When it comes to fun foods, jello is right up there with s’mores and ice cream floats. The jiggly texture, fruity flavor, bright colors and fun shapes appeal to every kid I have ever met. However, I’ve always been a bit hesitant to whip up a batch of Jello for my daughter because of the enormous amount of sugar and artificial ingredients in regular Jello. Then, while cleaning out my cupboards the other day, I stumbled upon an old box of Knox unflavored gelatin and saw a recipe for “Fruit Juice Knox Blox” on the package. It sounded just like Jello jigglers, but made with fruit juice! I immediately decided to try out a batch and ended up making one recipe with grape juice and one with white grape-peach juice. Initially, I was a bit skeptical about the gelatin getting stiff enough to cut like regular jigglers, but it turned out perfectly! Some kids might miss the luridly bright colors of regular jello, but I am quite partial to the lovely shade of champagne created by the white grape-peach juice. These were a fun, cool dessert for my daughter on a hot late-summer day and, best of all, there was no added sugar, preservatives or artificial colors needed!
I only used clear fruit juices for my gelatin so I’m not sure how this recipe would work with pulpy citrus juices. Maybe I’ll try that out next!
Fruit Juice Jigglers
Based on the recipe from the Knox unflavored gelatin package
Makes 1 9 x 9 inch pan of gelatin
1/2 cup cold fruit juice
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling fruit juice
1. Put the cold fruit juice into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl. Let sit for about 1 minute or until the gelatin begins to harden.
2. Pour the boiling juice into the mixing bowl with the gelatin and stir with a wooden spoon until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pour the fruit juice mixture into a 9 x 9 inch baking dish or similar sized container. Chill for 3 hours or until completely set
3. Cut the gelatin into squares or use cookie cutters to cut it into fun shapes. I found an offset spatula was very helpful in removing the shapes from the pan.