Homemade jello is easy, healthy, and delicious. Best of all, you get to decide exactly what flavors to use. Make 100% fruit juice jello for a naturally-sweetened treat. Or mix in kombucha, water kefir, or milk kefir for a bit of probiotics!
Fruit juice jello is every bit as easy to make as “instant jello” boxes. The result is a healthy, naturally sweetened dessert that is wiggly and fun!
The recipe below involves making several layers, but that’s not necessary. Really jello can be as easy or complicated as you want!
Fun Fruit Juice Flavors
The recipe includes the option for several layers. The photographed jello involved a layer of berry juice, a layer of flavored cream, and a layer of ginger beer. Exactly which flavors you use for your jello is entirely up to you.
Here are some fun suggestions:
- Berry Bash: Use grape, apple, or a mixed berry juice for the jello, then add blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries into the bottom layer. This is pretty tasty with the whipping cream layer.
- Raspberry Tea: Use 1 cup of double-strength brewed black tea instead and mix it with 5 cups of grape juice. Add in 1 cup of raspberries, which will float on top.
- Vegan Coconut Cream: For vegan creamy jello use coconut cream instead of whipping cream. This is particularly delicious with tropical fruit juice.
- Orange Julius: Use orange juice mixed with 1 1/2 tsp of orange zest and add vanilla into the whipping cream layer.
Adding a bit of cultured liquid into jello is a fun way to get your daily dose of probiotics. Here are a few notes on making probiotic jello:
- Since both gelatin and pectin need to be stirred into boiling hot liquid, it’s important to allow the liquid to cool to just above body temperature before mixing in a probiotic beverage. The ideal temperature is 105 F (40 C).
- Probiotic beverages will continue to ferment, even after being set into jello. So don’t be surprised if you have a bit of sparkle in your jello!
I always have a few probiotic beverages in my fridge. The jello in the photographs is made with ginger beer and milk kefir cream. Yum!
- Apple Ginger Beer: Mix homemade ginger beer with apple juice.
- Berry Kombucha: Unflavored kombucha tea is delicious with berry juice.
- Sweet Water Kefir: Water kefir is the sweetest probiotic pop, so it is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
- Kefir Cream: Make milk kefir cultured cream.
- Cultured Coconut: Cultured coconut cream is a delicious dairy-free alternative.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a simple option for anyone who doesn’t regularly brew their own soda pop. It isn’t as creamy, but it’s still delicious!
Fun Fruit Juice Jello
Fruit juice jello is perfect for all sorts of fun flavors and doesn’t require any additional sugar. See the section above for some flavor options, including fermented beverages, like kombucha, for a probiotic treat.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6 to 8 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: Vintage
- Diet: Gluten Free
- Pectin or gelatin (enough to set 6 cups, see notes)
- 3 cups of juice
- 2 cups of juice or probiotic beverage
- 1 cup of cream (either whipping cream or coconut cream)
- 1 cup of fresh fruit (optional)
- Bring 3 cups of juice to a boil. Remove from heat and add pectin and gelatin according to the directions on the package. Follow the proportions on the package because the amount will depend on exactly what brand you are using.
- Leave the juice out to cool at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
- At that point, you can mix in whatever liquids you want to use (see above for suggestions) and set in a 6 cup jello mold, or individual cups.
- To make layers, mix 1 cup of juice with 1 cup liquid. Pour into the mold and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then mix the cream with 1 cup of juice. Pour over the set jello, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then mix the final layer of 1 cup juice with 1 cup of liquid.
- If you are using fresh fruit, I recommend adding them to the bottom or middle layer, as they will float until the jello is set.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving so that it sets nicely.
- I’ve used both organic gelatin powder and Pomona’s pectin. The jello comes out perfectly either way. Just follow the jelling instructions on the package for 6 cups of liquid.
- Avoid using fresh pineapple, kiwi, peaches, figs, mango, or papaya, which all contain an enzyme that will prevent the jello from setting properly. If you really want to use one of these fruits then either use processed juice or canned fruit, which won’t contain the enzymes.
- A bundt pan works great as a jello mold. However, I find individual bowls or glasses are easier to serve.
Keywords: 1950’s, vintage recipe, probiotic, sugar-free, vegan, gluten free, keto, kombucha, ginger bug, water kefir, milk kefir