Jello reminds me of my childhood. I grew up eating Jello made from a box. I even remember when I was about 12, I used to make it for my mom. I remember stirring the powder into the water and letting it set in the fridge overnight.
It turns out Jello is actually good for you. It’s made from the bones and hides (skins) of cows and pigs. Rich in collagen, jello actually gives you beautiful skin, and strong bones, teeth, and cartilage.
The gelatin in Jell-O is what lets you transform it into all sorts of different shapes. What exactly is gelatin? Gelatin is just a processed version of a structural protein called collagen that is found in many animals, including humans. Collagen actually makes up almost a third of all the protein in the human body. It is a big, fibrous molecule that makes skin, bones, and tendons both strong and somewhat elastic. As you get older, your body makes less collagen, and individual collagen fibers become crosslinked with each other. You might experience this as stiff joints (from less flexible tendons) or wrinkles (from loss of skin elasticity). Source
Think about it — collagen — the same stuff women are injecting into their lips and wrinkles. If you want plump lips and smooth skin, make homemade jello a regular part of your diet.
Why Make Homemade Jello?
Unfortunately, boxed Jello is not a good choice since it’s made from feedlot cows and pigs. These animals are fed large quantities of antibiotics and GMO (genetically modified) feed. It also contains artificial food coloring and additives, and of course, high fructose corn syrup.
Now you can enjoy jello again — just follow this recipe and make it at home.
It’s a great dessert, especially in summer. You can add fresh fruit if you like, and top with homemade whipped cream (just whip some heavy cream and add a little sweetener such as honey, sucanat or stevia).
I don’t recommend using just any old brand of gelatin. Get Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes brand; the Great Lakes brand is supposedly from pastured animals and both brands do not contain MSG.
You can use store-bought juice but only if it’s freshly squeezed (i.e. at the health food store juice bar) and not pasteurized. Also, if you can, try to find organic fruit or fruit juice.
I don’t find that honey is necessary, but if you’re using lemons or limes you will want to add honey to make the juice sweet.
Gelatin, powdered, from pastured animals — Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes brand (2 TBS)
Freshly squeezed juice from fresh or frozen fruit — oranges, cherries, strawberries, grapes, lemon or limes (16 oz, or 2 cups)
Optional: Honey, raw if possible — where to buy sweeteners
1. Juice the fruit using a juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, you can also use a blender or food processor and then strain the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer.
2. Mix the gelatin into 1/2 cup of the fruit juice in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir or whisk until completely blended and no evidence of powder remains.
2. Let cool.
3. In a mixing bowl, blend together the gelatin-juice mixture with the rest of the fruit juice.
4. Pour into a glass baking pan or jello mold.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for several hours until set.
6. When set, carefully unmold or cut into cubes.