Recipe: Homemade Jelly Lollies
Sorry, but I'd like to address the jellyphant in the room.
Why load up on artificial sweeteners when you can get the benefits of gelatin the natural way?!
Gelatin (normally derived from beef - sorry vegos!) is a reasonable source of protein (though you wouldn't be eating enough at once for it to be a solid source in a meal) and epic for healing the gut. It's awesome for helping ease joint pain, plus it supports healthy skin, hair and nails. Gelatin is largely an amino acid compound of glycine and proline. We don't get quite as much of these amino acids in our diet as others because they are most abundant in the bits of animals we tend not to eat every day (but woohoo if you do!) - bones, organs, fibrous bits and pieces.
You might be familiar with Jell-O/Aeroplane Jelly crystals, and they have the gelatin powder that will do all of the above. They also have a bunch of crapoodle in them that will do more damage than good (I'm looking at you, artificial sweetener/sugar/colouring/etc). But there are plenty of ways of use natural, unflavoured gelatin powder, available from your health food shop or iHerb online if you search for the brands "Now" or "Great Lakes". Here are a heap of ideas from Wellness Mama. Of course, if you don't want to use gelatin powder, you can chow down on some liver or make a batch of bone broth (I'll do a recipe at some point...but start with getting a heap of marrow bones from the butcher, chuck it in a heavy soup pot or slow cooker, cover with water and simmer for 12-72 hours). Sometimes I even add extra gelatin to my bone broth!
Or, you can make my homemade jellies. Ramp up the flavour by using strong tasting juices, essential oils, honey etc.
- 1 cup fruit juice (I like using pomegranate, fresh OJ, carrot & lemon & ginger....you can even use kombucha, blitzed bananas, blitzed watermelon, brewed chai tea, coconut milk...)
- 3Tbs gelatin powder
- 2Tbs - or more to suit your taste - honey, maple syrup, rice malt syrup or sweetener of your choosing
- Pour all of the liquid into a saucepan and add the gelatin. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until the mix becomes a gritty, solid mess (yum)
- Turn the heat on low - you don't want your mix to boil because it'll break the structure of the gelatin and the final product won't set. The goop with start to melt and soon turn to liquid
- Stir, stir, stir until the liquid is really shiny and you can't see any gelatin particles. I suggest having a little brush on hand with some warm water to brush down the sides of the saucepan
- Have a taste to see if the mix is sweet enough. If not, add some more of whichever sweetener you're using
- Have some silicon cupcake patty pans, or silicon ice trays, on hand. Chocolate moulds work well, too! If they're wibbly wobbly, pop them on a sturdy baking tray for easy transport to the fridge
- If you want to add bits to your jellies, like the goji berries in my jellyphants, pop a few in the bottom of each mould (you can add them to the liquid in the saucepan if you want to re-hydrate them a bit more). You can use fruits here, too! Just don't use pineapple or kiwi because they're not great mates with gelatin. You can also use coconut shavings, inca berries, buckinis...
- Use a pipette or a spoon to evenly distribute the gelatin mixture among the moulds
- Pop into the fridge and leave to set for a few hours
- Pop the jellies out of their moulds and put into an airtight container. They'll keep at room temp but I tend to keep mine in the fridge. They'll last a good couple of weeks in or out of the fridge!