Healthy Homemade Jello
Made with 100% fruit juice, this Healthy Homemade Jello is naturally sweet, made without food dyes, and is a fun and yummy treat to make with your kids!
Jello is such a fun treat that kids of all ages have loved for generations. A lot of parents worry about the artificial colors, flavors, and other ingredients that come along with the stuff in the box. I love making my own treats from scratch which is why I love this healthy Homemade Jello recipe. I make mine with fruit juice, and I don’t even need to add sugar. It’s cool, jiggly, and totally healthy!
Ingredients for Homemade Jello:
- Fruit Juice– look for 100% fruit juice. We used V8 Splash Strawberry Banana, Mango Orange, and Blueberry Pomegranate. You can use whatever juice you like, but avoid pineapple juice. It has an enzyme that will prevent it from setting.
- Gelatin– for this recipe we used Knox brand powdered gelatin packets.
How to Make Homemade Jello
Gelatin is the secret ingredient that transforms simple fruit juice into this jiggly treat. It takes all of 5 minutes to throw a batch together!
- The first step is to pour half of your fruit juice into a large bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the entire surface of the juice and let it sit for about 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
- Heat the remaining 2 cups of juice in a small pot until it comes to a boil.
- Pour the hot juice into the bowl with the gelatin and stir to combine. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
- Pour into a 9×12 baking pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
- Once firm, cut into cubes and serve!
Best Tips for Getting Homemade Jello to Turn Out
- Gelatin needs to ‘bloom’ first in cold liquid in order to thicken. It will only dissolve in hot liquid. This is why the recipe tells you to sprinkle on the cold juice first, and then add the hot juice after.
- Fruit Juice. There are so many healthier juices out on the market. There are so many delicious juice flavors to juice from, just make sure they are 100% fruit juice to avoid added sugars. Apple, cranberry, pomegranate, white grape, cherry, grape, orange are all delicious.
- Homemade jello can be tricky to get out of the pan. You can spray the bottom of your pan first with non-stick cooking spray, or line your pan with parchment paper to easily lift it out.
Fun Variations for Homemade Jello
- Make striped jello by making several different flavors and layer each on top of the other, letting each layer chill firm before adding the next.
- Add in mini marshmallows, grapes, or other fresh fruit before chilling.
- Cut your jello into shapes using a cookie cutter.
- Serve in parfait glasses, layered with whipped cream or whipped topping.
- Use a Jello mold for a pretty vintage presentation.
Commonly Asked Questions About Homemade Jello
I like the Knox brand gelatin because it is easy to find and works every time. You can also use the Vital Proteins brand gelatin, or Great Lake brand gelatin.
Yes – that definitely works. Just be aware that homemade jello can be a little softer that the boxed kind and so it needs to stay chilled to keep its form.
You need 2 tablespoons of gelatin per 4 cups of juice. Each Knox packet is 2 1/2 teaspoons, and per the box use 1 packet per tablespoon of gelatin needed.
I have tried apple, pomegranate, white grape, cherry, and cranberry. Other flavors that might be fun to try are mango, orange, peach, blueberry, or even veggie juice.
More of Our Favorite Homemade Treat Recipes:
Healthy Homemade Jello
- 4 cups juice any kind except pineapple
- 2 tablespoons gelatin powdered
- Pour 2 cups of the juice into a bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the entire surface of the juice and let sit for 5 minutes to soften.
- Heat the remaining 2 cups of juice until it comes to a boil.
- Pour the hot juice into the bowl and stir to combine and to dissolve the gelatin.
- Pour into a 9x 12 baking pan. Refrigerate until firm, at least several hours.
- Slice into cubes, or cut with a small cookie cutter to make jello jigglers! Store in the refrigerator.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Do you know how to sub Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides gelatin? Is it 1:1?
I’ve never used it Becky, but I looked it up and it seems like you would add 2 Tablespoons to ‘gell’ 4 cups of juice.
Amazing – the colors are fantastic – love how healthy this is! I’m going to make this for my grandson 🙂
Thanks Tricia – I think any kid would love this – you should consider letting him help!
Hi, Sue! I was looking for ways to make “healthy jello” and it landed me here. So glad I found your article! Can I pour the mixture directly into molds? I recently bought a Lego mold and I was hoping to make treats for my son using your recipe. Thanks in advance!
You can do that, Kat, it should work just like regular jello. The only difference with the all natural jello is that it tends to be a little softer than the boxed stuff. And you need to keep it chilled. Good luck!
Hi! If I wanted to make the recipe more like a “gummy lolly” rather than typical “jello” would I just double the amount of gelatin while leaving the juice quantities the same??
We love agar powder but organic grass-fed gelatin is pretty good, too, for protein. Totally reasonable if you shop well known vitamin sources. Good idea, it’s been awhile since we’ve made some cool jello cubes!
We love Jello, but hate all the bad stuff that’s in the boxed brands. Do you suppose this could be made using flavored waters instead of the juices?
How much gelatin? You mentioned 4 envelopes and 1 tbsp, so we use all of that with 4 cups of juice? Thanks.
I am a vegetarian and just recently purchased some agar powder to make another dish. Would I use the same amount of agar powder as the gelatin called for in the recipe?
How much gelatin is used? The Knox box says 1 pouch for 2 cups of liquid. What dose doubling the amount of gelatin for this recipe do?
The recipe says 4 packets (1 tbsp.). However when you buy the box that contains 4 packets of the Knox gelatin it measures out to more than a tablespoon. How much gelatin should be used?
I prefer to use grass-fed Gelatin from Perfect Supplements because it is all natural and high in protein and gut healing benefits to make jellos. Great recipe here I will have to try, thanks!
(4 envelope (1 tbsp) gelatin, dry powder, unsweetened) …. I couldn’t understand this. Do you main we wil use all the amount .
Hi Darin, thanks for pointing this out! You should actually use 2 tablespoons of gelatin to 4 cups of juice. I updated the recipe to include the correct amounts.
Have you ever tried making this with fresh juice? I’m rather intrigued by ways to use whole lemons or oranges that are pureed including the peel.
We haven’t tried that yet!
Delicious and so easy. My kids love Jell-O, but we don’t do artificial colors. I had apple and white grape juice on hand and it’s great. The kids gobbled up their squares and asked for more. I’m thinking cherry juice next time. Thanks for the reminder that homemade doesn’t always mean time consuming.
You’ll be glad to know pineapple juice works fine and that’s because it’s been cooked. I like it mixed with ? milk.
Sounds delicious!! Thanks for sharing!
Hello. I have what may seem an odd question. I have a friend who loves jello but prefers a less sweet and strong flavor. Wants to Mello it out a bit.
We wonder could you follow the recipe on a normal box of Jello, i.e. but into the bowl or pan you intend it to be in could you put the 2c. Hot water and flavored Jello mix, then, in a separate bowl place a packet of Knox gelatin and 2c cold water and let it bloom. After it blooms add it to the pan with 4 cups of hotish water and mix well and refridgerate. So the flavor is cut in half? Really want to figure this out.
Thank you for any advice. Knox is what we have. No grass fed beef etc gelatin. Sorry.
We haven’t tried it, but I’m sure that would work just fine! Good luck!
I am trying to find a recipe which my mum used to make christmas jellies for as gifts for adults. They were red and green squares.
I found a recipe using creme de menthe but cant find a recipe for the red jellies could I use your recipe and add red wine and pomegrante juice? Do you think it would work?
We haven’t tried, but I think it would. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!
I wondering how can i make this jello for a type 2 diabetic
Because juice contains sugar, you might be better off with a sugar-free variety. 🙂
I’ve used pineapple juice with no problem and it’s delicious. I added bananas and mandarin oranges. If a juice is a little strong for you, you can also add water. I like to add sparkling water, even flavored! The possibilities are endless!!
Thanks for the recipe. :o)
Natalie, this Healthy Jello came out perfect and there are so many possibilities to it. I just had one and remembered to leave a comment. So thank you for your work in creating this page so that we could make a very simple and much healthier snack!
My kids loved this jello! Could this recipe be altered to make like a fruit snack(gummy bear) consistency?
That would most certainly work- but we haven’t tried it with this recipe. Let us know if you try it out!
New staple in our house:)
Thank you I am really enjoying all these recipes. You have taken the “what am I going to make today?” And made it fun!
Thank you for this recipe! I used an organic superfruit juice blend, and it was amazing. As someone who wants to eat healthier and take care of my bones, this is spot on.