Jiggling Juice

This is like the just-add-water gelatin dessert that comes in a box — only it’s yummier and healthier because you’re making it yourself with real fruit juice! We promise your body won’t miss all that extra sugar and those artificial flavors and colors. For an extra-pretty dessert, use white grape juice so that the colorful fruit can shine through. 

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Hands-on time: 10   |    Total time: 250   |    Makes: 4 Servings


Measuring cup
Heatproof bowl or large heatproof measuring cup
Small pot
4 short glasses or small bowls


2 cup real (100%) fruit juice (NOT mango, papaya, kiwi, or fresh pineapple)
1 unit envelope unflavored gelatin (which you can find at the supermarket, near the other gelatin desserts)
1 cup berries or cut-up fruit (NOT mango, papaya, kiwi, or fresh pineapple)


Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.

  1. Put 1/2 cup fruit juice in the bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. (This is called “blooming” the gelatin, and it makes it easier to dissolve later.)
  2. Put the rest of the juice (do you know how much that is?) in the pot and put the pot on the stove. Turn the heat to medium and bring the juice just to a boil. (You’ll know the juice is boiling when you see bubbles breaking at the surface). 
  3. Carefully pour the boiling juice (this is a job for an adult) over the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  4. Put 1/4 cup fruit in each glass or bowl, then add 1/2 cup of the gelatin mixture.
  5. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. 


Gelatin is made of a protein called collagen, and it works by creating tangles of protein strands that turn a liquid, like juice, into a wiggly solid. But some fruits, such as mango, papaya, kiwi, and fresh pineapple, contain a substance called protease that works like scissors to cut up the protein strands so they can’t form a solid. If you use those fruits, your gelatin won’t set properly!