After I got the Breville Citrus Press and started making fresh squeezed orange juice each morning, I found myself knee deep in orange peels. Instead of throwing them all away, I wondered if I could use some of them for a fun lunchbox treat. I remembered seeing a recipe for Gelatin Oranges on Disney’s Family Fun website so I thought I would give it a try. If you or your child has a beef allergy (gelatin), avoid artificial colorings, etc., keep reading… this gets much better! 😉
These are relatively easy to make (and super easy if you have the Breville Citrus Press to do the juicing work for you!).
- Just slice oranges in half and scoop out the fruit. Be sure to scrape well and remove all the orange pulp, you will want the inside of the orange to be white.
- To keep the oranges upright, I used a muffin pan to set the oranges in.
- Prepare gelatin (or substitute, see below) as indicated on the package.
- Pour gelatin into the prepared orange halves and refrigerate until set.
- Slice Orange halves and you will have a fun little treat for snacks or to stick in a lunchbox!
The juicer only does so much, I still had to peel the last bit of orange "stuff" out by hand.
Prop the hollowed out oranges in a muffin pan for support.
Pour prepared gelatin into orange halves.
After reading a few of the comments for the Easy Lunchbox Giveaway, I decided to send in tacos for a cool new lunch. Wish I had re-read the comments before I made them as I would have known NOT to assemble the taco the night before! They were pretty soggy come lunch time the next day, LOL! I always seem to learn the hard way. 😉 If you make a taco lunch, be sure to seperate all the components and let your child assemble their own taco at lunch time... this is "much cooler" anyway as they have their own taco bar!
So there’s that version.
I have been doing a lot of reading over the past few months on artificial colorings, dyes, preservatives, etc. and I’m now of the mind that “less is definitely more!” Just yesterday, I was reading an article in the May/June 2010 issue of Well Being Journal titled, “ADHD Increase Linked to Modern Diet,” by Jane Hersey, pages 16 – 17. In the article, Jane sited some research by Sanford C. Newmark, M.D., from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine:
Research has shown a consistent relationship to the intake of artificial colors and/or preservatives on the symptoms of ADHD or hyperactivity.
After describing two large British studies linking food dyes and preservatives with hyperactivity, including one that was published in the Lancet, he concluded,
One can see how the intake of these substances could ‘shift’ in a positive direction the proportion of children diagnosed with ADHD.
The article went on to credit the late Ben Feingold, M.D. for first discovering the link between artificial food additives and hyperactivity. I just read an article on the Feingold Association website pertaining to ezcema and ADD. Seems that children with excema are far more likely to develop ADD (Wow, I didn’t know that. I really encourage you to check out the Feingold Association website, there is some very interesting information on it, that only further demonstrates the negative effects of processed food on our health). Funny, I had ezcema as a child and was diagnosed with Adult ADD about a year ago. Luke also suffers from severe ezcema (worse than mine was as a child). Hmmm…
Another startling fact that was mentioned in the article was the dramatic increase in American consumption of artificial dyes. Consumption of these dyes has increased almost threefold since the 1980’s, rising from about 6.4 million pounds in 1985 to more than 17.8 million pounds in 2005!!
Last quote from the article that I want to mention, and I think it is very important that all parents think about this:
Newmark pointed out that since more and more families have two working parents, family meals increasingly consist of processed (additive-laden) foods. “It is hard to know just when a Pop-Tart became an acceptable breakfast, but it often is. School lunches are abysmal, with an unacceptably high intake of processed foods and [denatured] saturated fats.”
I just looked at my boys after reading the article and thought to myself, “They deserve better. They have their entire lives ahead of them and I do not want to burden them with health problems (ironically, the very ones I have!), that I can control by simple diet modification.” That’s right, I am the one who can potentially alter the course of their life and health by taking the time to think about what I am putting into their mouths. While we already have the benefit of being a gluten-free family (which means we cannot eat most processed foods like Pop-Tarts, but there are obviously still many products like Jello and Koolaid that we can technically have, but probably shouldn’t!).
Needless to say, the rest of my Jello stash went into the trash, as did my remaining Koolaid stash (okay, I’ll admit it… I was actually the closeted Koolaid drinker! 😉 ).
I have been experimenting with making my own “jello” from natural juice and pectin (the grape turned out to be a kickin’ Grape Jelly without added sugar or HFCS, but it really didn’t taste like Jello. I have yet to try juice with gelatin, but I have that one on my short list. I did however, find a really cool new product (new to me anyway) on a recent shopping excursion to my local co-op: Natural Desserts by the NutraDrink Company!! Check this out from their website:
Natural Desserts’ line of flavored and unflavored Dessert Jels are a truly unique line of gluten free, vegan, dairy free, Kosher dessert jells that are truly indistinguishable from gelatin, yet are manufactured using an exclusive blend of vegetable gums. Perfect as a simple dessert all by itself, or marvelous for use in the most elaborate mold.
They even have pudding!! I have yet to find the pudding in my local store, but I am definitely on the hunt. 😀
So, I re-made the oranges with the All-Natural Strawberry flavored Jel Dessert:
This product is still high in sugar, so moderation is key.
We really liked these quite a bit, even though Sam is still hung up on the green Jello. Wonder if I could make a spinach/apple combo juice and just add the unflavored Jel for a natural and healthy green color?? He might disown me... but it's worth a try! 😀
Update: At the suggestion of Deanna, I just submitted this recipe to the May “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free” monthly recipe roundup (it’s a Jello theme for May), being hosted by Mrs. Ed’s Research and Recipes. This is my first time participating in this monthly event and I am so happy that Deanna mentioned it to me, because it introduced me to a new blog that I am excited to read. Anyone can participate in this blog carnival, you do not need to be a blogger to join in on the fun! The “Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free” blog carnival was created by Naomi Devlin over at “Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.” What a fun way to make cooking at home an even more rewarding experience. It’s like sitting at the kitchen table, swapping gluten-free recipes and the stories behind them, with great friends over a hot cup of coffee. 🙂
Filed under: GF Recipes for Kids, Gluten-Free Kids, Recipes, Special Recipes for other Special Diets | Tagged: "Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten-Free", gluten free, Jel Desserts, Jello, Kids, Mrs. Ed's Research and Recipes, Natural Desserts, NutraDrink, Oranges, Recipe, Recipe Round-Up, Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried, Vegan Jello | 24 Comments »