Healthy Jello? Hello!


Jello Parfait in poor lighting

I never recall being a big fan of the jiggly stuff.  But once I got into eating Real Food, and found out that Jello’s main ingredient (gelatin) is good for you, I was ready to try my hand at Bill Cosby’s favorite treat – minus the pesky flavorings, artificial colors and added sugar.  J-E-L-L…No.

With  apologies to my vegan friends, gelatin is a powdered supplement made from animal bones and connective tissues and has many health benefits, like aiding digestion, improving hair/nail/skin growth, helping joint recovery, and providing protein in the form of necessary amino acids that we rarely get in our SAD (Standard American Diet.)  

Cultures all over the world have been eating all parts of the animal for centuries, and specifically digesting gelatin through simple, delicious bone broth.  So don’t slaughter the messenger here…  And if you are not content to eat meat from sad, sick, hormonal cows, then don’t eat their bones either.  I recommend Great Lakes brand grassfed, kosher gelatin.

I like Holistic Squid’s jello recipe as a starting point, including her 1 tablespoon of gelatin to 1 cup of liquid ratio for a firm, finger-friendly jello.  But I’ve launched off from there into a wide variety of delicious combinations.



4 cups of organic juice (we like cherry or hyacinth tea with stevia for color without sugar)

4 heaping tablespoons of grassed gelatin

2 cups of fruit (frozen mangos and blueberries are our favorite but don’t use pineapple, kiwi, or papaya because it affects thickening)

Optional additions:  juice from a lime/lemon for tartness and/or 1/2 cup of kombucha or coconut kefir soda for added probiotics

Directions:  Pour 2 cups of juice into a pan and bring to a low heat.  Arrange frozen fruit into 9×13 casserole dish.  Pour the other two cups of juice into a container.  Add gelatin, 1 heaping tablespoon at a time to the container of juice, stirring to incorporate it.  Then add the juice and gelatin to the heated juice and stir until it dissolves.  Turn off the heat and add citrus juice to taste, then kombucha/coconut kefir soda.  Stir again.  Pour mixture over the frozen fruit, put the lid on the casserole dish and store in the refrigerator.  Once it is firm, cut and enjoy!


Though we do not drink much juice because of the high sugar intake, the fiber from the fruit and the protein from the gelatin make it a more complex food and slow the sugar absorption.  This is good, since my son could eat half the batch in one sitting.  =)


Since it is difficult to find juice that hasn’t been pasteurized, consider making jello from fresh squeezed juice like this Tangy-Orange Lemonade Gelatin.

And turn it into a parfait by introducing your new favorite treat to some coconut milk whipped cream!  Move over, you sugary McDonald’s parfait.  You’re a big Mc NO.

If you are now a “gelatin convert”, check out these other yummy gelatin-based recipes:

Homemade marshmallows

Gummy fruit snacks

Dairy free chocolate pudding

What fruity combination are you going to try?


2 thoughts on “Healthy Jello? Hello!

  1. Brilliant. I’ve made it w gelatin before but you’ve added a whole bunch of new ideas. Thx.

  2. Pingback: Life Hacks with Food Scraps | Shesourceful

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