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.
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!)
(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.)
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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.
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!
- 3 Tbsps gelatin, granulated (3 packets) (I recommend Great Lakes Brand. See Notes. For Gelatin Squares, use twice as much gelatin.)
- ¾ cup healthiest sweetener (I used xylitol for a candida friendly version. Any granulated or liquid sweetener will work.)
- 12 scoops stevia extract* (NuNaturals is one good brand.)
- 1½ cups boiling filtered water
- 3 cups cold water (divided)
- 1⅛ cup lemon or lime juice (or some of each for Lemon Lime Gelatin! I used Dream Foods Organic Lemon. I LOVE this brand!)
- ½ teaspoon grated rind (optional. Use lemon rind for lemon gelatin--lime for lime.)
- Soften gelatin by soaking in 1½ cups of the cold water for a few minutes.
- Add boiling water and stir until gelatin is dissolved.
- Add remaining ingredients (including the other 1½ cups cold water), stirring until thoroughly blended.
- Pour into 2 8x8 baking pans.
- Refrigerate until set.
2. Instead of the baking pans, you could of course use anything as a mold. Like the little heart molds I bought for my Healthy "Reese's" Candy (with allergy options.)
Looking for other ways to save money on DIY / MYO replacements for processed foods? How about:
- Easy Chocolate / Carob Chips
- Powdered Sugar / Healthy Powdered Sugar Substitute
- Surprisingly Good Popcorn Seasoning
- Homemade Rice Milk
- Easiest Almond Milk Ever
- Easiest Coconut Milk Ever