My youngest son loves “jelly” cups (a.k.a. Jello/Gelatin), but when we started a synthetic dye-free challenge a few months ago, out went the Jello brand gelatin cups! I tried a product by the NutraDrink company called Natural Jel Desserts back in May (see my “Funny Oranges post”) and while I was initially impressed with the product, upon further experimentation I discovered that it is prone to melting, especially when sitting in a child’s lunchbox all morning. So back to the drawing board. We are not gelatin-free, but I wanted to find something that works for our friends out there with beef allergies (most gelatin is derived from beef marrow).
Enter Pomona’s Universal Pectin!
Pomona’s Pectin works GREAT with 100% juice to make a gelatin-like dessert!
The recipe for the “sugar-free” jello is on the instruction pamphlet included in the package (the jello is not really sugar-free, as the recipe states; but there is no additional sugar added. The only sugar in this recipe comes from the natural sugars in the 100% juice). Not all 100% juices are created equal in the sugar content category, as I found out AFTER I bought some 365 brand Black Cherry juice. One 8-oz serving contains a whopping 50 grams of sugar!!!!
See? No sugar added to the juice (above).
But there is still 50 grams of sugar in one cup of the black cherry juice (above).
The good thing about the “jello” cups, is that I don’t make 8-oz. portions, so at least there is less sugar. I guesstimate about 19 grams of sugar per 3-oz. jello cup, which is still hefty for a snack that does not provide any fiber or protein.
The problem with juice is that there is no fiber to slow down the absorption of the sugar (which is why whole fruits, peel and all, are a much better choice than juice). I allow Luke to have a maximum of (3) 3-oz. jello cups a week and I usually add chopped whole fruit to it, for a little bit of fiber. I will also be using 100% juice made from fruits with lower amounts of sugar from now on!
On the days Luke takes a jello cup in his lunch, he must forgo having a juice box, I leave the choice up to him. I do subscribe to the philosophy of moderation is key (and since my kids can’t eat 99% of the popular convenience/processed foods due to their dietary restrictions, I don’t get too worked up over it).
The “jello” in the above photo is made from Tart Cherry Juice (24 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving). The whipped cream is dairy-free and soy-free (MimicCreme’s Healthy Top) and the Maraschino Cherry by Tillen Farms is all-natural (no artificial colors, dyes, or flavors and does not contain sweeteners derived from corn).
The following is the recipe for Pomona’s “Sugarfree Jello,” including my notes for cutting the recipe in half; which I do because I make a few different flavors at once:
Pomona’s Gelatin-Free “Jello”
4 cups of 100% juice (I used 2 cups)
4 tsp. Calcium Water (I used 2 tsp.) The mix for the calcium water is included in the package of Pomona’s Pectin.
4 tsp. Pomona’s Pectin (I used 2 tsp.)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring juice to a boil.
- Put 1 cup of boiling juice in a blender/food processor and add 4 tsp. of pectin powder, vent lid, blend 1 – 2 minutes until all powder is dissolved.
- Add pectin-juice mixture to remaining hot juice, stir well.
- Pour hot jello into serving bowl or individual dishes; allow to cool down some. Refrigerate until jelled.
And yes, it will work in a mold!
Here’s how I did it:
Place 2 cups of 100% juice in a saucepan (above).
Add 2 tsp. of calcium water then bring the mixture to a boil (above).
Place 1 cup of boiling juice into a blender or food processor and add 2 tsp. of Pomona’s Universal Pectin, blend well (above).
Add blended juice/pectin mixture into the pan with remaining hot juice.
Whisk to combine then pour through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth* (see note below) into cups or jello mold, allow to cool then refrigerate until jelled.
Fruit jello cups:
Note: I learned by trial and error to strain the jello mixture with a fine mesh sieve (or use cheesecloth) to avoid the unsightly foam you see in the below photo:
I made the above “jello” fruit cups with Juicy Juice:
“Only” 26 grams of sugar (compared to the 50 grams of sugar in the black cherry juice), in one cup of Juicy Juice (Punch flavor), so I estimate a 3-oz. “jello” cup to be about 10 grams of sugar.
Now for the winners of the Goldbaum’s Giveaway!!
Using the Random Number Generator, the winners are:
#33: TinaK and
Congratulations and I will email you for your shipping information!
I have another giveaway coming up later today, but first I would like to highlight a few of my blogger friends posts from the past week.
- Kim, from Cook It Allergy Free wrote a great post titled 15 Tips On How To Heal The Leaky Gut, I definitely recommend reading that article!
- Shirley, from GFE is hosting this month’s “Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger,” and I plan on doing my first adoption (can I adopt 10??)!
- Tia, from Glügle Gluten Free shared a recipe for Gluten-Free Banana Muffins, including a variation for Chocolate Banana Muffins (they are also dairy-free) These will be perfect for a healthy school-day breakfast!
- Do you dream of gluten-free Pierogi? Well, dream no more, my friends! Both Alta, from Tasty Eats At Home and Lauren from Celiac Teen shared recipes and photos of their gluten-free pierogi as part of the August 2010 Daring Baker’s Challenge.
- Do you have a garden overgrowing with Basil? On Friday, Diane, from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang announced that the theme for this week’s Friday Foodie Fix is Basil. Be sure to check it out for some great ideas for using all that yummy basil!
- Lastly, Erin, over at Gluten-Free Fitness has quite a few great posts on gluten-free living, celiac disease and nutrition news , which is a great resource for all of us. Gluten-Free doesn’t always equal “healthy” and Erin does a great job breaking it down for us!
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