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Finger Jello – A Wiggly, Jiggly Nutrient Dense Food

- One of my favorite things about real, nutrient dense food is that I find myself eating amazingly delicious things that I previously deemed to be guilty pleasures – bacon, butter, cream, egg yolks, and other delectables are now my top health foods.  I love it!

Lately lots of my favorite foodies (like CheeseSlave) have been taking about a jello, and I am just thrilled for a wiggly jiggly revival, especially when I can pass it off as part of my nutritious diet.

I remember J-E-L-L-O from my junk food days – from shapely molds with suspended fruit cocktail to a bowlful topped with Cool Whip.  Sometimes we skipped the prep, and just dipped our stained red fingers in to the sugary powder – admittedly a bit disgusting – but all fun nonetheless.  Who knew one of the most iconic American desserts could easily morph into a nutrient dense health food!

When it’s from healthy, grass fed animals, gelatin is a wonderfully nutritious and versatile ingredient.  Gelatin is made when the collagen from skin and bones of animals is melted down making the proteins soluble in hot water.

The presence of gelatin is why a good bone broth or homemade soup will gel when chilled.  According to the Weston Price Foundation, gelatin helps to strengthen cartilage, bones, teeth, and hair as well as benefit skin, digestive tract, immune system, heart and muscles.  The digestive benefits almost justify jello in being such a popular hospital food – now if only we could get the medical cafeterias to make it from scratch with healthy ingredients!

Even Kraft Jell-O is a relatively simple food containing “Sugar, gelatin, adipic acid (for tartness), contains less than 2% of artificial flavor, disodium phosphate and sodium citrate (control acidity), fumaric acid (for tartness), red 40, blue 1.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m not really down with the the processed sugar and artificial stuff, and I don’t personally trust that Kraft or Knox use anything but gelatin from factory raised animals full of stress hormones, antibiotics, and disease.

My version of jello is made with Great Lakes Gelatin from grass-fed cows and fresh juice or a sweetened tea like hibiscus. (I don’t recommend using Knox or other main stream brands of gelatin.

The WAP foundation suggests Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes which are both made from pasture-raised animals.) With a one year old that insists on feeding herself, I opted for the hand-holdable version: finger jello.  So super easy to make, this is sure to become one of our family’s new favorites.

Nutrient Dense Finger Jello

To make jello of this consistency, the proportion is 1 cup liquid to 1 Tablespoon gelatin.  If you prefer a more spoonable, jelly-like jello (especially good topped with raw whipped cream or creme fraiche), use less gelatin.


For the batch pictured here, I used 4 cups fresh pomegranate juice and 4 Tbsp. Great Lakes gelatin.

  1. Divide juice approximately in half.
  2. Add gelatin to cold juice and stir, set aside.
  3. Bring other half of juice to a boil, then add to the gelatin/juice mixture.
  4. Stir to dissolve the gelatin and pour into a shallow pan.
  5. Place in the fridge to cool.  When completely gelled cut in cubes (or used a fun shaped cookie cutter), and enjoy!

The jello will taste less sweet than your original juice, so if you prefer a sweeter jello, stir in a touch of raw honey before cooling to set.

Experiment with stirring in some fresh berries or a swirl of raw cream before chilling.

Super easy, fun, yummy, and good for you too!

This post can be seen at the following blog carnivals: Grain Free Real Food CarnivalMake Your Own! Monday and Weekend Gourmet. Hop on over to check out some other posts you may enjoy!


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. These small earnings make it possible for me to continue writing this blog for you. That said, I will never endorse any product or service that I cannot fully support.

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  1. Chantal says:

    Where can u get the gelatin from? Rainbow acres? Wholefoods?

    Sounds great for my picky eater! Any other flavor suggestions that yr lil one liked?

    • admin says:

      Hi Chantal – I bought mine on Amazon. The options are limitless for flavors, but personally I like the ones that most mimic the red flavors of my youth like cherry made with pure cherry juice! Watermelon might be really good too. :)

  2. nicole says:

    Bernard’s is much cheaper do you find the texture or taste different?

  3. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  4. [...] Finger Jello – A Wiggly, Jiggly Nutrient Dense Food [...]

  5. [...] love using this tea to make my homemade healthy finger jello, and it also make great grown-up wine coolers mixed with a white wine over ice. Just beware, [...]

  6. Judy Griffin says:

    I absolutely love this healthy jello recipe. Thank you!

  7. Judy Griffin says:

    Absolutely love this healthy jello recipe. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you!!

  8. [...] Finger Jello — Holistic Kid [...]

  9. [...] Finger Jello — Holistic Kid [...]

  10. krystal says:

    Anyone make their own gelatin?

  11. [...] Finger Jello ““ A Wiggly, Jiggly Nutrient Dense Food [...]

  12. Crystal says:

    I’m curious how you feel about the taste of the geletin. I looked up the brand you suggest and several people talked about how horrible it smells while being cooked and a weird taste (although none of them mentioned it being an issue in homemade jello, though no one even mentioned making homemade jello!) Does this smell go away afterwards or is it something you get use to? I would love to make this for my kids! I think they’d love it as long as it didn’t taste/smell like some reviewers said!

  13. RJ says:

    Then dehydrate it! I was looking for a chewy fruit roll up with little success. One day I took my sheet of homemade Jello and cut it into strips and dehydrated them. Worked perfectly!

  14. Michelle says:

    You just inspired me…I think I am going to try making vanilla latte jello! Coffee, vanilla extract, stevia, and cream.

    Making it with hibiscus tea right now, hope it sets before bed tonight

  15. LEah G says:

    We love jello around here and make it with fresh fruit juice during the summer. These days we are doing Kombucha, water kefir, fermented lemonade jello….2cups liquid mixed with 5Tbsp gelatin mixed well and lightly heated added to 2 cups of same liquid. pour in pan and cool. YUM. and yes its still probiotic because the jar always has pressure when we open it.

  16. […] you haven’t heard, gelatin is a superfood when it comes from grass-fed animals. This is the gelatin that I keep on hand to recreate all of […]

  17. […] 2 16-ounce canisters of gelatin ($33) – When it comes from pasture-raised animals, gelatin is a healthy food that is great for healthy digestion, skin, and joints. Use it to make homemade finger jello with this recipe. […]

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