Since most gelatin (jelly) is derived from animal products, it’s great to have a plant-based alternative (agar agar) that can also do the trick! Working with the sea vegetable agar agar is a lot of fun, but also requires some knowledge. You can make gelatin (jelly) from lots of different fresh juice varieties. However, it’s important to know that high-acid juices may need quite a bit more agar agar to set properly, and the enzymes found in some uncooked fresh fruits such as papaya, mango and pineapple work against agar agar’s gelling action.
Photo by Theresa Nicassio
- 1 cup water
- 2½ tbs agar agar flakes
- 1½ cups non-acidic organic fruit juice (e.g. cherry, blueberry, lychee, etc)
- favourite sweetener, to taste (optional)
- In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water with the agar agar flakes to boiling, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and soft-boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until agar agar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the fruit juice and sweetener, if desired. Pour the gelatin into silicon gelatin molds or beautiful glassware and chill in the refrigerator until set. To serve, remove from the refrigerator and release from molds (if used). Garnish with fresh fruits or seasonal berries, if desired.
Dr. Theresa Nicassio is a registered psychologist (#1541) and author of YUM: plant-based recipes for a gluten-free diet (Sept 2015). Embracing a holistic perspective of health and certified as a gourmet raw food chef, nutrition educator and integrative energy healer, Theresa focuses her time providing psychotherapy to clients in her private practice in Vancouver.