squeezed either yourself, or brought home from a juice bar will be the best treat of all.

Don’t forget to ask any questions or leave comments about your own jelly / jello efforts. Look forward to hearing about your jelly making successes, too!

jelly sebastien

(my little guy wanted to be in one of the pics. Subsequently, this pear and beetroot jelly mysteriously disappeared.)

Real Food. Happy Bodies.

 

Comments 25

  1. I love this!! Thank you. I have known about agar agar and jelly making but always put it in the too hard basket, this seems both simple and delicious. I know what I will be doing these school holidays, and I am looking forward to it. Your pictures are fabulous, I hope ours look this good.

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      Thanks Kitsa. It really does. I could have kept trialing and testing. Fructose overload made me have to stop. Hehe. Darn stuff!

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      Author

      If green apple juice does, I can’t see why pineapple wouldn’t Lesley. You could also set pineapple pieces inside a fresh juice jelly. Enjoy!

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      Hi Lesley,

      Just as per friend Cindy’s comment below, pineapple won’t work with gelatin but WILL work with agar agar. SO just use that one if you’re making jelly with pineapple. papaya or kiwi fruit, Alexx

  2. Fab post Alexx – I’m def going to try that pear and beetroot jelly – and love the pick of S – a pure look of adoration on that cute little face of his!

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      you’re super welcome. Once you’ve done it once, it’s honestly a 5 minute exercise. Especially if you buy organic fresh squeezed juice and bring home. Enjoy! 🙂

  3. Wow, amazing blog format! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog
    for? you make blogging glance easy. The whole glance of your web site is magnificent,
    as neatly as the content!

  4. Fabulous recipes. Do you think I could make the banana pudding substituting coconut milk for raw milk? The latter is close to it’s used by date and I’d like to put it to use! Thank you and yum.

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  5. Wow! Seeing this recipe has triggered a primeval response from deep within my former sugar-addicted self. I see jelly and my brain immediately jumps to .. ROCKY ROAD. Could it really be possible to make a healthy version? Nuts yes. Chocolate yes. Now jelly..YES. But marshmallows? Healthy marshmallows? Hmm, think this might be where the fantasy ends…
    Wonderful recipes Alexx, as usual.

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      Author

      Thank you Carmel. Yes, it’s totally, definitely true! You go on and get some gelatin and enjoy these treats pronto! 🙂

  6. Love this post. Love the ideas. Love the pics Alexx.

    Re pineapple – it won’t set in gelatin because it contains an enzyme that breaks down the protein. (same for papaya and kiwi fruit) But agar agar is fine.

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  7. Got some of kitsa’s Great Lakes gelatine today. (Super speedy service by the way!) Very excited! Jelly, here we come 🙂

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