Healthier jello or jelly made with real, fresh fruit makes for a much better and guilt-free dessert with only 3 ingredients. This gelatin dessert can be made as healthy or as sweet as you may prefer. Either way, this homemade jello recipe is miles better than store-bought jello powder!
This is jello that both adults and kids will like. It's tart, yet sweet and you can dress it up or down with sauces, berries, chocolate, and the like.
Jello is always a huge success at children's birthday parties, at American school lunches, or on hospital food trays. However, making your own can never be compared with these mass produces jellos.
You can even put this jello on this no-bake white chocolate cheesecake if you want!
My absolute favorite way to eat this jello is by pouring homemade vanilla custard sauce over it. Don't hate it until you try it, I'm telling you, it's the bomb.
Surprise Health Benefit of Gelatin
One of the three ingredients in this jello, is gelatin, or gelatine in the UK. Gelatin is a pure natural protein. It is boiled animal bones and skin to extract its collagen. When collagen is processed, it becomes gelatin.
The real difference between gelatin and collagen is that gelatin is affected by temperature. Gelatin dissolves in hot water, making it a jelly-like consistency.
The health benefits are, on the other hand, the same. Gelatin (and collagen) contains several important amino acids.
Amino acids are compounds that combine to make proteins, and they are essential to various organs.
The human body needs 20 amino acids, and 9 of them are considered essential. This means that the human body doesn't make it, and must be obtained through our diet.
And the best way to do that is by eating animal protein aka collagen or gelatin. I call this a bonus benefit of eating homemade jello!
Healthify this Jello Recipe
So, breaking down the ingredients in this jello recipe, and you'll notice the sugar pretty quickly. Yes, that is not considered healthy although super yummy. Unfortunately.
However, the beauty of using fresh fruit in this recipe is that you can just rely on the natural sweetness of the fruit or berries.
You can use a little sugar, more sugar, or even no sugar and this jello would be pretty tasty. You may also use artificial sweeteners, although I try to keep that to a minimum.
I'm sharing with you a jello recipe that is a happy medium. It is tart, fresh, and a little sweet. This will also depend upon the choice of fruit or berries.
Using Fresh Fruit in Jello
So the third and last ingredient, but albeit the most important one, is the fruit. Or berries. Or both. I only make jello because I have the fresh berries at hand and it's a beautiful way of consuming a lot of them.
You can use whatever fruit or berries you want really. The only difference will be the amount of sugar you'd want to add to it. I would add less sugar to sweet fruit and berries such as mango, strawberries, and blueberries.
The amount of sugar in this recipe is because of tart berries, such as the red currants I'm using here, or raspberries, cranberries, and green apples.
I honestly think that desserts such as jello are better with the tart fruits and berries. It balances the sweetness of the rest of the dessert pretty well.
Because Norwegians always serve jello with a sweet vanilla custard sauce, mango jello would most likely be too sweet.
Generally, it keeps well in the fridge for 7 to 10 days. It should be covered. Prepared jello will start to break down as it ages, with pools of liquid on the surface.
Also, it could get a more sour taste. At this point, it should not be eaten.
Jello should not be frozen because of the gelatin. Freezing will break the bonds that keep the gelatin together, which will cause the jello to separate when thawing.
Jello can easily be halved, doubled, tripled or even more, as long as you have a big enough pan to cook it in. I doubled this recipe because I was serving it at a larger gathering, and it went great.
How to Make this Recipe
Begin with cleaning your fruit or berries, and running them under water. Add the berries, water, and sugar to a large pan (2).
Let it come up to a simmer on medium heat, but once it does, reduce the temperature to low and let it sit right under the simmering point for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, find molds for the jello. I use some small ramekins, but you may also pour them into larger bowls so people can take as much or as little as they want.
Once the berries have cooked for 30 minutes, take them off the heat. Pour the mixture through a sieve (3) and just let it drip. Do not help with a spoon or spatula, this will make clearer jello (4). Discard the berries (or just eat them).
Add gelatin sheets to a bowl of cold water for at least 5 minutes to soften up the leaves. If you're using gelatin powder, mix the powder with ¾ cup water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until it gets thick.
For gelatin leaves, you take one leaf and gently press out the water from it (5-6), add it to the berry water, and stir (7-8). Continue with the rest of the gelatin sheets. For gelatin powder, once it's thick you may stir it into the berries.
Add this jello mixture to your prepared molds/ramekins/bowls. Let it cool to room temperature before covering and cooling completely in the fridge. It should be set overnight, but often a few hours is enough.
Enjoyed this Recipe? Here Are More Delicious Desserts
- The Best Summer Berry Pavlova Recipe
- White Chocolate Mousse with Rose and Pistachio
- Lemon Ricotta Cake with a Dreamy Creamy Pastry Cream
- Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
- Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
- Salted Caramel Macarons with Homemade Caramel
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