It seems that not a day goes by and we aren’t blessed with another great technique or plant food to use in our vegan kitchens. And if you’re wondering how to make vegan jello then today’s blog post is about one of nature’s wonder plant food miracles.
I believe that there will come a day if we are not there already when veganism and vegan foods will be able to imitate any product made from animals or their by-products.
And agar agar is one of those little plant wonders that is helping to lead the charge.
Now most of us grew up loving jello pudding as one of our favourite desserts. It was easy for mom to make and it tasted great didn’t it? Admit it. However, there is a dark and nasty side to Jell-O or more importantly one of the main ingredients used to make Jell-O and other fruit gels and its name is gelatin.
Gelatin my friends who are not aware has blood and cruelty dripping all over it. It is made from collagen and collagen is an animal product. More specifically a protein. Gelatin is made form the sinews, tendons and bones of slaughtered animals, primarily cows and pigs but including other animals as necessary like horses, sheep etc. The animal industry is indeed trying to use every part of the animal except the moo, nay or oink.
Of course the makers of Jell-O and other gelatin desserts won’t tell you that because frankly it’s quite unpalatable to think about isn’t it?
Gelatin is used primarily as far as vegans are concerned in many soft gel and capsules used for vitamins and pharmaceutical drugs. It is also used in gelatin or fruit gel desserts as mentioned earlier and it is also found in marshmallows, aspic (basically a jello with meat and animal products set in it), trifles and man of those chewy gummy bear type candies.
Anyway, this is not meant as a diatribe about gelatine and jello. Though I do hope that much of what was shared above will help many of you to turn away from Jell-O and other gelatin products and instead use this vegan Jell-O recipe instead. It is better for you and kinder to the planet and animals.
There’s a jelly in my belly
Here’s how to make vegan Jell-O without the gelatin. We use a product called agar agar. Agar or agar agar comes from the sea. But it is not a sentient creature it is derived from a red algae.
Agar agar actually comes from the Malay word for red algae. Alternatively, you can find agar agar called kanten, China grass, Japanese isinglass, Ceylon moss or Jaffna moss. But agar agar will do.
Agar agar vegan jello is soooo easy to make. Check it out.
1 tbsp agar flakes or 1.5 tsp agar powder – notice different quantities based on powder or flakes
sweetener if desire – 1 or 2 tsp sugar
2 cups (500ml) juice
That’s it. Pour the juice, sugar and agar flakes or powder into a pot and bring just to a boil stirring frequently.
When the liquid reaches a boil, turn it down to a simmer and keep stirring until all the agar has dissolved. Depending on the juice you’re using, it will likely turn translucent when all ingredients are dissolved.
Take it off the heat and let it cool for just a few minutes before pouring into your holds. Agar will turn the liquid to a jello when it reaches around 35 centigrade or around 95 Fahrenheit.
You can and should put it into the fridge for even better gelling properties after it has cooled down a bit, otherwise you’re just heating up your veggies and fruits in the fridge and giving the electric man more money than he deserves 🙂
Play around with this recipe. For example, why not use wine or champagne as your liquid for a grown up jelly that boozers will love.
Alternatively, make a low fat or no fat chocolate pudding. Here’s how.
Use non-fat soy milk in place of of the juice above. Add maybe a tablespoon of sugar and another 0.33 to 0.5 cup or so of vegan hot cocoa powder. Once everything has mixed in together take it off the stove and let it cool for a few minutes.
Now here is the key. You want to blend the liquid before it gels. This turns the agar mixture into a much more creamy gel. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute and then let it cool and gel. A very decadent, low fat and yummy vegan chocolate pudding.