Up until very recently, my three year old had never tasted Jello. Weird, right? I just never grew up on it and I was not reallt a fan of the texture or weirdo fake taste. Well, thanks to my mother-in-law, my three year old is now a fan and in a BIG way. I’m not sure if it’s the color, the jiggle or the sugar content but, whatever it is he thinks it’s super fun! And I guess if I look at it through his eyes, food that wiggles really, really is—FUN!
Since my big boys first taste of Jello he’s asked me a few times to make it at home and I’ve only actually done so once. In my humble opinion, the ingredient list is hella junky (duh, right?), it’s all artificial dyes and flavorings (yuck!) and there is definitely more sugar in it than I like my little guy to have. Rather than buy another box of that powdered concoction, I decided to do some research on making it myself using…(wait for it…), REAL FRUIT!! Novel idea, eh?
I knew it would be fun to start making Jello at home because would be fun to experiment with different flavors using in season fruit and fresh fruit juices. And now that that the Summer bounty is nearly upon us, we will have a lot to choose from for our gelatin making explorations. For my first attempt, I knew I wanted to make strawberry gelatins because my entire family is obsessed with strawberries. During my research, I came across this recipe from the every fabulous Martha Stewart and it seemed simple enough so I figured I’d give it a whirl. I felt it could use a little less sugar (especially since my strawberries were crazy sweet all on their own) so I cut the original recipe back to 1/2 cup. I also swapped out the lemon for a lime because I looovre the taste of strawberries and lime. The taste and texture turned out great! It wasn’t as stiff as store bought Jello and that made me very happy. The final texture was gelatin-like but in a much more creamy and delicious kind of way. Best of all, my three year old who has a very
picky discerning palate stated that it was “Delicious! Thank you mommy for the best dessert ever!”. Success!
If you don’t feel like making a fresh fruit puree/juice for this recipe, you can certainly use a store bought, just be sure you use 3 cups total. Have fun!
Homemade Strawberry Gelatin
1 1/4 lbs strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2 envelopes (1/4 ounce each) of unflavored gelatin
1. In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, sugar and lime juice. Set aside, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Place 1 cup cold water in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over water. Let gelatin soften, about 5 minutes
2. Purée strawberry mixture in a blender or Vitamix if you have one. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup after each batch (discard solids). (Note: If you use a Vitamix like I did, you can skip the straining step as the Vitamix purees the strawberry seeds and flesh into a lovely smooth texture. If you do use a Vitamix, the gelatin will be slightly less jello like in texture because of the fiber in the fruit. I love it this way and find that it tastes less artificial and more creamy.) Add enough water to strained juice to measure a total of 3 cups liquid. Set aside
3. Heat gelatin over medium-high, until gelatin is dissolved and it just begins to bubble around the edges (do not boil). Stir gelatin into strawberry juice. Divide mixture among four-six serving glasses. Chill until firm, 4-5 hours. Top with whipped cream and some sliced strawberries.