Homemade Fresh Grapefruit or Pomegranate ‘Jello’ ~ these very low sugar healthy fresh fruit ‘jello’ recipes are fun for kids of all ages!
This was a real eye opener for me. I’m not a jello eater. My mom’s lime gelatin salads filled with shredded cabbage knocked that right out of me at an early age. Her wobbly tomato aspic studded with green olives clinched the deal in case I had any lingering doubt. No one could be more surprised than me to find out that you can make homemade gelatin with fresh fruit that tastes incredible. I made pomegranate and pink grapefruit, but you can really use almost any fruit juice you want, fresh or not. (Fresh pineapple won’t work though, it contains an enzyme that breaks down the gelatin.)
You can make it in little individual sized jars or dishes, or pour it all in a flat pan and cut it into cubes after it’s set. The more powdered gelatin you use, the firmer it will set up. The color will be softer and slightly cloudier than commercial Jello, unless you are using a perfectly clear juice.
This is refreshing and healthy—the recipes I developed have minimal sugar—there’s no need for it because the fruit, even the pink grapefruit, is already sweet. The pink grapefruit gelatin tasted just like fresh grapefruit, only in a different form. Without excess sugar, color and flavorings, you really get a very bright real fruit taste. Great for kids, great for dieters, but really good enough to make for no other reason than because it tastes great.
I’ve have a secret yen to make one of those beautiful layered jello desserts, but with real fruit gelatin. I can just imagine how beautiful it would be with the natural colors.
I used two slightly different methods for each version here, and both worked, so I don’t think there’s a precise science to this. You will use 1 to 2 packets of unflavored gelatin for about 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice. A little sugar and water, and a squeeze of lemon juice if you want extra tang. I made small quantities, double them if you like.
- juice of 2 large grapefruits ( 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 packets unflavored gelatin (1/2 oz)
- 1 heaping Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice (I used Pom)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin (1/4 oz)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- For the grapefruit jello ~ sprinkle the gelatin over 1 cup of the grapefruit juice, m.ix and let sit to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Heat the water and sugar together, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until the water comes to a simmer.
- Pour the hot liquid over the juice and gelatin, and add the remaining 1/2 cup juice.
- Pour into individual serving cups or into one glass pan.
- Refrigerate until completely firm, several hours.
- When firm, you can cut the jello into cubes.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to eat; the gelatin will eventually turn back to liquid at room temperature.
- For the pomegranate jello ~ dissolve the gelatin in the water and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Heat the juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the hot juice over the gelatin and mix well. Add the lemon juice if using. Taste and adjust the sugar if necessary.
- Pour into individual serving dishes or into one large pan.
- Refrigerate until firm, at least several hours.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to eat; the gelatin will eventually turn back to a liquid at room temperature.
- To slice the gelatin cleanly, dip a knife in very hot water before each cut. For those who don’t eat animal products, there are gelatin alternatives, here is a list from PETA.
I’m going to have to dig out my mom’s old jello mold.
(Did I just say that?)