Berry Citrus Vegan Jello
By Denise Vasi
Jello is a fun and easy-to-make snack that everyone loves but how exactly would one make vegan jello considering the main ingredient in jello is gelatin, an ingredient made from animal skin, cartilage, hooves, tendons, ligaments and bones. Traditional jello is also full of preservatives and contains one of the worst artificial dyes out there… Red #40.
A little bit of research led me to agar. An algae-derived gel-like substance, agar is colorless, odorless and flavorless. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, folate and is loaded with fiber. It’s also gluten-free, calorie-free, carb-free and fat-free. It can be found in powder, flake and bar form, and it’s very important to pay attention to which form a recipe calls for.
While the agar does make the jello consistency a tad bit firmer than regular jello, it still is the best natural replacement for gelatin.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- ⅛ - ¼ cup agave nectar
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 3 tbs agar flakes
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 handful of blackberries and blueberries sliced in half
- 1 handful of a chopped citrus fruit (blood orange or orange, or even pineapple)
Step 1: Add frozen blackberries to 2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the water to a simmer. Then remove the pot from heat, letting it stand for a few minutes.
Step 2: Carefully remove and discard the blackberries. You can use a strainer or a spoon, just be careful because the liquid will be hot and will stain clothing or light-colored porous surfaces.
Step 3: Lightly whisk in the agave nectar, sea salt and the agar flakes.
Step 4: Let the mixture cook on medium heat until the flakes have fully dissolved. Usually 7 – 10 minutes after reaching a light boil, stirring occasionally.
Step 5: While the mixture is cooking, place halved blackberries, halved blueberries and depending on what’s s in season, blood orange, orange or pineapple chunks to a glass container.
Step 6: Add the lemon juice to the mixture. Stir.
Step 7: Pour the mixture over the fruit into container.
Step 8: Cover and place in refrigerator until firm, about 30 – 40 minutes.