Thursday, April 17, 2014

Like a Pack of Wolves on Jell-O

I made Jell-O yesterday with my 5 year old. It is an easy and fascinating cooking science experiment that you can do with your kids. The only help they need is with the boiling water and that part is over pretty fast, while the stirring and waiting to set can take a while and engage their interest. We, of course, ended up with some finger prints in ours as he had to keep "testing it" to see if it was done yet.

Another really great thing about Jell-O is that you can sneak a lot of fruit in there and kids will still eat it like crazy. We currently have a lot of canned fruit here at our house, so we used some unsweetened pears, but you can use any canned fruit that you have on hand. If you are buying some at the store look for unsweetened or fruit that is store in it's own juice instead of in sugar syrup.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to try some fresh fruits keep in mind that not all fresh fruit will allow your gelatin to set and you will end up with fruit floating around in flavored water. Pineapple, guava, mango and kiwi are just some examples of fruits that should never be mixed with Jello-O because of the proteases they contain. Stick with fruits that do not contain proteases to ensure that the Jello-O is able to solidify.

Apples, strawberries and oranges as fruits that make excellent additions to Jello-O. Berries like cherries, blueberries and blackberries are also good choices. Lemons, peaches and plums work well in lemon-flavored Jell-O. Raspberries and cranberries make colorful options. Add bananas or coconut to give your Jell-O a tropical flavor.

Some fruits can be placed directly into Jello-O as whole pieces. For example, grapes and blueberries do not need to be prepared in any way before being added to the dessert. Other fruits like strawberries, apples, oranges and lemons should be cut or sliced. If you want to use fresh fruits such as kiwi, guava or pineapple that contain proteases, make your Jello-O dessert and let it solidify before placing the fruit on top of the Jello-O as a garnish. You can also make a sauce out of figs or papaya which can be spread on top of the dessert.

So get out there and experiment and see what you like, see what your family likes. You could be creating an amazing creation that will become a family tradition and that will have everyone begging you to make it more.