Who doesn’t love J-E-L-L-O?
Well, I definitely don’t love artificial flavors and food coloring, genetically-modified beet sugar, or gelatin made from diseased and abused animals. Thankfully, making your own homemade jello is easy, fun, and even highly nutritious!
Sorry, Bill Cosby, but my grass-fed gelatin, combined with just two other simple ingredients, puts your icky processed jello to shame!
Gelatin is nature’s most perfect protein. It’s packed full of all the right amino acids, which help the body to release anti-aging growth hormones that do everything from increasing muscle tissue while burning off excess fat, to getting rid of cellulite. It also provides your body with the collagen necessary for healthy, youthful skin, nails, and hair.
Beyond those cosmetic benefits, gelatin is so good for you for so many reasons that it deserves its own blog post (coming soon).
But I don’t buy the kind of gelatin you find in stores. That is processed from animals raised in CAFOs, instead of healthy, grass-fed animals. I get grass-fed gelatin online here. There are two varieties, regular porcine gelatin, and kosher gelatin made from grass-fed animal bones and tissues.
Oh and just an FYI for the parents out there — this is a great recipe for kids that need a little help settling down at night. Gelatin contains high levels of glycine, which according to Dr. Ray Peat, “is recognized as an ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter, and promotes natural sleep.” Best bedtime snack ever!
Healthy Homemade Jello Recipe
Note: You can double, triple, or otherwise multiply this recipe for whatever quantity of jello you’d like to make. The basic formula is 1 cup juice, 1 T sweetener, 1 T gelatin— 1:1:1!
- 2 cups fruit juice (you could juice it yourself with an inexpensive juicer, or use a good quality, unfiltered juice from the health food store)
- 2 tablespoons raw honey or other natural sweetener (Find quality natural sweeteners here)
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin powder (available on Amazon here)
- Pour the juice into a saucepan, but do not heat on the stove. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice, then allow the gelatin to “bloom”—this is the process of the gelatin absorbing liquid, and it’s very important in order to get good texture in your finished jello. You must allow it to bloom for at least a minute or two, until you no longer see any white powder sitting on top. You’ll see your juice and gelatin forming a weird, wrinkly goo that somewhat resembles a brain. 😉 This is good!
- Now that the gelatin has bloomed, simmer the mixture at a low heat, and whisk together the juice, honey, and gelatin until hot and steamy. The mixture needs to turn into a completely smooth, liquid texture, with everything dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into a glass baking pan. Or, you could pour it into a fun jello mold!
- Let it refrigerate for a few hours to set, then cut into squares or pop out of the mold.
Pretty simple, right?
AWESOME! My son would probably love this! How do you think it would fare in a lunch box with a cooler pack?
I think it would do fine! Maybe test out a small batch, and if it gets too melty, try making it with a little bit more gelatin. Hope your boy likes it! 🙂
Are there any juices that won’t work? Wondering specifically about pineapple and grapefruit.
Ooh, good question. You know, I think I have heard something about pineapple not working well with gelatin. Maybe try making just a super mini batch, like with 1/4 cup of juice, and see how it does.
I actually just googled out of curiosity. It won’t work! Pinapple has a chemical that breaks the bonds of the collagen proteins and won’t allow the gelatin to do its thing. So, it’ll stay juice, and won’t gel. Weird! I don’t know about grapefruit, though.
It is a couple of enzymes in pineapple that are the culprits. That’s why if you heat it (or use canned), it will work. Enzymes are pretty easy to break down with heat.
Ohh, interesting! I wonder how much you would need to heat it. I like pineapple juice so maybe I’ll give it a try!
Would you recommend a type of gelatin they make–regular, kosher, or collagen hydrolysate?
Their web site says “Collagen hydrolysate differs from regular gelatin as it will dissolve in cold, warm or hot liquids and will not congeal. This allows the consumer more options to take the supplement.”
Is there one you prefer more?
Hi Vanessa, yep you’re right. There are three different varieties they sell. I buy the kosher kind because I’d prefer beef gelatin over pork. And this is the kind that will gel up to make jello or other types of gummy treats. But I’m interested in getting the collagen hydrolosate stuff too (in the green tin) because then I could add it to juice, milk, or whatever, and it would be a lot easier to get more collagen in every day that way. I think it would be nice to have both — the regular gelatin you can make jello out of (cause that’s fun), and the un-gelling kind just to “allow more options to take the supplement” as they suggest.
Thanks for the tips. Oh my goodness I made this last night (with apple cider and maple syrup) and plowed through it. It’s amazing! I made more to share with my son this morning, he’s digging it too (not surprisingly).
I am a jello believer!! Thank you for posting this. I want to experiment with non-juice liquids like coconut milk and white wine (or champagne, ooh!).
Laura M. says
Great recipe, thanks! I just got some great quality gelatin and tried Mommypotomus’ recipe for gummy stars. So tasty! And so easy to make. I’m going to try your recipe too. It seems like your recipe has less gelatin and more liquid. So the snack volume would be more, which is nice.
How much gelatin (by the dry tablespoon, say) should an adult or child be eating a day? Can we eat too much?
Thanks! This recipe is for a less-dense jello consistency. For that gummy candy kind of texture, you need a lot more gelatin. I just tried out a recipe from Thank Your Body for fruit snacks that was based off Mommypotamus’ and it used up 5 tablespoons of gelatin for 1 1/3 cups liquid. Much thicker than jello, but tasty! And easier to get more gelatin in your diet that way.
That’s a great question about how much of it we should be eating. I can’t imagine there would be an amount you would naturally eat that could be too much. It is just another form of protein, after all. Let me look into that a little more and then I could answer in next week’s Q&A on YouTube.
Laura M. says
Sounds good. Thanks for looking into it!
Ray Peat recommends 15 g a day (about 2 table spoons). He says that he sees chronic pain and insomnia reversing at this dose. I would imagine though that many folks need double that if their pain is severe or insomnia/anxiety is severe.
Its recommended to start slowly with gelatin as it can upset bowel flora if someone has dysbiosis or a lot of endotoxicity. “they” say to start with 1 tablespoon a day and then work up….
Me and my 3 year old daughter made this today with Organic Concord Grape juice, and it was a hit with everyone! Thank you so much-I am trying very hard to find more acceptable snacking alternatives for my children, but my son is finicky. He ate one entire batch himself-victory! Also, I am going to try drinking it in water 2x daily as the container says for my knees.
just made this recipe this morning! So tasty! I doubled the liquid but wasn’t sure of doubling the gelatin. I went ahead and doubled the gelatin. My jello is very firm! I think I’ll only use 1 1/2 T of gelatin next time (to 2 cups liquid). Yay, and thank you!! My parents have been making box jello that has aspartame in it. Boo hiss! I’m going to give my Mom my second container of gelatin and show her how to make your recipe.
Ian Young says
When people think of “protein”, they think of the building blocks for recovering from exercise, weight lifting, hypertrophy etc. You describe Gelatin as nature’s “perfect” protein. It really isn’t, it is highly bioavailable and important for a range of bodily functions. But in no way is it the right source for what people typically think protein is for because it’s very low in essential amino acids.
It is indeed great for you and synergistic for those eating a lot of muscle meat, however it isn’t in any way “perfect”.
Dude, it’s a jello recipe. Calm down.
No, you can’t get by on gelatin alone. But it’s by far the least-inflammatory protein with the highest amount of benefits outside of the standard “building block” types of proteins we typically think of. It has the greatest amount of pros, with the least amount of cons. That’s all I was getting at.
Ian Young says
When you run a blog/website that gives advice regarding a healthy diet and lifestyle, especially one that allows comments/feedback, then you should be willing to accept any discourse with a strong level of aplomb.
When you express ideas as strong as the ones on this site, also writing and selling books (making money), that often go against a lot of conventional and even some holistic wisdom (which for the sake of being truly open minded and objective I am totally fine with). You have to remember that you have put yourself in the public arena and are open to fair criticism.
Nothing I said was inflammatory in any way at all. Nothing to “calm down” about. But I apologise if I riled you up in any way, it wasn’t by design.
This sounds a lot like finger jello. I like making jello and putting fruit in it. That kind of jello is not quite so solid. How much gelatin would I put in to get that kind of consistency?
I would probably cut it down to about 2 teaspoons per cup for that consistency. And do you know the trick with the suspended fruit? For anyone reading this who doesn’t, you let it set to the point where it’s like pudding, and then mix in the fruit, and then let it set fully. Yum. 🙂
Do you really need to add sugar or sweeteners? I find juices very sweet and water them down by half usually so can you skp the sugar and the consistency still turn out the same?
I’ve made a looottt of jello/gelatin treats and what I have found is that however sweet the liquid tastes, it will always taste significantly less sweet once it has gelled, or “set.” So, I always aim for a little sweeter than I’d like, and then the final product is just right. But feel free to experiment!