And so my quest for sugar-free treats continues. I went into the supermarket the other day to take a look at jelly. I don’t mean the super-sweet bag of sweets, I mean the jelly that you make up yourself. The kids and I like it for a sweet treat on occasion.
First up, the block of jelly that you cut into cubes then dissolve in hot water. That contains a lot of sugar. Instantly that got crossed off my list.
Next, the powdered jelly in sachets that you dissolve in hot water. They’re marked sugar-free. Hooray I thought, only when I had a good look at the ingredients list I read that their sweetener was aspartame – which we don’t eat in our house for various reasons.
The two normal off-the-shelf options I won’t be buying again. That leaves me with a third option, which is to make my own using gelatin (not suitable if you’re a vegetarian) or an alternative like agar. I chose gelatin simply because it’s easier in the supermarket and we’re not vegetarian. Your health food store will help you out if you want to source agar.
Making homemade sugar-free fruit jelly, it turns out, is a doddle. I used some silicone moulds from Lidl’s new “Monster Bash” Hallowe’en range which is out this week to shape the jelly, and increased the fruit content of the jelly by suspending some fresh berries inside. They take only a short while to chill in the fridge. I have some very happy monsters and a sugar-free treat that counts as 1 of our 5-a-day as well.
Before I forget, I have v-logged and will share it with you all very soon, I’m also back podcasting so the widget to the right hand side of the page (if you’re browsing on computer) or the bottom of the page (on mobile) is back in place!
Sugar-Free Fruit Jelly (makes 6 portions)
- 1 gelatin leaf
- 250ml fresh (juiced and not from concentrate) apple juice
- 100g fresh berries – see note below
Soak the gelatin leaf in a little cold water.
Gently warm the fresh juice in small saucepan, you don’t want it to boil. Once the gelatin is loose enough to squeeze into a ball, do this and squeeze all the water away. Then slowly stir the gelatin leaf into the warm juice. Keep on stirring until it dissolves.
Pop the berries into each jelly mould, then pour over the juice. Set to one side until at room temperature before putting the jelly into the fridge to set. This takes about 2-3 hours but I normally do this overnight because otherwise the boys would drive me demented for jelly if they spotted me making it! Don’t put warm jelly into the fridge.
Irish Readers Please Note: There is a frozen berry warning on all imported frozen berries at the moment. So if you have a bag of frozen berries that you’re not sure of the origin then please don’t use them here. Fresh fruit you’ve frozen yourself is perfectly fine.
Disclosure: I received some sample items from Lidl in advance of their Hallowe’en deals this week but I’m not obliged to mention them. My opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.