The Jello Cook-off

Does boiling water or juice count as cooking? I have decided yes and thus I can keep my blog title.

I grew up in the 70’s eating mac and cheese out of a box, fish sticks, frosted flakes and jello among other dyed and artificially flavored foods. Then I grew up and started reading labels and avoiding chemicals and non-food foods and jello was no longer on the menu.

Here in the heat of summer I miss jello. That cool, fruity, jiggly dessert hits the spot on a hot summer day. Sometimes eating healthy really sucks.

Last year I tried making my own jello with plain gelatin and fruit juice. Not only wasn’t it sweet but it was really bland. And then came “Simply Jello”, jello and pudding with no artificial dyes or flavors. Yeah! And then they stopped making it. Boo!

I decided I needed to try making my own again and searched around for a new recipe. I found I could add some sugar to the basic recipe:

2 cups fruit juice ( I used Old Orchard Mixed Berry condensed juice from the freezer, nothing artificial and no HFCS)

1 envelope of knox unflavored gelatin

3 tbsp sugar ( I found recipes with anywhere from 1 to 5 tbsps)

Put gelatin in 1/4 c of juice and let sit while bringing remaining 1 3/4c juice to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin and sugar. Pour into container(s), let cool a bit and then refrigerate until firm. I will say mine took a little longer to firm up then the boxed version.

I had my son and his friend make a box of regular cherry jello. Then we conducted a blind taste test and all three of us preferred my homemade jello by a landslide! Apparently a bit of sugar makes a big difference!

So there is my less unhealthy summer treat tip.

(Can you tell the difference between the jellos in the picture? I didn’t think so. Mine is on the left.)

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