J-E-L-L-O! Well, not quite, but it's a version of it. These fresh fruit jellies are made with agar - a substance similar to gelatin, except the texture is more firm and it doesn't melt as easily. You might be asking, why would I make this version when I can easily pick up a box of fruit flavored powered jello at my local grocer? Well folks, here at NB we're strong believers in leading a healthy lifestyle (when possible), which means eating well and being conscious of what we're putting into our bodies. And it's not that jello/gelatin is by any means terrible for you - the inspiration for making this was driven by the nutritional value that comes with using agar (that and it was a yummy childhood treat I used to enjoy).
Agar is actually made from seaweed, which means it's vegan. It has zero calories. That's right - read it and weep (for joy). Great Ceasar's ghost, ZERO CALORIES. That being said, it has a slightly sweet flavor, but we added a bit more sugar to enhance and add a bit of flavor. Agar is a good source of calcium and iron, and is very high in fiber. It's also known for it's ability to aid in digestion and weight loss. Nutritional jackpot. Cha-ching!
- One 8oz package of agar powder (I got mine at a Japanese grocery store, $2.79). You can find agar at most Asian grocery stores
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar (you can also substitute fruit juice for water in order to add sweetness)
- Fresh fruit (I used fresh mango, raspberries and bing cherries)
- Silicone mold - this doesn't have to be silicone, but it helps a lot when getting the jellies out (I used a flower mold, Amazon $9.89) This recipe can fill up about two of these molds.
1. Wash and cut the fruit into bite size pieces.
2. Pour the water, agar powder and sugar into a pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, making sure to stir frequently so the agar and sugar dissolves.
3. Pour the mixture into the mold, filling it up 3/4 of the way. Add the fruit, and pop it in the fridge. Agar firms up much quicker than gelatin, so it'll be ready to eat as soon as it's chilled. Enjoy!!
Here's to the perfect summer treat!