Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sugar Free Jello With Stevia

My husband and I just started Atkins Induction a week ago.. My husband is a diabetic and Atkins is a great diet for his health needs...We had both gone on Atkins a year ago, each lost weight, but gained some of it back over the winter even though we've continued to eat low carb.. Here in Northern Michigan it's hard to get much exercise in during the winter months and our scales show it!

One of the little treats you can have on Atkins is sugar free jello...I think this means we're both kids at heart, because we love Jello! But neither one of us want to consume Aspartame, which is what boxed sugar free jello is sweetened with.. Aspartame gives both of us a wicked headache, plus it's been linked to so many health issues, it just seems a no brainer not to allow it in our bodies..

I started searching for recipes for sugar free jello from scratch. I found quite a few of them, but none of them used Stevia as the sweetener.. Many of them used sucralose and other sweeteners I'm not familiar with. I've been using Stevia in many different forms for many years, and I trust it since it is a natural product.. I even tried growing it in our greenhouse last summer, but it was such a hot summer, it ended up croaking! Better luck this year (crossing fingers).

Anyhoo....After a lot of experimenting, I finally found an easy way to make sugar free jello using Stevia in the Raw.

I make a big bowl, which lasts us for a week, but if you wanted to cut this down in half, it would be fine. My recipe, I believe, would be the same as using the big package of jello available in stores.
My recipe is:
7 3/4 cups water
2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid
4 packs Knox Unsweetened Gelatine
2 cups Stevia in the Raw

First, pour 4 cups COLD water into a pot.
Add 4 packs of the unsweetened Gelatine.
Whisk to mix the Gelatine.. 
It's important to use cold water.. In my mind, hot water would mean it would dissolve better, but I soon found it just clumps in hot water and takes forever to stir down, so make sure you mix it with cold water. 
Add the 2 packs of unsweetened Kool-Aid and 2 cups of Stevia in the Raw. Whisk again until dissolved. 

Put on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil.. I set the burner on high and whisk it until it boils.. It doesn't take long and believe me, you don't want to walk away and let it come to a boil unattended because you'll have a sticky mess all over your stove top and burner...I found this out the hard way.. 

It's quite foamy looking until just before it gets ready to boil.. It then looses the foam and becomes clear. 

Remove it from heat and pour into your bowl.. Add 3 3/4 cups of cold water and whisk to mix.. Put in your fridge for at least 6 hours and you'll have delicious sugar free jello without aspartame!

You can add 4 cups of water if you want, but I like my jello to be really thick, which is why I choose to add 3 3/4 cups of water instead.

Once it's set, I dish out a small bowl of it for each of us for dinner and add a tsp of heavy whipping cream to our little jello treat. Heavy whipping cream is allowed on Atkins and it just seems to make the jello even better... 

I know some people do not approve of unsweetened gelatin products for a variety of reasons.. 
Gelatin is produced by rendering animal body parts.. Gross sounding, I know.. But these animal byproducts contain collagen, which is a natural form of protein and is very good for joint pain, which my husband and I both suffer from.. I remember my mom mixing a pack of it with her orange juice to help strengthen her fingernails when I was young. It's also used for many pharmaceutical applications and was used as a blood plasma substitute in World War II... 

There is a product called Agar that is a vegetarian alternative gelatin made from sea weed, although, I've never used it so I can't say how it works. I've read good reviews about it, though.

One of the great things about using unsweetened Kool Aid is that it comes in so many flavors! You won't find boxed sugar free jello available with so many choices.. My favorites are Black Cherry, Cherry and Orange, but there are so many flavors to choose from! Makes a great sugar free snack and adds a little sweetness to low carb dieting..


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  4. stevia in the raw has sugar in it. try either plain truvia, or mix your own--1 cup erythritol to 1/2 tsp. pure stevia powder--no bitter aftertaste.

  5. Hmmmm...I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but Stevia in the raw does not have sugar in it. The erythritol used in Truvia is synthesized in the lab from genetically modified corn, which can cause bloating and diareah.. I'll stick to my Stevia in the raw..

    1. All you have to do is read the label to get the information. The first ingredient is maltodextrin, which is just sugar. It's a chain of glucose molecules - its easy to look up if you don't believe that. They are legally able to label it as 'zero calorie' by making the serving size ridiculously small, and adding the stevia to sweeten it to the same level as sugar. Maltodextrin has the same number of calories as table sugar if you measure by weight. BUT, maltodextrin is a lot fluffier than sugar, so a teaspoon of it weighs a lot less than table sugar. The Stevia in the Raw serving size is only a teaspoon, and has about 2 calories (the legal maximum to label a product as 'zero calorie' is 2 calories per serving). Straight up sugar has about 16 calories per teaspoon for reference, so you do end up with a lot less sugar in your system for the same volume of Stevia in the Raw - but it IS there. Maltodextrin is also synthesized in the lab from genetically modified corn. This is a great idea though. I'll try to work it out with some of my home grown stevia.

  6. We like to put diet soda in our jello occasionally...do you think I would substitute that for the last 3 3/4 cup of water at the end?

    1. Wow! I never thought of that. Seems like it would work.. Please let me know how it turns out ;o)

    2. Doesn't diet soda contain aspartame? Kind of beats the whole purpose doesn't it?

    3. Have you ever tried Zevia diet soda? It's sweetened with Stevia and comes in quite a few flavors.. And yes, you are right, using regular diet pop would be consuming aspartame.. I never drink regular diet pop because of the aspartame. Gives me an instant headache! If I try the pop in the jello, I'll be using Zevia...

  7. Both Stevia in the Raw and Kool-Aid contain sugar. (Stevia in the Raw contains dextrose, which pretty much is another name for glucose.) I use Kal Pure Organic Stevia or xylitol. SweetLeaf Stevia Drops could be another idea; they come in multiple flavors. I might add some lemon juice for tang. Plain yogurt (mixed in slowly) makes it creamy.

  8. Hmmmm...Not sure where you read that unsweetened kool aid contains sugar? I did a search on the internet and couldn't find that info anywhere..Stevia in the raw does contain Maltodextrin (not Dextrose), which is popping up in all kinds of foods.. I agree it isn't perfect, but it's a whole lot better than digesting Aspartame, which is what boxed sugar free jello is sweetened with, so given the choice, I'd much rather ingest Stevia in the Raw..

    I use Kal Pure organic Stevia too, in my coffee and ice tea.. I tried it in the jello, but it's really hard to find the right balance... It ended up with the bitter aftertaste Stevia sometimes has.. Unfortunately Xylitol causes digestive problems for me, so I don't use it..

  9. Has anyone tried this with SweetLeaf Stevia drops? If so, what are the measurements and do you prepare it the same way?

  10. I'm more concerned with the red 40 in both jello and kool aid, and many colas for that matter