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vegan jelly

Vegan Jelly? Desserts Without Gelatin Is A Dream Come True!

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Ewww! Gelatin is made from boil tendons, skins, cartilages and bones of cow, fish, and pigs – isn’t it gross and cruel! So if you’re looking to indulge in some desserts without boiled cartilages and skin, sink in your spoons into vegan jelly delights.

Is jelly vegan? This is a common question for vegans and the answer is, ‘it depends’.

Some jelly is vegan while others may not be. Read the ingredient list carefully before you buy any products. They should be free from any animal-based product (watch out for gelatin in this case).

fruity jelly bears

Is Vegan Gelatin Healthy?

Vegan gelatin alternatives are plant-based alternatives used as a thickening agent to make desserts. These are perfectly healthy although they require some kind of processing to serve the purpose.

Gelatin is made from natural collagen produced in our body thus nutritionists state its health benefits and intake. However, the gelatin used in food is of animal origin thus using it appears to be cruel call.

Vegan gelatin substitutes have similar health benefits as regular gelatin with fewer known health risks associated with it.

5 Substitutes For Vegan Jelly

Lollies and jellies contain gelatin made from animals make unsuitable for vegan and vegetarian use. Luckily we have plant-based substitutes so you can still relish your vegan jelly.

Here are vegan alternatives to gelatin:

1. Agar-Agar

It is a type of seaweed from Japan sold in powder or flake form. Being one of the most popular alternatives for gelatin it is readily available in the market. It can be substituted for gelatin at a simple ratio of 1:1. It is a flavorless and a firmer setting agent compared to gelatin.

2. Carrageenan

Also known as the Irish Moss, this setting agent is also a type of dried seaweed. If you need more of a ‘melt in mouth’ kind of texture, use carrageenan. It is a soft gelling agent. The dried seaweed needs to be soaked overnight and then boiled in the liquid you need to set.

3. Vegan gel

Vegan gel is a flavorless, processed 100% vegetarian gelling powder that contains a mix of carrageenan, glucose syrup, gums, and stabilizers. It is labeled as an alternative to gelatin so check the packet instructions before you start cooking. It is best used to set desserts but the quantity will need some adjustments if you’re making cheesecakes.

4. Xanthan Gum

The gum is made by fermenting glucose, sucrose or lactose from soya beans or corn. It’s an effective thickening agent and gels as soon as it comes in contact with the liquid. Use as instructed in the recipes.

5. Arrowroot

Arrowroot is a starchy powder made from the roots of a tropical herb. It is good for thickening purposes in cooking recipes. It won’t set like gelatin. It can be added to gravy, sauce, and soups.

Homemade Vegan Jelly Recipes

Want to indulge in some freshly made jelly? Making them in your kitchen is the best way to use fresh and seasonal flavors that you may not find in the store brought brands. Homemade jellies and jams are a great way to save money and control what exactly goes into your produce.

1. Lip-Smacking Vegan Gummy Bears

Kids love munching on these chewy bites. But buying them from the store may not be a healthy choice. Instead, consider making colorful gummy bears at home (and that too in a vegan way!)

Ingredients:

Clear Gummy Bears

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoon agave syrup or white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon agar-agar powder

Green Gummy Bears

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 tablespoon agave syrup or white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon agar-agar powder

Orange Gummy Bears

  • 1 peeled orange
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoon agave syrup or white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon agar-agar powder

Red Gummy Bears

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoon agave syrup or white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon agar-agar powder

Instructions:

  • Place the mold you want to use for the gummies into the freezer to help the candies set faster.
  • Blend the fruits and vegetables in the ingredient list with apple juice in a blender until you get a smooth pulp.
  • Strain each flavored pulp in a separate bowl using a fine-mesh sieve. Use a spoon, press and extract all liquid from the pulp.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the strained flavored liquid with the sweetener of your choice and agar-agar powder.
  • Stir constantly and simmer the liquid for 3 minutes (avoid lump formation).
  • Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Using a dropper fill in the molds with this liquid mixture and place in the refrigerator to set for about 1 hour.
  • Remove candies from the molds and enjoy the treats.

Notes:

  • You can use a variety of flavors to make colorful healthy varieties of gummy bears.
gummy bears
Image courtesy: The Edgy Veg

2. Delicious Fruity Vegan Jello

Vegan fruit jello is an exotic dessert that will savor your taste buds. They are perfect to add to other desserts and rock your menu list at any party. Its perfect texture and delicious taste are great to make any vegan-friendly dish a delight.

Ingredients:

Red Jello

  • 3/4 teaspoon agar-agar powder
  • 1 cup red grape juice (100% fruit juice)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar

Green Jello

  • 3/4 teaspoon agar-agar powder
  • 1 cup green apple juice (100% fruit juice)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • A few drops green food color

Instructions:

  • In a saucepan, whisk together fruit juice, agar-agar powder, sugar, and water on a medium flame.
  • Bring the mixture to boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid lump formation.
  • Remove from heat and pour the liquid into serving bowls. (Stir in green food color if you’re making green jello.)
  • Keep them in the fridge for around 1 hour to set.

Notes:

  • Green food color is an optional ingredient in making the jello. You may use spinach juice to add color to your jelly.
vegan fruity jello
Image courtesy: Loving it vegan

Also Read: Are Smarties Vegan? Vegan Analysis For Colorful Candies

Vegan Jelly Brands

Looking for some great vegan jelly brands out there? Here are some vegan store-bought products that may come to your rescue.

1. Simply Delish Strawberry Jel Dessert

The vegan strawberry jelly is a satisfying dessert that you can indulge in without regrets. Simply Delish manufactures gel desserts and puddings that are delicious treats to mealtime. They contain all-natural ingredients and are vegan-friendly.

These desserts are gluten-free, lactose-free, fat-free, sugar-free, and cholesterol-free. These jellies can be incorporated into a variety of tempting recipes from cocktail-inspired gel shots to ice-creams. They also are kosher and halal certified and made with non-GMO ingredients.

Simply Delish Jel Dessert

2. Hartley’s Blackcurrant Jelly Pot

These flavorsome jelly pots are perfect wibbly-wobbly desserts for on the go snack options. They are tasty and made up of real fruit juice. The Hartley’s Jelly Pots are packed with healthy fun and taste. They are great for storing in your pantry for a convenient dessert whenever you need a sweet treat. Kids and adults are huge fans of these vegan jelly pots. The Hartley’s Jelly Pots are gluten-free vegan foods. These jellies are free from artificial flavors and colors.

Hartleys-Blackcurrant-Jelly-Pot

3. Smucker’s Assorted Jelly Mix

Smucker’s jelly and jam are scrumptious vegan foods. These are a healthy way to savor your sweet tooth in a convenient manner. Smucker’s Assorted Jelly Mix contains seven assorted flavors of jellies and jams made from high-quality fruit juice. This product doesn’t contain any gelatin (animal-based thickening agent) but uses corn syrup as a base to set the dessert. These are also kosher and halal certified.

Smucker Assorted Jelly Mix

4. Weikfield Lychee Jelly Crystals

Weikfield has brought a yummy lychee flavored jelly that will relish your taste buds. Enjoy scrumptious desserts by adding freshly prepared vegan jelly at home. Even kids can try their hands on making tasty jelly like a pro. All you need is the Weikfield’s Lychee Jelly Crystals packet, 500 ml water, and some beautiful molds. Weikfield Jelly Crystals are available in nine delectable flavors of mango, strawberry, raspberry, lychee, orange, cherry, banana, pineapple, and watermelon. It doesn’t require refrigeration to set as it sets in 45 minutes at room temperature. It has halal certification.

Weikfield Lychee Jelly Crystals

Also read: Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan? Or Should You Steer Clear From These Taffy Bites?

Are Starburst Vegan? Find Out The Hidden Truth

Frequently Asked Questions

Is jelly vegan?

Most of the store-bought jelly brands are indeed vegan-friendly. They use pectin or corn syrup as a natural thickening agent rather than gelatin (animal-based) to give the jellies a firm and wobbly texture. Common brands like Jell-O, Weikfield, Smucker’s, Hartley’s, and Simply Delish have vegan jelly varieties in mouth-watering flavors.

What ingredients should vegans be aware of?

Vegan diet excludes any animal-based food products or by-products. While buying vegan jelly the only ingredient that one should be aware of is gelatin. There are many recipes that include gelatin as a thickening agent to make desserts. Read labels before you shop your favorite jams and jellies from the shelves.

Is it hard to make a vegan jam at home?

Absolutely not! Making vegan jelly at home is a simple and fun idea. You can use pectin, a readily available thickening agent and follow some easy steps to make the jelly at home. Natural ingredients and real fruit juices make them a healthy snack for all.

Can you get vegan jelly?

Desserts like mousse, panna cotta, and jellies rely on gelatin for their unique wiggly textures. Gelatin is made from animal collagen, but you can still make these delicious desserts without it. Corn syrup, maple syrup, chia seeds, agar-agar, etc are some substitutes used to make vegan jelly.

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