I received free samples of POM Wonderful mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by POM Wonderful and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Jell-O: a favorite snack and dessert of kids everywhere. It's fun, it's jiggly, it's colorful, and even grown-ups jump on the Jell-O bandwagon (usually with some sort of alcohol involved!). It's also an uninspired, sad snack at hospitals everywhere. :( Even more sad is the fact that this seemingly innocent treat is loaded with food dyes, added sugar or artificial sweetener, and all sorts of other artificial ingredients that I don't get very excited about eating or feeding to kids. That's why I took things into my own hands...
Enter the beautiful, naturally colored POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice! Not only is it free of food dye, added sugar, and chemicals X, Y & Z, it is absolutely loaded with antioxidants and just 8 oz has as much potassium as a banana.
The antioxidant content is thanks to the deep red hue (from anthocyanins) of the juice, so you can feel really good about where all that color is coming from. One 8 oz bottle contains the cold-pressed juice from two whole pomegranates (including the fruit - or pomegranate arils, pith, and rind!). POM - my clothes and my body sincerely thank you for doing all that work for us! We love getting all these benefits stain-free!
Side note, if you are determined to harvest your own pomegranate arils, have a look at this little how-to video. Pro tip: wear an apron or clothes you don't care about. :D
Now to turn this beautiful beverage into a jiggly gelatin... There are gelatin products all over the market. You've probably heard the stories of gelatin coming from horse hooves and various other leftover animal parts. Well, I'm not a vegetarian, but the extract of horse hooves certainly does not sound appealing to me. Of course, there are higher quality alternatives that come from grass-fed animals, or vegan gelatin substitutes (which I use in this recipe). Besides turning liquids to hand-held solids, gelatin and some of its vegan alternatives actually do offer some health benefits. They are a good source of protein, amino acids, and minerals known to improve joint health, skin, hair and nail growth.
Just as expected, when I combined the beautiful hued, antioxidant superpower of POM with gelatin, something pretty cool happened! Liquid turned to solid! Remember all those fun childhood science experiments? Baking soda volcanoes, making rock candy, homemade slime? Making (and playing with) Jell-o Jigglers fell into this category for me as a kid. Now that I'm older and wiser (I hope!) I feel pretty excited about sharing this favorite fun snack with my kids and others since I have such a nutritious option!
Full disclosure, my son is only 6 months old, so he didn't get to enjoy any of these jelly treats. My husband and I devoured them all and we enjoyed every little bite we popped in our mouths! In all seriousness, these make a very pretty, chic appetizer or finger-food for your next cocktail party or dinner. They are beautifully colored and have a perfectly tart, yet sweet taste.
Two ingredients. That's it. Well, 3 if you count the little bit of fruit I add for some fun texture. This literally could not be any easier. Boil juice, whisk in gel powder, pour into molds and let set in the fridge. Voila!
Pomegranate Jelly Bites
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 4 hours
2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 10 gram packet of unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup pomegranate arils or other fruit of your choice, finely diced
Prepare a 16-cup mini muffin tin (flexible, silicone muffin tins work VERY well here). Line each cup with a single layer of pomegranate arils (about 1 tsp) or other fruit of your choice.
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly sprinkle in gelatin while whisking until all the powder is completely dissolved.
Transfer liquid to a measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour the liquid into each mini muffin cup, on top of the pomegranate arils.
Place muffin tin in refrigerator and chill until solid - about 3-4 hours. When ready to eat, run a small rubber spatula or knife around the edges of each muffin cup to release the jelly bite and ENJOY!
NOTE: If you don't have mini muffin tins, or just want a larger serving size, just divide the mixture between four small ramekins or cups and serve topped with pomegranate arils or fruit of your choice.