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Homemade Healthy Jello Snacks


Homemade Healthy Jello Snacks

Last week, we had a great discussion on the Primally Inspired facebook page about pregnancy related nutrition. In that discussion, I told you that my sister-in-law is pregnant with their first baby and she’s been asking me some pregnancy related nutrition questions.


Being the geek that I am, dove into a big pile of nutrition and pregnancy books, research, seminars and international studies so I could be better prepared to answer her questions and because I always love to learn new things, too. So now you get to be a recipient of all the cool things I’ve been learning 🙂


 Side note: 2 books that I’d highly recommend if you are planning to conceive in the next couple of years or are pregnant:  The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care by Sally Fallon Morell and Beautiful Babies by Kristen Michaelis.


Early into her pregnancy, one of first things she asked me was about stretch marks. As her petite body was noticeably growing quickly to build a baby, she wanted to know if there was anything she could do to prevent stretch marks from happening.


Most women think stretch marks are an inevitable part of having a baby. But stretch marks and cellulite don’t happen from genetics or carrying excess fat. Instead these things arise when your body doesn’t have enough connective tissue and your skin doesn’t have enough elasticity. Did you know you can prevent this from happening through nutrition?!


Yes, you can! Break out the banjos and start dancing now (see, told you I was a geek 😉 ).


Eating a diet rich in collagen is very beneficial in preventing stretch marks and cellulite. Collagen supplies your body with the tools it needs to repair itself to give you smooth, firm, and elastic skin.


So what are some collagen rich foods?


The best sources of collagen are bone broths using animal bones (knuckles, joints, etc.). Oxtail and chicken feet broths are known to provide the most amount of collagen. Most research suggests pregnant women drink at least 1 cup of collagen rich bone broth a day – not only for their own skin health, but for the numerous health benefits that these broths supply to the growing baby and mother.


Another way to get that wonderful collagen in your diet is by eating gelatin. And guess what contains gelatin? This delicious homemade Jello! Yes, Jello! Another reason to break out the banjos and start dancing again.


(By the way, I’m not talking about the Jello that comes in a little rectangular box at your grocery store. I’m talking about real, grass-fed beef gelatin. And don’t worry –  it’s unflavored, so you won’t be able to taste beef if that’s what you’re wondering.) I buy my gelatin online from here – it’s the only company that I know of that sources from grass-fed cows.


The reason this Jello is so great to eat is that it contains beef gelatin. And gelatin is basically cooked and powdered collagen.


There are so many benefits from eating gelatin and collagen – and it’s not just for pregnant women or those wanting to get rid of cellulite. Let me highlight just a few of the major benefits:

  • Powerful anti-inflammatory with almost immediate relief from joint pain, similar to taking cortisol or aspirin.
  • Good source of protein (7-12 grams per tablespoon) and amino acids.
  • Improves digestion by making it easier for the food to pass through the digestive system. It also soothes and heals the digestive track.
  • Strengthens bones and joints so it’s wonderful for growing children and those with brittle bones and joint pain.
  • Helps hair and nail strength and growth.
  • Helps our immune function.
  • Helps regulate our weight by boosting our metabolism.


Who knew that eating some jello with beef gelatin could provide all those amazing benefits?!


This is also the perfect snack for kids. Kids love this stuff and you can feel good about giving them something so good for their growing bodies that doesn’t contain any funky ingredients or refined sugars.


You can use unsweetened real fruit juice to make your life a lot easier or try it with some freshly squeezed juice. My favorite is orange!

Homemade Healthy Jello Snacks


2 cups unsweetened fruit juice or fruit puree (My favorite is using fresh squeezed orange juice from 6 oranges or a strawberry puree)

2 tablespoons beef gelatin

1-2 tablespoons raw honey


Whisk the fruit juice/puree and the gelatin together in a medium sized pot. Let sit for 5 minutes. Turn on the stove to medium and place the pot on the burner. Stir until heated through and the gelatin is all the way dissolved. Do NOT bring to a boil. Once the gelatin is completely dissolved, turn off the heat and add the honey. Stir until well mixed. Pour into an 8×8 pan. Cover and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares and enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge.

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  1. Avatar

    I am beginning to eat more “primally,” including bone broth. I would LOVE to try the “Homemade Healthy Jello” recipe, but I am allergic to beef. I was wondering if there is a powdered gelatin that is not beef based? Also, would maple syrup work instead of honey–I’m allergic to this too. 🙁
    Thanks for all the neat things on your site!!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Nancy! This same company has a pork gelatin, too. If you can eat pork, I have heard from reputable sources that they source good pork, as well. Maple syrup would work! 🙂

      • Avatar

        Yeah! I CAN eat pork–I’ll be giving the pork gelatin a try, using the maple syrup!!! Thanks so much!!!! Making the transition to a primal lifestyle is no “walk in the park,” and I appreciate folks like you who are so helpful!! Keep up the great work! Homemade Healthy Jello, here I come! 🙂

  2. Avatar

    How do I make this without animal gelatin? I am vegetarian. Will the above benefits still hold good with a vegetarian substitute?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Bhairaviaina!
      Agar Powder is a wonderful substitute for gelatin. It has many similar benefits, but not all.
      Agar is completely vegetarian and comes from different types of seaweed. It’s contains a large amount of minerals and vitamins. It reduces inflammation, is great for the digestive system and aids in weight loss like gelatin. It’s also considered a mild laxative because it’s so soothing to the digestive track.

      The differences between gelatin and agar is that gelatin is about 99% protein (gelatin is made from animal bones, cartlidge, etc.), while agar is mostly fiber. Agar will not give you the collagen skin benefits, so it’s important for vegetarians to eat foods that aid in collagen production so they can get those wonderful skin benefits. Foods that you want to look out for are foods rich in Vitamin C and Lysine. Foods with a lot of Vitamin C and Lysine aid in the formation of collagen in the skin, tendons and ligaments. Vitamin C Foods: oranges, strawberries, red pepper, sweet potato. Lysine Rich Protein Sources: legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, soy (make sure the soy is organic and non GMO).

      When you substitute agar powder for gelatin, here’s what you have to do:
      Agar powder needs to be brought to a rapid boil and then simmered for 5 minutes. Then you can put it in the fridge to set. You can use the same measurements as you would for gelatin. So in this recipe, you would need 2 T agar powder. You can usually find agar powder in Asian grocery stores or in health stores. Hope that helps and good luck! 🙂

  3. Avatar

    When bone broth cools a gelatine usually forms on the top of it. Could you use this gelatine to make the natural jello instead of going to the expense of buying ‘ready made’ gelatine?

    • Primally Inspired

      That’s a really great question and one that I don’t have or know the answer to. I’d love to try it out, though because if it works – even better!

    • Avatar

      I realize this is fairly old. But if you’ve cooked up a good batch of bone broth, the whole jar should be jello like. What I get on top is a layer of solidified fat. Not what you want in your strawberry jello. That said. Thanks for the recipe, I am looking forward to getting my hands on good quality gelatin and trying this!

  4. Avatar

    So glad to have discovered this! My kids loved it! They want to try all different flavors now 🙂

  5. Avatar
    trying to be healthy

    These were a huge hit! I used the fresh squeezed OJ from Wegmans and it was delicious! My kids ate them up and want me to make more! Thank you for giving us a healthy alternative to jello!

  6. Avatar

    Love this post! Thanks for the idea of using oxtail for broth. We just got our side of a cow and had never used oxtail before. Can’t wait to try the Jello…I’m sure my 2yo will love it 🙂

    I also add gelatin to my FCLO gummies and she seemed to down those little puppies.

  7. Avatar

    We have lots of citrus trees (and the fruit is almost ripe, as I live in the Southern Hemisphere), so I’m looking forward to trying this recipe as soon as possible!

  8. Avatar

    I’m wondering how much more gelatin (or other ingredients), you’d need to add to make gummies from this recipe. Thanks!

  9. Avatar

    One objection:
    Why fruit juice?
    We make a recipe similar to this, but we use fruit puree, because then we aren’t ruining our blood sugar. Fruit has fiber in it, which makes the natural sugars absorb into our bodies slower, helping our blood sugars to maintain control. If you remove the fiber, the sugar goes to your blood immediately, causing a spike that can lead to diabetes, cancer, et cetera.

    • Avatar

      U cannot make a puree of oranges, i think thats what she meants , somes fruits u can puree other fruits has to be the juice …

  10. Avatar

    Hi. What amount of my Freat Lakes gelatin can I use to get the consistency of Jello brand gelatin? Thank you!

  11. Avatar

    Hello again Kelly,
    Thank you again for the the response about the kettlebells, very helpful, and prompt!
    What are your thoughts on taking gelatin as a daily supplement, and are there any adverse reactions to such frequent use, to your knowledge?
    Thank you again!

  12. Avatar

    Great to see more gelatin recipes popping up and info on why it’s so incredibly healthy!

    To make a perfect lolly consistency we’ve found 5 tbsp gelatin to 2 cups liquid works awesome. Any more and it goes rock solid!

    Something kids like is a puree or mousse which is just 1/4 cup boiling water, 1 tbsp gelatin, dissolve then add to the blender with 1 cup soft fruit like mango and blend well. It goes very frothy and moussey… so yum!!

  13. Avatar

    Hi. I was wondering how long will this recipe keep in the fridge?

    Thanks so much for the great recipe

  14. Avatar

    How much gelatin should we consume when using it for digestive issues?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Dana, The recommended daily dosage is 1 rounded tablespoon in the morning and 1 tablespoon in the late evening/before going to bed.

      • Avatar

        Hi Kelly,

        Collagen- genius!!! Where have you been all my life?! And by the way your makeover is gorgeous! Have you used collagen in higher amounts? I’m adding it to what I refer to as an ice cream bowl- 1/2 cup almond/coconut milk, 1/4 banana, 1/8 cup blueberries, giant handful of spinach, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tbsp. cacao nibs, 2 dates, sometimes a small handful of walnuts & tons of ice blended in my vitamix to make an ice cream consistency. One tablespon of the Great Lakes Collagen is 6 grams of protein, but it would be great to add 3 tbsp. to make 18 grams and really make this a powerhouse of a dish. Any adverse effects with upping it? Thanks! Love the blog!

        • Primally Inspired

          Hi Danielle! Thanks for all your sweet words 🙂 I love gelatin!! The only adverse thing with upping the amount is the taste. For some reason after 2 tablespoons, it can start to taste a little weird. But if what you’re making is really flavorful, it won’t be an issue. It sounds like your ice cream (YUM, btw!!!) is really flavorful so you could probably get away with 3 tablespoons and have no weird taste. Hope that helps! xo, Kelly

  15. Avatar

    Another winner, Kelly!
    I’ve lost count how many times I have made this now. It’s a great snack / treat to have available when I’m wanting something sweet. And I love that if I need it to be quick, I can just use organic juice (but I’m with you, the orange is the BEST!)
    Thank you!

  16. Avatar

    I got some gelatin today to help my joints…I’m 25 and have arthritis and gout, and though a supportive diet has helped, I still have pain and swelling. I was thinking of making this with cherry puree, pomegranate juice, and ginger. Kind of an anti-pain/inflammation trifecta.

    • Primally Inspired

      I love that idea!!! Adding gelatin has really helped with my husband’s previous knee pains (arthritis, pain, inflammation, etc. from old injuries) and I hope you experience similar results!

  17. Avatar

    Hi there,
    Thanks so much for this info! I’m just wondering, can gelatin also be useful for eliminating/reducing cellulite? You write about it helping prevent it but I am hoping it also helps reduce and/or eliminate it. Any tips?
    Thanks so much for being out there and promoting good smart health!
    Kristin Kabeh 🙂

  18. Avatar

    Whats wrong with the store bought non flavored gelatin?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Chris, not buying meat products from conventional/factory raised animals is something I am pretty passionate about. There are pretty significant nutritional differences between factory animals and farm raised, as well as big differences in the amount of toxins. It’s a personal preference of mine to use gelatin from pasture raised, grass-fed animals, but if that is something that doesn’t bother you, using the store bought non-flavored gelatin would work!

  19. Avatar

    What am I doing wrong, my gelatin won’t jell. I mix the juice and gelatin the one in the green can, or should I use the one in the pinky orange can? I heat it so it is hot not boiling, mix in honey.
    Then cover and refridgeate. I do not get, the jello?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Jermaine! The green can gelatin won’t gel! It’s made to blend easily into things like smoothies and drinks without clumping or gelling. The pinky orange can is the one you want to use. If you have the orange can, you can still fix this! Just heat your mixture again so it’s hot and then try again. It will work as long as you use the orange can 🙂

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