Monday, January 30, 2012

Jello Tea

Sometimes the longing for fruit becomes very difficult. Or even Jello. With all its sugar fake flavor goodness. It's delightful jigglyness and mouth feel..

Wait... you mean I can’t have jello anymore because I’m trying to avoid sugar or can’t have fruit?


As I was doing ok with fruit flavored teas, which nicely help to tone the flavor of my more bitter ones (nettle and dandelion anyone?) I suddenly was struck with the question: Can I make tea into jello? Well, yes, you can! So in desperation for something fruit like... I bought some cheap gelatin and mixed it with one of my favorite fruit teas... and it was wonderful.

Amidst my searching for an answer to this question, I discovered Bernard Jensen Gelatin. Hurray! Gelatin I can be really happy about. It is made from good animal gelatin and doesn't have weird additives or crazy processing methods. It seems I have to use slightly more than commercial gelatin to do the job, but I just keep that in mind if converting recipes. There is another excellent quality brand of gelatin out there, but I can't recall the name.

Just a note about this recipe - this makes very lightly sweetened jello. My daughter and I love it, but we've gotten used to non-sweet things. Sometimes I don't use sweetening at all. Just think of it as your favorite tea now cold and jiggly.

In fact, I found out that there are many traditional recipes for non-sweet jellos! Meat flavored herby gelatin sounds a little strange to my over-sugared American ears still... but I really should try them sometime. Like this jellied chicken recipe...

Then again, maybe I'll stick to herbal teas and fruit....

For every 1 cup of liquid, it’s a 1/2 Tbsp gelatin. I like to go a little over that (think heaping Tbsps) to make it extra firm.

2 cups filtered water
tea of your choice
small drizzle honey (about 2 tsps maybe) If desired.
2 heaping TBSP gelatin
a good whisk

Brew your tea as usual, and compost the tea bag or herbs. If the tea is still very hot, just pour into the dish you'll make your jello in, along with the gelatin and honey and whisk thoroughly. If you are doing an infusion or decoction and the tea is too cool for the gelatin to dissolve, then gently re-heat it first.

Once everything is whisked thoroughly, and the gelatin is completely dissolved, you're done! Throw it in the freezer for an hour or two for quick setting, followed by some time in the fridge,  or in the fridge for several hours for a slower set.

Just be sure you don't put a super hot glass in the fridge or freezer! This is one area where I've compromised and used a plastic bowl - I just don't have a stainless steel one that would work well.

And voila... you have Jello!!!!!

Oh, and another note:  if you dip repeatedly into the dish in the fridge, the saliva will begin to break the jello down (oops.) You can just use that as an excuse to eat it faster.
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