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Healthy Homemade Jello Recipe

Healthy Homemade Jello Recipe

I recently saw an article touting the health benefits of gelatin and laughed at the absurdity of it.  I had long ago written off jello as yet another ridiculous 80’s fad that happily went out of fashion. To my surprise, the article was quite convincing and I decided to look into it a bit.  A quick google search turned up a ton of information, including sources such as Sally Fallon and the Weston A. Price Foundation, who I know and respect.  Apparently gelatin in its natural state (i.e. not loaded up with sugar, coloring and preservatives) is actually quite healthy. The best gelatin comes from homemade stocks (think chicken stock) but even the powdered variety sports some impressive health claims.  According to the Weston A. Price Foundation gelatin can:

  • Aid digestion – its hydrophilic (water attracting) nature improves the digestibility of many foods including beans, meat, milk and many grains
  • Soothe the Gastro Intestinal tract – it lines mucus membranes in the GI tract which may reduce incidence of food allergies
  • Detoxify – it contains the amino acid glycine which our liver uses to detoxify our bodies
  • Promote healthy joints – can be used preventatively to soothe and support inflamed or achy joints

Additionally, gelatin is a decent source of protein, promotes muscle growth and is great for your skin, hair and nails. It strengthens brittle hair and nails, promotes smooth, healthy skin and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite.

Huh, sounds good enough to give it a try right?  At the very least we’ll get some healthy(ish) desserts out of it!  For starters I bought Knox gelatin because it’s the only unflavored kind my grocery store carries.  However I just ordered a 16oz container of Great Lakes Gelatin which is higher quality and actually costs less per ounce than the packets I’ve been buying.  I’ve been experimenting with different ways to incorporate gelatin into our diet and have several recipes in development.  I hope to update soon with more recipes and to report whether or not I’ve noticed any of the supposed health claims.  In the meantime here’s a simple, classic jello recipe made with just fruit juice, unflavored gelatin and honey.  It’s a tasty, kid friendly snack that’s considerably healthier than the jigglers we grew up on!

 Healthy Homemade Jello

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups fruit juice of choice
  • 2 Tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder (or two ¼-oz packets)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Directions:

  • Pour 1 cup of the juice into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder on top.  Stir until the lumps are gone.  Then let it sit for a couple minutes to soften the gelatin and make it easier to dissolve.
  • Meanwhile pour the remaining juice and honey into a small saucepan.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat as soon as it boils.
  • Pour the gelatin mixture into the hot juice and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.  If you still have some clumps, turn the heat back on to low-med and stir until dissolved.
  • Pour the mixture into your desired container (glass pan, mold, individual bowls, whatever) and refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours.
  • Cut into fun shapes (optional) and eat up!

Note: If you want to reduce the sugar content you can omit the honey and/or substitute water for half of the fruit juice and it still tastes good!

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gifrancis/441138126/

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