Homemade Jello


Jello is a fun, kid-friendly treat.

SONY DSCEspecially this homemade version, which is made without the artificial colors and flavorings found in the brand-name variety. In fact, these sweet and gelatinous squares are so easy to make, I’m surprised the boxed variety is so popular! All you need is 100% juice and grass-fed gelatin to make these quick and easy treats at home, and it’s no more time consuming than the original.

Gelatin is thought to support skin, hair and nail growth, and may be helpful for joints and joint recovery. It’s also a great dietary source of collagen, as well as a source of protein, so when it’s paired with 100% fruit juice with no added sugars, this is the type of Jello you won’t mind feeding to your family. (Unless, of course, you’re a vegetarian–> I’m trying to perfect a vegetarian version of this next!)

Hope you enjoy this fun, jiggly snack!

Homemade Jello
fills a standard loaf pan

Adapted from Wellness Mama

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups 100% fruit juice, divided
1/4 cup boiled water
1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin

Directions:

To begin, you’ll want to “bloom” the gelatin in a bit of cool or room-temperature fruit juice, to ensure a smooth and even end result. In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle the tablespoon of gelatin over 1/4 cup of the fruit juice (I used 100% organic grape juice for this batch), and whisk well until the mixture starts to thicken.

step 1

Once the mixture is nice and thick, pour the 1/4 cup of hot (just boiled) water over it, and whisk well to dissolve evenly. When the mixture is smooth, add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice, and mix well to combine.

Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan, greased or lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

step 2

You’ll know it’s done with the top is firm to the touch!

step 3Slice into squares and serve immediately, or store in the fridge in a sealed container until ready to serve.

4.8 from 10 reviews
Homemade Jello
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
 
A quick and easy homemade gelatin snack, with no added sugar.
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups 100% fruit juice, divided
  • ¼ cup boiled water
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin
Instructions
  1. To begin, you'll want to "bloom" the gelatin in a bit of cool or room-temperature fruit juice, to ensure a smooth and even end result. In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle the tablespoon of gelatin over ¼ cup of the fruit juice (I used 100% organic grape juice for this batch), and whisk well until the mixture starts to thicken.
  2. Once the mixture is nice and thick, pour the ¼ cup of hot (just boiled) water over it, and whisk well to dissolve evenly. When the mixture is smooth, add in the remaining 1½ cups of fruit juice, and mix well to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture into a standard loaf pan, greased or lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, and place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. You'll know it's done when the top is firm to the touch!
  4. Slice into squares and serve immediately, or store in the fridge in a sealed container until ready to serve.

Notes:

  • You can use any type of juice you want for this recipe, either fresh-squeezed or bottled. (Preferably BPA-free with no sugar added.)
  • For a truly sugar-free version (i.e. no fruit sugars) you could make this with water and lemon juice instead of the fruit juice, and sweeten with stevia, to taste.
  • For added texture and fiber, you could probably add in some fresh fruit before setting in the fridge.

Reader Feedback: Have you ever made homemade Jello from scratch? Now that I’ve tried it, I can’t believe how easy it is!

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organsβ€” no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

68 thoughts on “Homemade Jello

  1. Gabrielle

    I started making my own jello for my daughter when we found out that she has celiac disease. She was only 4,so it was difficult to find scd kid-friendly recipes, but this jello certainly fits the bill. And, it’s so easy!

    Reply
    1. Patti Shrum

      Could you guide me to someone that might have a baby Kaombucha for a start. I use to make it and enjoyed it very much. When I get on the web to find one it’s like so comfuseing. If you have any baby Kaombucha. I would be happy to take one off your handes.
      I make home made jewelry. My web name is offthebeadenpath. Work mainly through Ebay. I could send you some pic of some jewelry. Or let me know what your likes are. Well let me know if your intrested. Thank you.
      Sincerely,
      Patti Shrum

      Reply
      1. Vanessa

        You can buy Kombucha at most grocery stores nowadays (at least up here in Oregon we can). The refrigerated bottles of LIVE and “plain” Kombucha have live bacteria/yeast to start up your own home brew of Kombucha. I’ve made many successful and healthy batches of homemade Kombucha, and never had to purchase a SCOBY, I just use the plain bottle of live Kombucha to get my own SCOBY started.

        Reply
  2. Dianne

    Hi Megan,
    I am a big fan of your recipes and this jello is definitely one I can’t wait to try.
    My daughter recently had a baby and I am here in town for a few more days and wondering what kind of recipes you might recommend for fixing ahead of time and freezing that will make it easier for her when I leave. Whatever suggestions, would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  3. Abbi*tarian

    Thank you for this recipe! I haven’t made jello in about 15 years! But this I will try! I love how easy it is :0)!

    Reply
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  5. Colleen

    Thanks, I seldom make jello because it’s so filled with sugar, now I can make a healthy versions. Thanks a million.
    Colleen

    Reply
  6. Heather

    Thank you for posting this! I really need to add more gelatin into my diet and this jello recipe is the easiest one I’ve seen yet. Now, I have no more excuses! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  7. Johanna

    I remember wanting to eat jello so much as a kid, but our mother never allowed us, because she was scared of that cow disease.
    It looks so easy, I think even I can try out this recipe πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. Susan

    The idea of eating Jello rarely occurs to me, let alone making it. But I am glad to know how to do it, and especially in a healthy way. If I had young children I would definitely be making this.

    Reply
    1. Sharee

      I order mine from AzureStandard.com, you can also google it. It really doesn’t have any flavor. I mix 1 tsp. gelatin with 1 tsp. cacao powder and 1-2 tsp.coconut sugar, add 1/4 cup cold water, stir, then add hot water to make hot chocolate. It makes it creamy, so people that can not have dairy can still have a delicious cup of hot chocolate. I’ve also used it with Blue Lotus Chai Rooibos MASALA CHAI.

      Reply
  9. DR

    Same as Natalia said – I’ve made a vegetarian version using agar. You can buy it at health food stores. The only thing you have to be aware of is that the measurements are different for different forms of it (powdered, flaked, bars, etc.). Agar is also called kanten or carrageenan. You’ll see carrageenan is actually used A LOT in food products!

    Reply
  10. Sunny

    If agar is actually carrageenan, then that makes it carcinogenic based on a research that was published earlier this year. A movement is also underway to bring in legislation to label products that contain carrageenan, and there is a website that now lists products that might be GMO-free and all organic but still contain carrageenan.

    Regardless, I’m gonna try this version today! Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Maya

      Agar is NOT Carrageenan, though they are both made from red seaweed. Carrageenan is a processed form.

      “Several studies in the early 2000s suggested that a certain type of carrageenan β€” degraded carrageenan, which has been hydrolyed, or broken down by acid β€” could cause gastrointestinal problems, including cancers. The degraded type is not typically used in food. In fact, only the undegraded variety has been deemed safe for human consumption by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and approved for use in foods by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.” ~from Wisegeek.com

      Reply
  11. Kristin

    I have made fruit juice jello for years, using Knox gelatin. What is the advantage to using your recommended brand of gelatin?

    I make jello for my girls around holidays using themed cookie cutters. This summer I started making popsicles out of Fruitables juice (Fruit/veggie blend), my girls liked them just as much as my regular straight fruit juice ones. I can’t wait to try the fruit/veggie blend in jello.

    Reply
    1. Brianna

      The difference is the same reason one would by grass fed, pasture raised, organic meat versus conventional. It is simply the health of the animal. Cheaper conventional brands are not putting a vested effort into organic methods of raising animals which is why there is a difference in price. If the animals are less healthy the health benefits are not so good.

      Reply
  12. Randall

    I recently started making gelatin with organic juices. I recently bought a cocoanut pineapple blend and I have one tip that every one needs to know. You can not make gelatin out of juice with coconut in it. It separates from the other juices and sinks to the bottom I was so disappointed in it as I love pina-coladas and thought that would make a wonderful jello. I was wrong I was horrible wrong. LOL I still ate it but it was not as pleasant as other straight juice jellos. The orange juice was the best as My family had all developed sore throats and could not drink Orange juice but they where able to eat the OJ as gelatin. I am getting ready to try a mint mojito tea jello brewed with stevia (non alcoholic) I am thinking this may turn our much better than the virgin pina-colada jello.

    Reply
    1. Jenn

      I thought it was the fresh pineapple that was not able to set in jello. Kiwi and papaya too. At least that’s what the actual jello package says 😜

      Reply
      1. Betty

        I don’t believe that gelatin is from grass feed beef. I have some and never used it since nowhere on the container do the words state grass fed

        Reply
  13. Penny

    Great, super easy, delicious healthy version for jello. I used organic tart cherry for my first batch and will be using organic grape for my second. I find it great for controlling my appetite and my obsession for ice cream.

    Reply
  14. Llepke

    I make homemade “jello” with plain ol NOW gelatin and tea, any kind, herbal, black, green, yerba mate and it’s great. I also make it with konjac powder which is high fiber. I love the little fish molds for this.

    Reply
  15. Squeaky

    I made this for the first time today! SO funny. I used plain white grape juice thinking that would be good to try, it’s clear and sweet (my kid is on a Jello kick). OK it looks and tastes exactly like BEER! Ha ha. I guess gelatine has a bit of a taste itself? Needless to say I will be trying it with a stronger flavour next time. Well, maybe not. The kids didn’t seem to care and ate it all up. Yum yum.

    Reply
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  17. Margie

    Was wondering if you could suggest a Vegetarian Option to the Grass Fed Gelatin. Thanks. πŸ˜€

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      You should be able to agar agar, but the ratio will be different– you can do a google search to find a good suggestion on that!

      Reply
  18. Scarlet

    Would this work well using fresh vegetable juice from a juicer? If so, what flavor would you recommend? I can only think of Carrot, Orange, & Pineapple and Cucumber Lime. How would the final product be with coconut water or using a probiotic?

    I tried rating this 5 stars but it wouldn’t let me.

    Reply
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  21. Linda

    I don’t get this setting like your picture – it doesn’t even gel.
    I used cold water soluble pure protien Kosher Great Lakes Gelatine Collagen Hydrolysate Collagen Joint care dietary supplement in a green tub, so why isn’t it working?

    Reply
    1. Megan Post author

      The green tub is only for cold uses, like blending into smoothies– it won’t ever set! The red tub is the one you want for making jello-type recipes.

      Reply
      1. Sarah

        Thanks for your recipe and tips and thanks the poster who asked about he Great Lakes Gelatin in the Green tub.. ooops! I keep checking my tart cherry juice with added organic coca powder and it hasn’t set.. Darn. πŸ™‚ What is the advantage or reason for the Cold gelatin? Does it dissolve better?

        Reply
        1. Megan Gilmore Post author

          I believe people use the cold gelatin (collagen) as a supplement for extra protein, so it won’t clump when you add it to cold drinks, such as smoothies. You need to use the gelatin (red container) to actually make jello-like treats, because it’s the only kind that will set.

          Reply
  22. Linda

    Most recipes just say grass fed gelatine so it’s all very misleading and no one has been that specific.
    It should be clarified as it’s such a waste of money otherwise when all you want is an organic grass fed jelly (I’m British!!)

    Reply
  23. Jean

    Do you have a recipe for making a dry fruit gelatin mix. I want to use in a recipe for green tomato jelly and I will not use jello? Thanks so much. Jean

    Reply
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  25. coryann

    Hi! I’ve tried your recipe a few times and they have always come out perfect. I made it last night and it never set! I used grape/orange juice (have done this before and its been fine) but after i poured it in the pan i added sliced bananas quickly mixed and put in the fridge. BUT it never set! What did I do wrong!! Help please! Thank you!

    Coryann

    Reply
  26. Kayla

    Hi, I noticed that the recipe states to use 1 Tbs. gelatin but in the picture it looks like you are pouring in 1/4 Cup gelatin. Am I seeing that wrong? I just want to be sure before I make the jello.
    Thank you! πŸ™‚

    Reply
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  30. Melissa

    Gelatin has to be the most disgusting product ever to exist. Pectin is an excellent alternative; not only is it derived from fruit rather than animal ligaments and hooves, it makes AMAZING β€œJello”

    Reply
  31. barb

    Megan, can you tell us why you prefer the “beef” version of the gelatin over the “porcine”? The containers look deceptively the same…just wondering if there is a real difference or it’s just a matter of personal preference. Thank you! Great recipes on this site, by the way.

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      When you click the print button, it opens a new window with a printer-friendly recipe format. You will still have to select the “print” option from your internet browser to send that page to your printer.

      Reply
  32. Brianna

    Do you scrape the foam off the top because it did not disappear after mine thickened in the fridge? Thanks!

    Reply
  33. Recovering Food Junkie

    Thanks a lot for this recipe!! I love gelatin desserts but hate the toxic ingredients in Jello.

    I love to chill hibiscus tea, it has a sweetly sour, fruity taste and is delightful when sweetened with honey, and it has a beautiful, naturally red color. Since I’m in the habit of brewing and chilling this tea, I’m going to experiment with hibiscus gelatin, using freshly brewed, hot hibiscus tea in lieu of hot water, and an already chilled batch in lieu of cool juice. I would imagine it will blend well with any sort of berry, cherry or grape, so after experimenting with the hibiscus tea, if it works out, I’ll try mixing fruits into it later on.

    If anyone else is keen to try this, I would advise you to first research the medicinal qualities of hibiscus before consuming. It has many nutritional benefits, is widely consumed in various countries and is probably fine for most folks, but also has some medicinal effects, including headache remedy, mild diuretic and might have some effect on hormones in some cases, so do not consume without first discussing with a qualified herbalist/natural health practitioner (or midwife) if you are pregnant, diabetic, or taking allopathic medications. I personally have not experienced any unpleasant side effects or drug interactions using hibiscus, but everyone is different, so it’s good to do your own research first.

    In closing, you can use your own preferred sweetener with this, it need not be honey- that’s just my personal trip, I dig honey. Also keep in mind that the lovely red hibiscus tea will leave a blue stain on white stuff, so guard your doilies!

    Reply

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