Family friendly recipes and real life adventures by a mom/nutritionist

JELL-O the Makeover Way

When I picked up Sophia from preschool last Thursday, the first words out of her mouth were not “I love you mom and I missed you so much” or “today I learned all about the theory of relativity”.  Instead she greeted me with “Mom, what is JELL-O?”  Alas, I knew this day would come.  Now I’m just waiting for the “why don’t we ever eat at McDonald’s” question.
Apparently some lucky little 2 year old in her class had a jiggling bowl of fluorescent yellow fun stuff for dessert and my girl wanted in on that deliciousness.   This year is all about problem solving for me, so instead of denying her one of childhood’s rites of passage – I decided to investigate some healthy alternatives.

My mother-in-law had introduced me to agar-agar as a gelatin alternative about a year ago and I decided to do some further research.  I found out that it is made from a red algae and is reported to have some health benefits (such as improving digestion and elmination).  Seemed good enough for me – off to the health food store we went!

The result is a super-easy, healthier version of Jell-o.  We’ll call it “Jiggle Juice”. Make it even better by adding diced fruit before chilling.  If you have trouble finding agar (also called kanten) flakes, try your health food store or Asian grocery store.

Jiggle Juice Ingredients:

2 cups of fruit juice (or other liquid)
2 tablespoons of agar flakes
2 tablespoons of raw honey or agave syrup
A fun container(s) to set your jelly in

Instructions:

In a saucepan, combine juice, agar and honey.
Stir well and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, making sure everything is dissolved.
Pour into container(s).
Set in refrigerator 2+ hours.

Unmould or eat straight out of the container, enjoy!   Both my kids loved this as a little treat after lunch at school.

Here are the ingredients that are listed for a box of “Grape Gelatin Dessert” on the Jell-o website:

Ingredients:
SUGAR, GELATIN, ADIPIC ACID (FOR TARTNESS), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE AND SODIUM CITRATE (CONTROL ACIDITY), FUMARIC ACID (FOR TARTNESS), TANNIC ACID, RED 40, BLUE 2.

Which one would you rather serve to your children?



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