How to Make Jello the Natural and Healthy Way

Do you know that jello can be a health food? Well, if you make it the Mama Natural way it can be. 🙂

Conventional Jello is filled with artificial ingredients. Here’s an easy recipe to make it yourself and turn that junk food into a healthy and natural superfood that kids will love.

How to make jello the natural and healthy way video

How to make jello: what exactly makes jello gel?

It’s gelatin, which comes from hides and bones of animals. I know, it sounds kinda scary but trust me on this one.

High in anti-inflammatory amino acids like glycine and proline, gelatin helps your nails and hair grow fast and strong, promotes restful sleep, improves memory and learning and even has antitumor properties!

The gelatonius nature helps soothe the intestional tract while assisting digestion.

I consumed lots of gelatin when I was pregnant, and think may have helped prevent stretch marks and saggy skin. Woo hoo!

Let’s face it, eating jello is FUN!

What’s not so fun is the conventional jello on the marketplace. Filled with sugar, artificial flavoring and dyes, not to mention their gelatin comes from animals that are fed improper diets and given hormones. No thanks!

But, we can create our own homemade jello and bring back all of the healing and medicinal properties while making it taste YUMMY.

Get some good gelatin

Before you begin making, you’re gonna need a high quality gelatin product. Knox gelatin at the store ain’t gonna cut it.

You’ll probably have to order online and my favorite brand is Vital Proteins because their products come from grass-fed cows. You want to be sure to get this type (green label), because it’s the one that gels. I use their other kind (blue label) to put in smoothies and waffles.

You’re also gonna need some tasty fruit juice! Grape, orange, and cherry are all lovely flavors for jello. You can mix and match as you see fit or with what’s in season. (NOTE: Do not use raw pineapple juice as the enzymes in the fruit will prevent the Jello from setting.)

How to make jello: healthy jello ingredients

  • 2 cups of juice, preferable organic and freshly made or “not from concentrate.”
  • 2 TB of gelatin (I like this brand)
  • Raw honey, coconut nectar or stevia (here’s my favorite stevia)
  • 1/2-1 cup of raw fruit or 2 TB of fruit rind (optional)
  • Top with raw cream if desired

How to make jello: healthy jello directions

  • Pour your juice into a saucepan.
  • Add in 2 TB of gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  • Turn on heat to medium and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Don’t let it sit long or it will start to clump.
  • Stir and taste. Add and mix in sweetener if you desire.
  • Pour mixture into a jello mold (any glass bowl will work… even ice cube trays!)
  • Put jello into refrigerator and let sit for at least 3-4 hours. Better to leave overnight.

Serve and ENJOY your natural, healthy jello!

Interested in more gelatin recipes and tips?

Here are all my posts on gelatin, including a bunch of fun recipes for kids of all ages.

How about YOU?

Did you like jello as a kid? Have you figured out how to make jello that is healthy?

Click to see my natural holiday gift guide

96 Comments

Add a Comment
  1. Thaank you very much for this tutorial. Im super pumped to try this out.
    However I can’t seem to find eco friendly gelantin where Im from. 🙁

  2. Hello,
    I don’t mean to be a buzzkill because I think that gelatin is a wonderfully healthy food. However, to say that it may have prevented your stretch marks is probably not true. Why do I feel like it is important to point this out? Because during my pregnancy I consumed a very healthy diet, including gelatin and lots of vitamin C rich foods (which also is said to help the skin to stretch easily). I also used a very wonderful homemade body oil. The results? MY SKIN REMAINED ALMOST PERFECT POST-BABY!!! But here’s the kicker: my sister, who has different genes due to a different dad, did everything exactly like I did and she wound up with stretch marks and saggy skin. So, by you claiming that gelatin prevented your stretch marks, you may be making hundreds of women unnecessarily feel that their stretch marks are “their fault” because of what they did or didn’t do during pregnancy. I would just hate for women to feel that way, as our post-pregnancy bodies are already sometimes hard to accept, without the thought that it is our fault. Just saying 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing and good points. I updated to say that it MAY have helped 🙂

  3. Can I use ordinary store bought juice

  4. Easiest recipe in the world! Follow these steps and feel very accomplished after a few short hours. I was so shocked at how firm it was, considering how terrible I am at following even the simplest recipes. And delicious! Thanks Genevieve!

  5. This recipe is great and my family is loving it!!
    How long is the jello good for once made? Can it go rancid?
    Thanks

  6. Another healthy alternative to gelatin is china grass also called Agar Agar is veg ,a sea weed

  7. Fantastic! Used mine in an English trifle with organic tropical fruit and berries (just have to excuse the sponge!). I never realised how much sugar was added; this has changed the way I’ll make trifles from now on.

    And so east too!

    Thanks!

  8. Why does mine taste like meat? Lol I am trying to be healthy…. I really am.. I used apple juice and it tasted pretty bad. I tried orange too but not much better. My kids won’t touch it.

    • becausevit not healthy. Don’t believe that this jello cause it isn’t.

  9. I used mango/orange juice and this turned out great! I did add six drops of stevia but not sure I really needed it.
    I’m wondering how long this will keep in the fridge?
    Thanks for a great recipe!!

    • I would say about a week. Glad you liked it!

      • Hi i’am really excited about your recipe I tried it. I used real lemon juice and also lime and I squeezed six tangerines. And I already had the Great Lakes gelatin it’s in the green label and it’s cold water soluble so it mixes easily in cold or hot water perfectly with no lumps at my house. But the problem is, it didn’t gel up. I believe it’s because I also adding water. So my question, is it because I added water it didn’t firm up? Looking forward to hearing from you. Take care, Carrie

        • Hi Carrie,

          It did not gel because you used the green can rather than the orange can from the Great Lakes. The green one is hydrolysate, great in drinks and easier on the digestive system, but it will not gel. Use the orange one.

  10. Jello – could you substitute essential oil for flavoring instead of juice? looking for a sugar free, low carb option.

    • You could try a few drops of Lemon and then use stevia as your sweetener. Not sure if it will work though!

      • I wonder if you used lemon zest you could get the lemon flavor you wanted.

    • Shelly did you try this? I’d love to know if this works! I have some orange EO that might be good in jello! However I don’t think kids (under 6?) are supposed to ingest EOs so I wouldn’t make it this way for children.

      • Technically citrus EOs are not true EOs. They’re just pressed rind oils. They are safe for anyone including children to eat at the level that tastes good. If you put too much it will get bitter and you won’t want to eat it anyway.

  11. Would this work with apple cider as the juice? I will try tonight. Thanks!

  12. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m making jello for my daughter’s birthday this weekend as part of the snacks. I’m going to use mini silicone dog themed molds that have 24 spaces in them. How many of the molds do you *think* I can fill making the recipe as stated? I’m just wondering if I should double, triple, the recipe… Thanks. 🙂

    • You could do a trial run. Take two cups of water (the amount of liquid called for in the recipe) and divide that among the molds.

  13. How did you arrive at the conclusion that this is healthy? It’s basically just sugary juice, sugar, and gelatin.

    • Then maybe you just shouldn’t make jello following her recipe. Or don’t look up jello recipes altogether if you’re just going to criticize. No need to be rude to someone who is trying to help by providing us with recipes.

    • It’s healthy because gelatin is a super food! Juice and sugar in moderation are not “bad.”

    • I know a lot of ppl that have always eaten organic and they got cancer, especially in the brain. So who cares about organic. Every thing has chemeicals no matter how healthy u r. Sry but its true. Not saying that organic is the cause but it really doesn’t matter if u eat organic or not. Just eat healthy thats all and this jello isn’t healthy. My opinion to all so don’t get mad ppl.

      • Brain rumors are on the rise because of radiation from cellphone use.

      • This is just a suggestion, but your opinions will be better received if you learn to spell, punctuate and construct complete sentences the way grownups do.

    • She recommends organic juice all juice is rendered from fruit and therefore will be sugary but you can choose to purchase ones that don’t have added in sugar.

      Also the recipe is saying it is healthy bc of the lack of artificial ingredients and dyes. Read more carefully next time you decide to criticize (people in glass houses and all of that)…

      • Also, from the article above: “High in anti-inflammatory amino acids like glycine and proline, gelatin helps your nails and hair grow fast and strong, promotes restful sleep, improves memory and learning and even has antitumor properties…”

        You’re welcome! 🙂

  14. I’m trying to lose more weight. 2 of us lost 90 pounds a year ago and have kept all but 10 off, so we’re happy. Now I want to push downward and one of the problems is that Splenda was a stape and I’m finding it makes us hungry! So I quit making my own jello. Now I’m wondering if honey or Stevia are going to stimulate appetites, too? Are they better for us than Splenda?

    • Artificial sweeteners can have that effect, but both honey and agave should leave you feeling satisfied.:)

      • Agave is good… and it is natural…. but it does create a big blood sugar spike. It is not good for diabetics or pre-diabetics. It does a real number on your pancreas, so stevia is a better alternative.

    • Splenda is actually very bad for you… stevia is the very best alternative sweetner. Check out mercola.com for more info.

      • Hi breezy, I also love Dr. mercola. He has so much good information. I have over the counter water filtration system. It’s nice to see someone that knows about Dr. mercola. Take care, Carrie

    • avoid artificial sugar at all costs. I have read aspartame makes u lose the sensation of being full so people who use it often overeat.

  15. I LOVE Jelly but can not find any good and natural with Halal logo, couse im a muslim

    • Veronika,

      I have a few Muslim friends and they all agreed that having jello made from Great Lakes gelatin was accepted in their dietary restrictions. Since this gelatin is certified kosher. I understand kosher is different than halal, however, some Muslim accept “kosher” food as a replacement.

      • Umm…. kosher and halal are nothing the same. Kosher gelatin is still from pigs, its just been blessed! So if your friends are eating kosher food they are not vegetarians. A pectin made from fruit or ask at your health food store for a veggie alternative to gelatin- they will be able to point you in the right direction.

        • Except Great Lake sells bovine gelatin if I’m not mistaken…

        • The Great Lakes brand says “Kosher” but has no Kosher or Halal certification. Therefore, no observant Jew or Muslim will use it.

          By the way, Kosher gelatin can never come from pigs. Blessings don’t make a product kosher. What’s in the product makes it kosher. Rabbis don’t “bless” products to make them kosher: they observe production and certify that ingredients, process, and combination do not violate Jewish dietary laws. I am sure Imams do the same for Halal products: they certify that a Halal product does not violate Islamic dietary law.

          Kosher gelatin comes from Kosher beef: i.e., the cows were kept and slaughtered according to the relevant Jewish dietary laws, with further laws applying to the preparation of the meat and bones.

          Kosher gelatin sweets and desserts are invariably vegetarian. Why? Because beef gelatin in a dessert places meat-related restrictions the dessert. It can be handled using only materials designated for use with meat. It can be served only with a meals that have no milk-products.

          So, things like Kosher “jello” and marshmallows generally don’t use beef gelatin. They use a vegetarian substitute like agar agar (derived from seaweed), that way they can be “neutral” (non-meat, non-milk). A “neutral” (parve) dessert can be consumed with any type of meal at any time.

        • Actually NOTHING is kosher if it comes from the pig. Porcine gelatin is cannot be labeled “kosher”…because it simply is not. BOVINE gelatin can be labeled kosher, if it indeed meets the standards. Great Lakes porcine gelatin is NOT labeled “kosher”, their bovine gelatin is.

    • Modernist Pantry sells a gelatin made from fish and there is also a vegetarian alternative called agar agar.:)

      • Does agar-agar have all the health benefits of animal gelatin or just those of avoiding “real” traditional jello? Thanks in advance.

  16. Dir sir

    We are abo ibrahim company for trading and industrial
    we thanks you for fast reply
    we wish to work and share with your company in trading and industrial and we want from your company to supply us the ingredents of these items
    1.jelly sweet.
    2.caramela cream .
    3.baking powder(for cake)
    4.custard powder.
    please send us the ingredents and components of those products how to make them
    because we want to make in yemen.
    also send us your products which your company has to buy from you.

    thanking you
    our regards,
    General manager

    Ibrahim katen
    Yemen Sanaa

  17. Dear Genevieve,

    Thanks for telling about Bernard Jensen’s gelatin, ….great stuff.
    I squeezed an organic Lemon and added Stevia ( Truvia ) ..
    It was really great … It was so cute to see your little one eat the jello.
    Great finally. I hope you enjoy my very natural web site.
    Len
    PS You look so much like Sharon Den Adel from “Within Temptation “…see near the lower part of my web site.

  18. Similar to Jell-O…do you have ideas for pudding for my kids that is very similar consistency (only WAY healthier) than the stuff in the stores?! I’ve tried the organic instant puddings and my kids did not go for the (very different) flavoring, unfortunately. Thanks!

    • I don’t have the recipe handy, but you can make pudding with avocado, honey and Cocoa powder. It’s delicious!!

  19. Hi thank you for this! I’m a lactation consultant and will definitely be promoting your site 🙂
    Question – i bought both the green label and the orange label Great Lakes. Which one do you use for this jello? thank you

    • You’d use the orange – green won’t gel!

    • Why don”t you try baked custard with them, a little nutmeg on top? Or rice pudding with raisins?
      Bread pudding? These are old fashioned, but, when Mom made these puddings, or even Dad, we as kids loved them….or so did all the neighbourhood kids. Also chocolate pudding from scratch. I’m sure you can find these recipes by just googling them. Good luck.

  20. I’ve been looking for good sources of gelatin. Thanks for the recommendations.

  21. Do you know of a kosher form of this recipe?? Gelatin is made out of pork..

    • The gelatin she recommends here are both BOVINE gelatins, which means beef, not pork. The Great Lakes brand (which is what I have in my cabinet right now) even declares itself to be kosher on the package.

      • Great Lakes is porcine, not bovine. The pigs are also not pastured, they are grain fed. Whether or not it’s organic grain (if there is such a thing) I have no idea. Even the Bernard Jensen stuff has some porcine mixed in with the bovine. I just read an article concerning these products and this information was in that article. I also learned to make herbal tea jellos which are great when people are ill if they don’t like herbal tea. With kids jello is a great answer because all kids love jello. It’s made with pure Grade B maple syrup for the sweetner, although I imagine you could use stevia or even rapadura.

        • Great Lakes offers both porcine and bovine gelatin. I have both in my pantry. I accidentally bought the porcine one first since the jars look the same.

      • Modernist kitchen makes a jello from fish bones:)

  22. I was just wondering, do you think I could make this with lemon juice? I don’t want it to be crazy tart…
    Has anyone tried this?

  23. So glad I found this! My husband has been asking for a dessert for Thanksgiving that uses jello, cool-whip, pineapple, and pomegranate seeds. I’ve been cringing making it for him, but now I can!

    Question though, typically the powdered jello gets mixed in with the cool-whip (in our case whipped cream) and then the fruit gets added. How would you suggest I combine the two using your recipe?

  24. Could you make the jigglers with this or add something to it to make it finger jello?

    • Yes. Just add more gelatin and the thicker it gets.

  25. Hi! This was such an easy recipe! I am excited to make this a new norm for getting that rich gelatin in mine and my kids’ diet. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  26. Love the directions. I did notice that after I heated the juice and added the 2TB of gelatin, it immediately clumped up. I didn’t add any form of sweeteners as the juice that I used was sweet enough. But I loved the end result. Finally some jello for this pregnant mom who has been craving it but chose to not buy the store kind. Thank you!!!!

    • I did not add the gelatin during the heating phase, just the other ingredients. After it cooled a little, I added the gelatin and then used my hand blender/wand blender (I call mine a magic wand). Use a deep bowl or kettle, however, because it will splatter if you don’t, and also keep the blender all the way to the bottom of the bowl, do not lift it up.

  27. The directions here indicate the gelatin should be added to the hot juice, but I have much better luck adding it to cold juice and then adding the hot juice to the cold juice/gelatin:)

    • Thank you for this!!! When I added the gelatin to the hot – I got a gloppy mess that I ended up using a stick blender to break up. It was kind of a disaster. I’ll try again adding it to cold first.

      • I hand wrote the recipe and it specifically states to add gelatin to juice in saucepan BEFORE heating.

      • The recipe states to put gelatin to the juice in saucepan BEFORE heating. Simmer for about 10 minutes , turn off heat, let sit 1-2 minutes….not too long or will begin to clump etc.

    • Yes, that is called “blooming”.

  28. YAY! I love this! I have an extremely picky toddler and he was recently sick which makes him even more picky. I bought some jello from the store just to get something in his tummy and he loved it but i of course am horrified by all the terrible ingredients in it 🙁 This is awesome. Thank you.

  29. Could you make this jello totally sugar free?. Putting in Stevia or Xylitol drink/beverage instead of juice?. Any ideas for diabetics?.

    • Yes, I used a mango/orange no-sugar-added juice and just a few drops of stevia and it turned out great!

  30. So glad I found this recipe! I think I’m going to make some watermelon/cantaloupe jello soon. Yum!

  31. You are my new best friend! I make ” Ice Cream Jello” for holidays and birthdays and have been kind of bummed out at the idea of not being able to make it anymore, because as you know, commercially produced Jello ( or store brands for that matter) is creepy… I can’t wait to order some gelatin and try the recipe with homemade “Jello”. I’ll have to figure out the ice cream ratio, but it will be worth it! And for anyone who hasn’t heard of Ice Cream Jello.. you replace the cold water in the recipe with vanilla ice cream, a little at a time to make sure it melts and whisk it… you should also whisk it a couple more times in the setting process… basically what you end up with is a lot like mousse.

  32. Thank you so much for this! I am trying to find yummy ways to use Bernard Jensen’s gelatin, so this is perfect! Kids and I are making orange jello today 🙂 Blessings in Christ~

  33. Hi Mama! I just bought some of the Great Lakes gelatin, but I think I’m doing something wrong. Every time I follow your recipe, it clumps before I add the additional 1.5 cups of juice. Any further suggestions?

    Love your blog BTW 🙂

    • Hi Holly!

      That can happen to me sometimes. The key is to put the gelatin into cool/room temperature water and stir/dissolve as much as possible. Then slowly heat and keep stirring. The gelatin should dissolve. Sometimes I have to keep stirring/heating for a little longer than I’d like but it eventually dissolves. ENJOY 🙂

  34. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I wanted to fix some of my favorite jello salads for the holidays and I didn’t want to use the packaged jello. I love this recipe and idea. I can’t wait to try it!
    Thanks again!

  35. Hey Mama! I just got my order of Great Lakes Gelatin from Amazon recently and our favorite juice is grape so far to use for our “jigglers”. We are using your recipe and loving it. I also just tried making my own marshmallows for the holidays.

  36. I would suggest boiling water to dissolve the jello, then adding juice. These juices (especially grape!) are sweet enough, 1/2c of water isn’t going to ruin them.
    And then I like to pour the jello directly into the containers I take to work – less hassle in the mornings! 🙂 Good tip about ordering fancy jello online.

    • great suggestion. I just ruined half a cup of not cheap juice (never mind the tablespoons of gelatin!) by trying this recipe. Ugh. Wellness Mama’s recipe is the one I should’ve followed.

  37. This recipe inspired me to finally buy some gelatin. Amazon sells the Great Lakes brand at a great rate in a two pack with prime shipping. Anyway, I made my first batch this morning with some organic grape juice and I was pleasantly surprised to see that 1T of gelatin had 6grams (!) of protein in it. This will be a great way to sneak some more protein into my carb loving toddler! It will be a fun tonight after she takes her CLO (which she surprisingly loves). Thanks for the recipe idea!

  38. Great! I actually make this a lot. I add gelatin to every thing you can think of for my kids: popsicles, pizza sauce, every soup of course, smoothies. Everything.

    Thanks for such a good video!

  39. Love this recipe!!! how old was griffin when you introduced jello to him??

  40. Ahahaha Griffy’s jelly face! Super cute!

    There is an alternative to conventional jelly (or jello – language barriers!) called agar – it’s made of seaweed extract, and I find it has a much subtler flavour than jelly made from animal products. And it’s vegan, I think – not that that matters to me, I’m a carnivore!

  41. just ordered some powdered gelatin from great lakes (via amazon). thanks for the GREAT idea!!!

  42. Ooohh. Now my pregnant butt is craving jello… You make the food you prepare look so tasty. I must try this! 🙂

  43. Thank you so much for this recipe !!

  44. Yummy 🙂 i just love the way you talk about food, i really enjoy when you post a video from your kitchen, i love watching a mama who lives healthy with out being a vegan or vegeterian. (no hard feelings for those you chose it)

    <3

  45. Wow, that’s awesome. Who knew? (well, I guess you did..) I’m going to have to try this!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*