I love jello and fortunately my family does as well. I've written before that the jello that I grew up with was full of sugar and artificial colorings and flavorings, etc... all things that I didn't want to be ingesting, so for the longest time we did without jello, until I learned that I could make jello using only nourishing ingredients, so that jello would go from junk to a delicious food that is actually healing for the body.
At first I made jello from apple juice concentrate, but I've stopped buying it, since I find that merely having it in the house tempts us to only want to drink that instead of water, which isn't good either for the budget or my waist.
I've been experimenting with other flavors of jello that I could make, such as ginger jello. I thought to make jello with hibiscus tea, since I had it in the house already and it is a fun color and it can be sweetened as much as you want, and with whatever sweeteners you prefer- sugar to keep it cheapest, or honey or coconut sugar to keep it more nourishing, or stevia (leaf or homemade extract) if you want it lower carb.
To make it even more fancy, I threw in the seeds of two pomegranates, though it would be terrific with fresh berries as well in place of the pomegranate seeds. You can always leave out the fruit to make plain hibiscus jello.
Homemade Hibiscus Jello with Pomegranates or Berries Recipe- Paleo, Refined Sugar Free, Sugar Free OptionIngredients:
1/4 cup plain gelatin (I used fish gelatin, but beef gelatin also works)
3/4 cup cold water
6 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers or equivalent amount of tea bags (5-6)
7-8 cups liquid (see instructions)
Sweetener of choice, to taste
1-2 seeded pomegranates, or 1-3 cups fresh berries
1. Place your gelatin with 3/4 cups cold water and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to soften.
2. Seep your hibiscus flowers or tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water and let it sit while the gelatin is softening.
3. Pour 1 cup boiling water onto the softened gelatin and mix until it is fully dissolved.
4. Mix your hibiscus tea concentrate with 4-5 more cups of water and sweeten it with your sweetener of choice, making it extra sweet to factor in that it'll be watered down with the 1 3/4 cups of liquid already with the gelatin. If you're using a liquid sweetener, use less water- you want to be adding a total of 7-8 cups of liquid to the original 3/4 cups, and since you already have 3 cups (counting the tea concentrate), make sure that with the liquid sweetener you have a total of 4-5 cups of liquid.
5. Mix your sweetened tea with the gelatin mixture, pour into molds if desired, or just into a container, and put in the fridge to set. After about 2 hours, it should have solidified somewhat, so you can toss in the pomegranate seeds or berries without them sinking all the way down to the bottom. Keep in mind, though, that if you wait too long the jello will have set and you won't be able to get the fruit in without messing up its molding, so better stick them in earlier as opposed to later, and worst comes to worst, the fruit will sink down to the bottom.
6. Let the jello set in the fridge for 6-18 hours. I find in the summer it sometimes takes an entire 18 hours for the jello to set, and in the winter it takes far less time. If you check in on the jello and it isn't set, don't think you ruined it- just give it more time.
7. To serve, either spoon out into individual dishes, or flip upside down out of the mold. Running a knife along the outside of the mold helps release it from the mold best. I suggest not using an intricate mold because the fruit makes it more difficult for it to release nicely from fancy molds. Silicon muffin tins actually worked best for me for this dish, whereas my intricate flower molds didn't work as nicely.
Are you or your kids fans of jello? Do you ever make jello? Homemade or store bought? If homemade how do you make yours? Do you ever make jello with fruit in it?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?