It was 35 degrees here on the weekend (for my friends south of the border, that’s 95F) and while that’s just gorgeous for most people, being 6 months pregnant made it a little tough to handle! So I spent the weekend enjoying lots of cold food like salads, hard boiled eggs, smoothies and JELLO!!
Why jello? Two main reasons.
- I’m obsessed with cold fruit, and jello is a fun way to add variety. But more importantly…
- Gelatin. I’ve gone on and on about the health benefits of gelatin – you can find them in my blog posts on bone broth, healing leaky gut, watermelon jello and chocolate smoothies. Pretty much it’s amazing for gut and joint health, but also anywhere that there’s connective tissue – including skin, nails and hair (bonus!). I’m especially obsessed with it right now, cause I’m building brand new connective tissue for my kiddo, so making sure I get in lots of building blocks during my pregnancy. Extra awesome about this recipe is the vitamin C content from the oranges – connective tissue also requires vitamin C to be created, so this is a double whammy!
- Use real fruit, not juice. If you don’t want to juice oranges like I did, choose a different fruit and throw in your blender. I have a recipe for watermelon jello that does exactly that! Juice is barely better than pop, even the organic stuff found at health food stores. Keep it real folks.
- As always, I prefer grassfed animal products. My go-to brand of gelatin is Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin (we actually important it from the US), and it is often available on Amazon.ca, but right now it is on serious back order. Great Lakes Brand is a solid alternative. Your standard grocery store gelatin would work just fine as well.
- Don’t use grocery store jello. The food dyes and corn syrup (or worse, artificial sweeteners) are pure toxins. It takes a few seconds to blend/juice some fruit and then it’s actually good for you!
- 4 cups orange juice (I used 3lbs of oranges, which I juiced the old fashioned way. It resulted in 2.5 cups of juice, which I topped up with water to achieve 4 cups total liquid.)
- 4 tbsp gelatin (Vital Proteins is my favourite product, followed by Great Lakes Brand)
- maple syrup, to taste (optional, I didn't use any)
- Juice your oranges and add water to achieve 4 cups. Taste and add maple syrup if necessary.
- Pour half (2 cups) into a small saucepan and heat over medium. Do not boil!
- Meanwhile, add 4 tbsp of gelatin to the remaining 2 cups of liquid in a bowl or measuring cup. Let bloom for about 5 minutes.
- Once the liquid in the saucepan is very warm (but not boiling), stir in the gelatin/liquid combo and remove from heat.
- Whisk to combine well. If necessary, use an immersion blender to blend completely.
- Pour into an 8x8 glass pan, silicon chocolate moulds or silicon ice cube trays.
- Refrigerate for 2+ hours.
- If you only end up with 3.5 cups of liquid, use 3.5 tbsp gelatin - just keep the ratio the same!
- Add other flavours like lemon, lime, or grapefruit
- If you like stuff in your jello, add some orange wedges or berries after pouring into moulds/pan