Want a recipe that’s nourishing for your gut, skin, hair, and nails… but also really delicious and fun to eat?
(I’m talking so delicious and fun… my 2-year old daughter begs for it!)
Let me introduce you to one of my all-time favorite easy and healthy snacks: water kefir jello!
I “invented” this water kefir jello back when my daughter was just getting started eating solids. I wanted to give her something ultra-healthy, packed with nutrients, and low in sugar… but also easy to eat.
Then I tried it myself… and got hooked!
This water kefir jello is definitely NOT just for kids… and no matter what age you are, you’ll get all the health benefits.
What’s In Water Kefir jello?
This recipe has just a few ingredient, but they’re all ultra nutrient-dense:
Water Kefir – This is a naturally probiotic-rich fermented drink that is similar to kombucha. You can get it in health food stores – although more and more traditional grocery stores carry it now, too. The benefits come from the naturally-occurring probiotics, which are great for maintaining a healthy and diverse gut microbiome.
Not all water kefirs are created equally: look for one that is low in sugar, and doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or colors. My favorite brand is Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink – and for this recipe, I almost always use the Pomegranate flavor!
Fresh Citrus Juice – Your choice of fresh citrus juice adds bright sweet-tart flavor to this recipe… and provides plenty of immune-boosting vitamin C. I usually use lemon or lime juice, but grapefruit juice is also great in this recipe.
Monk Fruit Extract – this is a no-calorie, all-natural sweetener made from extracts of monk fruit. It’s rich in antioxidants and my favorite alternative to sugar. A little goes a long way – monk fruit extract is about 200x sweeter than table sugar. My favorite brand is Emerson’s Liquid Monk Fruit.
Grass-Fed Gelatin – Gelatin is packed with collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, and is a major component of our hair, skin, nails, and joints. Supplementing with collagen not only helps your hair and nails grow faster, longer, and stronger, but it can also help repair the lining of the gut, an essential step in healing a leaky gut. Even if your gut is healthy now, collagen is one of my top foods for retaining a strong gut lining going forward.
Some of the many benefits of consuming collagen include:
- Healing leaky gut
- Improving joint pain in those who exercise
- Improving the look of cellulite (In women who are normal weight – usually one of the hardest populations to treat!)
- Prevent the loss of bone density (Which is a huge issue for women, who deal with osteoporosis far more commonly than men)
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles
Choosing an organic, grass-fed gelatin is important, because conventional cattle are exposed to high levels of the glyphosate in their lives, since they eat a diet primarily of glyphosate-treated corn and soy. Glyphosate builds up in the collagen-rich tissues of animals… and winds up in high levels in gelatin and collagen powders.
The WHO has labeled glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” since 2015, and there have been numerous lawsuits attributing glyphosate exposure to the development of cancer. It’s also a known endocrine disruptor, which means it messes with normal hormone levels and function. Not good! To avoid this, choose an organic, grass-fed brand. My favorite is Vital Proteins (Make sure you choose the gelatin in the green tub!).
Gelatin vs. Collagen Peptides: What’s the Difference and Does It Matter?
This recipe calls for gelatin, not collagen peptides. So what’s the difference?
Collagen peptides and gelatin are really similar – they both have basically the same amino acid profile, the same nutrients, and are both naturally flavorless.
The big difference is that gelatin is a cooked form of collagen, and the cooking process changes the chemical structure a bit, resulting in some different qualities.
Collagen peptides dissolve instantly in hot or cold liquids. They don’t have any gelling properties: they won’t change the texture of whatever you mix them into. That makes them great for adding to coffee, smoothies, soup, and even yogurt.
Gelatin, on the other hand, must be dissolved in warm or hot liquids – and once it cools, it creates a thick gel. If you mix gelatin into your morning coffee, and then let it cool… you will have coffee gel! Gelatin can only be used in things that will stay hot, or that you don’t mind gelling – like water kefir jello.
Both collagen peptides and gelatin have many benefits and uses. I use both – just not interchangeably. If you want to get the most benefits from collagen, I recommend using a collagen peptides supplement in addition to recipes like this one, which contain gelatin.
For this recipe, you must use gelatin, not collagen peptides, or your water kefir jello won’t gel!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!
Nourishing Water Kefir Jello
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
- 3 ½ cups of water kefir
- ½ cup lemon or lime juice*
- 5 tablespoons grass-fed gelatin**
- Liquid monk fruit extract, to taste
* You can substitute any other citrus juice for lemon or lime. If using a different citrus juice, increase the amount to 1 cup and decrease ½ cup from the amount of water kefir used in Step 1.
** Do not substitute collagen peptides for gelatin. Collagen peptides do not gel when cooled, and therefore can’t form jello! Gelatin must be used for this recipe to gel.
- Combine 2 ½ cups of the water kefir with the citrus juice in a medium bowl
- Add monk fruit extract to water kefir and juice mixture to taste (Approx. 2 droppers)
- Add remaining cup of kefir water to a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin powder on top.
- Heat water kefir and gelatin mixture over very low heat until just slightly warmed and gelatin begins to dissolve. Do not bring to a simmer or boil, as this will kill the probiotics!
- As soon as gelatin begins to dissolve, remove from heat and whisk thoroughly to dissolve all gelatin.
- Add water kefir and gelatin mixture to water kefir and juice and stir to combine.
- Pour the entire mixture into a glass baking dish or mold, such as silicone ice cube molds.
- Cool in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!