Homemade “Jello” Gelatin (sugar-free option)

Homemade Jello - Sugar Free with Low Carb Option. Ditch the overpriced packets of sugar and artificial flavor and colors and make this easy healthy treat instead!

I love making homemade healthier versions of processed foods. Some of our favorites are vegetable broth powder, homemade ketchup, homemade gummy snacks, taco seasoning, natural blue food coloring, homemade chocolate chips and homemade white chocolate chips.

So when I found a way to make homemade “JELLO” – I was thrilled!

“Jello” is one of those things that has always perplexed me.

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Why would someone pay over $5 per pound for a little box made up of mostly sugar, a teensy bit of gelatin, artificial color and flavor?

‘Cause you know- I’m the type of mom who never buys much of anything packaged and processed.  So none of those itsy bitsy containers of sugar and artificial dye-laden boxes that cost about $1.10 or so for 1 batch of not-so-good-for-you stuff.

Well, a number of years ago, I bought brand name and generic brand gelatin for some reason or another.  I’m sure it was probably an ingredient in a recipe that I wanted to try.

So I bought it and had the rest of the packets sitting in my pantry for a long time.

Don’t ask how long. Good thing gelatin doesn’t spoil :-).

Anyway, at some point, in my “making my own version of processed foods” trials and errors, I ended up making “Knox Blocks” (or generic “gelatin blocks”) for my kids whenever they’ve been sick and nothing else will calm their tummies, or as a treat when they’ve wanted something a little special.

I’ve made it following a few different recipes, but we recently tried it with lemon and lime juice and these versions were super refreshing (and candida friendly too!)

Homemade Gelatin

(For all you vegans out there, I encourage you to stick around.  You can make this with agar agar as well.  I just haven’t gotten around to it yet but I’m sure I will :-).)

This recipe turned out so beautifully that I just needed to get it out on my blog.  And besides which, I haven’t posted a recipe in quite awhile and it was about time :-).

(This recipe was modified from this one on Cooks.com.)

NOTE:  I am no longer using regular store brand gelatin.  I am now using Great Lakes Gelatin.  It is made from pastured cows in Argentina that have not been treated with antibiotics or hormones.  I bought a HUGE amount (remember – gelatin doesn’t spoil :-)!)

Please don’t use those icky “Not ReaLemon” bottles that are sold everywhere.  They are filled w/ nasty preservatives and don’t taste like the real thing.  Because they aren’t.  Have you ever drunk that stuff straight?  :-(.

The Dream Foods brand costs more, but it is worth it!  I buy mine in a super big combo pack at Costco.  If you don’t that much, you can find it on Amazon or at The Green Polka Dot Box (where I can almost promise you that they have the best price around.  They have a 30 day FREE Trial Membership to their Organic, Non-GMO Buying club.) If you do go and buy the pack at Costco, you can use your extra juice for my Homemade Lemonade with Sugar Free Option.

Stevia extract is a little hard to measure.  These stainless steel mini measuring spoons from Amazon are super handy.  The 2nd smallest is the size of 1/32 of a teaspoon so you can easily measure stevia extract with these!


Norpro Mini Measuring Spoons

Looking for other ways to save money on DIY / MYO replacements for processed foods?  How about:

Do you have a favorite way to eat “Jello” or a favorite flavor?
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    Speak Your Mind


  1. Do you think it would work with Guar Gum? Also, I have been trying to create a grape jelly using Guar Gum, any suggestions? I think this is my first time posting, so in this post, I would like to say thanks for all you do, and that I love all of your recipes that I have tried so far.

    • You are so kind – thanks! I think it could work. I am not a fan of the gums, but try it maybe with about 1/2 the amount first and see how it goes. Agar would be a more likely vegan sub. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks Adrienne! I keep trying to incorporate honey rather than all the sugar subs – what do you think? Feel free to reference one of your previous articles. I love reading your stuff!

  3. You’re welcome. Thanks for responding.

  4. southern woman says:

    I am a bit confused by this recipe….does it call for BOTH a sweetener AND Stevia or is it supposed to be one or the other?

    • I like to blend alternative sweeteners for a better taste. You could use one or the other but you will likely need to increase the amount of whatever you choose :).

    • southern woman says:

      Just read that, yes, the recipe does call for both.
      Now—I would prefer not to use Stevia at all but just pure, organic sugar. Can you tell me how much sugar I should use in this recipe?
      Thanks again.

      • For right now, you can read this post on stevia. You will have to work w/ it to taste b/c all stevias are different and I think that the brand I was recommending is stronger than most.

  5. Why did you use sweetener AND Stevia? I thought stevia is a sweetener. I ask because I would like to try my hand at homemade jello for the family, and of course I love that your recipe includes a whole gelatin that is better for us

  6. We don’t eat jello much, but it’s nice to know that when I want some I have a good option! Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday. :-)

  7. Hi I use Xylitol for coffee and tes but I know baking with it you have to be cautious as it is a diaretic, Did you have any issues with that amount of sugar? I was thinking of doing half Xylitol and half coconut sugar

  8. I read through all the posts but could not seem to find an answer to this. Can orange juice be used to make the jello orange colored? To make it healthier maybe get the juice right from the orange? Thanks

    • You could do that but it will add a lot more sugar. You could use turmeric for color only – just a little. I would whole juice it in the vitamix to make it the healthiest.

  9. Would you please post ???? the recipe using sugar,maybe honey. Thanks in advance,,????

  10. Help! I’ve tried this recipe three times and my jello never set up! What am I doing wrong? I’m using Great Lakes cold soluble gelatin, stevia and fresh lime juice. Itwon’t set up.

  11. Mary Hagerman says:

    I missed eating jello, it was a favorite when we were growing up. I just made my own homemade jello using a double strength lacto fermented lemonade. The only trick was dissolving the gelatin in hot water and adding ice cubes to bring the temperature down (before adding lemonade) to keep from killing the probiotics in the lemonade.

  12. im wondering how to make other flavors like raspberry and strawberry? Could you use extracts?

  13. I am curious if you can just use juice straight from the fruit for this? I currently have brain cancer and can not have anything with sugar in it. All store bought juice contains sugar. Does it matter? Would it be better with juices from fruit or would it not turn out. I think I remember I used to add chopped fruit to the store bought jello.

  14. Commeneter says:

    Xylitol as a healthy food? My daughter’s doctor told her to stay away from it, especially with her digestive problems. I cannot imagine how a laxative (sugar alcohol) could be good for kids with upset tummies. Also, Web MD reports “some animal studies have shown tumor growth resulting from high doses of xylitol over long periods, more research is needed. If you are a dog owner, be aware that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even in small amounts.”

    • Hi there. I see you didn’t use a real email or name, but I will respond to you anyway. As for xylitol, I am aware of the controversies about it. I personally try to not use much of it and I lean heavily on stevia that is pure. However, since I have candida, I don’t have much of a choice. I am going to try lo han again for awhile, but I recall it not working well. As for the health aspects of it, I don’t see anything on the internet that is real information about tumors and xylitol. I looked for a long time last night and there most certainly is nothing on Web MD about it so I don’t know where you are getting that information. As for dogs, you are correct about that. Also, though in somewhat greater amounts, raisins and grapes and chocolate are also toxic to dogs.

      I have a friend who has 2 dogs and is a sugar-free baker. She uses xylitol all the time and has trained her dogs not to eat people food.

      Thanks for commenting but in the interest of having a real dialogue please leave your accurate information next time (well, of course you can’t read this, but others can :)).

  15. Akka Bekka says:

    There is some concern that extremely high doses for long periods of time (more than three years) can cause tumors. Xylitol can cause diarrhea and intestinal gas. It is probably safe for children as a medicine in amounts up to 20 grams per day.

    So, unless you actually are diabetic, stick to sugar as most sugar free sweeteners are much worse than it…

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