Friday, March 15, 2013

Homemade Jellies (the Japanese kind)

This week has been all about K, so I figure we should keep with the pattern to finish out the week. One of K's favorite snacks is jellies - Japanese style Jell-o. They usually come in little plastic cups that kids squeeze into their mouths. While K adores these, I am not too keen on most of them. I think a lot of them have tons of unnecessarily added sugars and many aren't made from real juice. On Sunday, we had pretty crummy weather, so it was the perfect time to do something fun (and delicious) with the kid.

We went to the grocery store in the morning, before the weather got too bad and I had him pick out two juices with which to make our jellies. He ended up going with a fruity blend, as well as his favorite vegetable juice. I was personally leaning towards tangerine or maybe grape, but he was pretty set in his plan. I bought two of each juice; they were about 200ml each.

Once we got home, we got cracking. K was really excited to make these and helped the whole time. He generally is over it after a while, but not with these! First we put 1 and 1/2 cups of the juice in a pan to boil.

In a separate bowl, we measured out 1/2 cup of the juice into a bowl and addded 2 tablespoons of gelatin. I thought we should stir it, but the gelatin started to melt straight away, so I figured it would be fine.

Once the juice boiled, I added it to the gelatin mixture and K stirred it up. The gelatin dissolved super quickly so this only took about 10 seconds.

Then we got to pouring. Before going to the grocery store, we stopped by the 100 yen shop to get some cookie cutters. K spotted these molds as well and wanted them, so we picked these little guys up too. They were so super tiny, but I figured we could try. The remaining liquid was put into a cake and a pie pan. Then all of them were put into the refrigerator.

Once they were in the fridge, I got to making lunch and by the time we were finished eating, the tiny ones were ready to eat. It was really difficult to get them out of the mold and they ended up not being cute at all.

That being said, K didn't seem to mind one bit.

Once K woke from his nap, I set him loose with the cookie cutters. He liked the bear cookie cutter most of all, so we ended up with a lot of bears. I threw in a few hearts, flowers and bows for good measure.

K definitely helped himself to the scraps while he was cutting. He kept picking up tiny pieces and asking me, "Mama, it's ok if K eat dis?" "Sure, baby."

You can't tell from the photo very well, but he ended up with jelly all over his face.

Once we got the shapes cut out, I let him go to town on both of scraps and the shapes. Turns out he didn't care which he ate - he just wanted his jellies! He told me that he liked the vegetable juice one more than the fruit juice one. I was quite surprised, because the vegetable one wasn't nearly as sweet. Not that either of them were too sweet, given that we didn't add any sweetener. Next time, I think I might add a bit of honey to the vegetable juice. While K liked it, I would have enjoyed my jellies a tad bit sweeter.



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