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Having Fun with Jiggly Jelly!

Looking for a fun afternoon activity and a low-sugar treat? Why not make jelly from scratch?

Did you know that it is so easy to make jelly desserts (Jell-o) from scratch? From-scratch jelly means that you don’t have any additional sugar, fake flavours or food colouring. It doesn’t take any extra time or effort when compared to the boxed versions. Best of all, it’s a fun way to get kids into the kitchen.

The recipes below all use fruit juice for sweetness and flavour. But you can make jelly out of most liquids. Once you get started, try making jelly out of sweetened herbal tea or your favourite brand of soda. It’s fun!

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Vegan Jelly

(Prep Time: 10 minutes)

Jelly doesn’t have to be made with gelatin. Agar agar and vegan pectin can be used to make jelly too! My preferred brand of pectin is Pomona’s Pectin because it can set jelly without any added sugar.

1 box pectin or 2 tsp agar agar powder

4 cups fruit juice

Follow the instructions on the package for setting 4 cups of liquid.

Bring juice to a boil. Turn down the heat stir in the pectin, continue stirring until it is fully dissolved.

Pour the hot juice jelly into serving dishes (individual bowls or one large container).

Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving so it is nicely jiggly.

Juicy Fruit Jelly

(Prep Time: 10 minutes)

Gelatin is high in collagen and protein, so it’s good for filling kids up. This recipe uses fruit juice to provide all the sweetness. For a refined sugar-free treat, use unsweetened juice.

Looking for a summer activity? Turn your jelly into a fun experiment. Start by making individual bowls of jelly and add a different type of fruit to each one.

There are certain fresh fruits that contain the pepsin enzyme which will prevent the gelatin from setting. Test and see if you can find out which fruits have this enzyme! I’ll give you a hint, they’re mostly tropical fruits. (Science note: the pepsin enzyme breaks down proteins, like those in gelatin).

4 cups of fruit juice

2 tbsp of gelatin powder (or two envelops)

1⁄4 cup of fresh fruit (berries or oranges are good choices)

Bring 2 cups of juice to boiling.

Remove from heat. Sprinkle on the gelatin powder and whisk vigorously to dissolve.

Stir in 2 cups of cold juice and pour into serving dishes.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours (until the jelly has begun to set but is still liquidy). The amount of time will depend on the size of the serving dishes.

Stir in some chopped fruit. Return to the fridge for another 2 hours to fully set.

Fruit Mousse

(Prep Time: 15 minutes)

This recipe is fluffy, airy, and colourful. Feel free to try this with other types of fruit. However, raw peaches are not a good choice for this recipe. You can use canned or cooked peaches because cooking denatures (breaks apart) the enzyme.

1⁄4 cup of cold water

1 tbsp of gelatin powder (or one envelop)

1 cup of pureed berries

1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup of sugar (to taste)

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup of whipping cream

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it stand until the gelatin has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Place the fruit into a blender. Pulse until it is pureed. Add in more fruit, if needed. You want to make 1 cup total.

Sweeten the fruit puree, to taste. The exact amount of sugar needed will depend on how tart or sweet the fruit is.

Mix the fruit puree and the gelatin. Add the lemon juice and stir to mix everything well. Heat it up to just about boiling. You can do this in the microwave or the stove top.

Scrape the fruit jelly into a 5-cup serving dish and place in the fridge to partially set. This will take about 2 hours. The jelly needs to be about the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

When the jelly is semi-set, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks.

Fold the whipping cream into the fruit mixture. Try to keep the air bubbles in the cream so it is nice and fluffy.

Place the bowl back in the fridge until fully set, about 3 hours.

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