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Hot Night Strawberry and Cherry Jello Desserts

Updated on December 17, 2011

Double Strawberry Cherry Dessert

On hot and humid summer Louisiana nights, our Grand'Mere would serve this easy strawberry dessert that everyone loved. It was the perfect before bedtime cool and creamy healthy dessert. Most Americans have fond memories of all sorts of Jell-O "comfort" desserts that bring us back to our childhood. With today's continually rising food prices, maybe it's time to indulge ourselves in a nostalgic fun dessert.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large box of Cherry Jello

2 cups of boiling water

1 pint of Strawberry Ice Cream

1 1/4 cup of frozen strawberries

1 cup of sour cream

1 thinly sliced lemon

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Dissolve gelatin in water.

2. Add ice cream, strawberries and sour cream.

3. Blend well and pour into 1 1/2 to 2 quart jello mold.

4. Chill till firm, unmold.

5. Garnish with sliced lemons and fresh strawberries.

Makes 8 servings.

 

 

What Put The Jell In Jell-O?

The popular brand, Jell-O is a gelatin product made from collagen, a protein that comes from animal skins.  The crystals from it dissolve when placed into hot or boiling water (melting).  From there, as the solution cools, the crystals bond together into a gel trap of water.  The addition of cold water to the recipe, only accelerates the gelling process.

We Are Having What?

Bing Cherries
Bing Cherries

Salad For Dessert?

The first time my little brother heard we were having salad for dessert, he whose lips did not touch vegetables (not even lettuce) was whining in protest. However, when Grand'mere put this delicious chilled delight in front of him and told him it had soda pop in it -- he couldn't resist trying it. After that night, it was one of his favorite treats.

Cherry Cola Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound can of bing cherries or 1 1/2 cups of fresh cherries w/o seeds
  • cherry cola
  • 1 small box of cherry jello
  • 3 ounces of cream cheese, smashed
  • 9 ounce can of crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Instructions:

  • Drain cherries if using canned, and reserve syrup
  • Add cherry syrup to cola to make 2 cups if using canned, otherwise use 1 can of cola and water to make 2 cups
  • Boil liquid
  • Pour over jello, stirring until dissolved
  • Chill until slightly thickened
  • Fold in cherries
  • Fold in cream cheese
  • Fold in crushed pineapple
  • Fold in slivered almonds
  • Pour into mold
  • Chill until firm

Makes 8 servings.

Jell-O Making Facts:

Certain fruits cannot be used with Jell-O like products because they prevent the gelatin from setting, these are:

  • Ginger root
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya

Additionally, other fruits that have been packed in heavy syrups and seedless grapes will "sink" in the mold when preparing.

Surprisingly, gelatin or better known as Jell-O (trade name), based recipes have been around since the Victorian days. Back then, the gelatin powder that was sold to the public, was made from the collagen of such tasty animal parts as, their feet, tails, and bones. Yuck! Jell-O, as we know it, is just one product of thousands that contain gelatin. It's kind of interesting to know that it is also part of:

  • Cream cheese
  • Face creams
  • Gummy bears
  • Gravies
  • Pills
  • Lotions
  • Makeup
  • Sour cream
  • Sausages
  • Throat lozenges
  • And a host of other common products

Of course, any of us who have been around since the 1950s (and before), recognize any Jell-O recipe, to be an American icon, when it comes to simple desserts. Today, we are all a lot more health conscious, so gelatin products aren't quite as popular as they once were. Even though, it comes in sugar free varieties, you have to question all the food coloring, artificial flavorings, and additives. Still, recipes like the one I've just shared, are still American comfort foods that enjoying occasionally, won't hurt any of us.

Jello Isn't Just For Eating

Jello can be used for a number of other things, besides eating. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Homemade finger paint for toddlers
  • Homemade science volcano lava
  • Homemade cleaning agent for soap scum
  • Homemade hair dye
  • Homemade fabric dye
  • Homemade hair styling gel
  • Homemade science experiment for watching seeds grow
  • Homemade wrestling substance
  • Homemade air fresheners
  • Homemade sweet smelling birthday, Mother's Day, etc. cards
  • Patching bare spots in grass
  • Homemade bird treats

 

Glow-In-The-Dark Blue Jello

Just when you've thought you've heard it all when it comes to Jello, comes along "glow-in-the-dark" Jello. Popular with kid parties, popular as a kitchen science experiment with kids, and now popular in glow-in-the-dark jello shots -- it goes to show, just when you think you know it all, you don't. Here is a fun recipe, provided you own a black light:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Jell-O or other gelatin (does not matter what flavor)
  • Tonic water
  • Black light

Instructions:

  • Substitute tonic water for plain water and follow standard instructions on back of box.

Note: The quinine in the tonic water is what makes the jello glow blue (regardless of the color of the jello). The quinine will also make the jello taste bitter or sharp. Some people counter-act the taste by using half tonic water and half tap water.

Jello Dance

Jello Finger Paint Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Jell-O (any flavor)
  • Hot Water
  • Paper plates
  • Drawing paper

Instructions:

  • Gradually mix a little at a time, water into the jello mixture
  • Once the jello looks and feels like finger paints, stop adding water
  • Cool

It doesn't get any simpler than this, or any less expensive.

My Grama Would Have Loved This Recipe!

I don't drink coffee, even though I love the smell of it -- I don't like the taste of it all that much. I'm certain it's because I was overdosed on coffee as a child. My grandmother loved coffee, and often found creative ways to use coffee in almost every recipe that she could. Coffee flavored cakes, coffee flavored icing, coffee flavored ice creams -- you get the picture.

Being a coffee affectionado, she would have really enjoyed the following recipe (that is hugely popular in Asia):

Coffee Jello

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of coffee
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin powder
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • Whipped cream for topping

Instructions:

  • Mix gelatin powder and four tablespoons water
  • Mix coffee, sugar, and the gelatin in a saucepan.
  • Stir well on low heat until sugar dissolves.
  • Strain the mixture and pour into four cups.
  • Cool in the refrigerator.
  • Put dollop of whipped cream on top before serving.  

Health Benefits of Eating Sugar and Artificial Dyes In Food?

Well, in a health conscious, but not health conscious practicing society, it seems on the surface to be mindful that Jell-o (the kind we baby boomers have eaten since early childhood) -- would perhaps be forbidden in our new menus of health. Look at the back of your box of Jell-o, and there aren't a lot of redeeming qualities, even in the sugar-free varieties.

However, don't be fooled. The gelatin found in Jell-o products, regardless of the brand name -- still have importance to having a healthy diet and healthy life. Eating gelatin is helpful for painful joints, recovery from surgery, soft diets after surgery, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive disorders, and growth of hair, nails, and bones. Like any other food, the key is "moderation."

This moderation is especially true for our children. Kids don't need more sugar. Kids don't need more artificial flavorings. However, kids will benefit from eating jello desserts from time to time. It is a method for encouraging picky eaters to eat more fruit, especially when you consider the fun factor in jello and gelatin.

The Advantages of a Jello Seed Lawn Patch

Anyone who has ever had to re-seed bare spots in their lawn knows that grass seed can be tricky to deal with. First, you can re-seed the lawn, only to have the tiny seeds blow away from the area you are trying to cover. Then, grass seed can be slow to germinate.

Finally, your soil may not have the ideal nutrients for germinating the seed. This is why many people resort to using grass plugs and laying grass sod. However, if you only have a small area that you wish to repair, Jell-0 can come to your rescue!

Directions for patching your lawn with jello seed starter:

  • Loosen the soil in the area where you desire to patch
  • Clean the area of any unwanted weeds, rocks, etc.
  • Mix one package of jello with cool (not cold or hot) water by gradually adding water to the mix until it's more of a sauce-like consistency (6 oz. package)
  • Add two tablespoons of grass seed to the mixture and stir thoroughly
  • Pour mixture into a zip lock baggie (you can also use a cake icing decorating bag)
  • If using the zip lock bag, cut a small 1/4" diagonal slot in one of the bottom corners
  • Squeeze and release the mixture from your bag into the area being patched evenly
  • Apply in even rows allowing for run off, so about 1/2" to 1" apart
  • Extend about three inches beyond on all perimeters into the existing grass

Why does it work? First, the jello will keep the seeds from blowing away. Next, the gelatin speeds up germination. Finally, the gelatin feeds the grass seeds and soil.

 

The Sound of Jello

Homemade Bird Treats for Polly

With rising prices, especially when it comes to pet food and pet treats, one easy treat for those with birds, is to make jello bird treats. Simply make the gelatin according to package directions for jigglers. Then, mix in any of the following, either as a mixture, or as a solo addition:

  • Millet seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Banana
  • Carrots

I place the mixture in hollowed out orange skins which is a nice way to help a husband who is prone to eat anything he sees in the refrigerator, to know what is for the bird and what is for him. LOL I find this bird treat a lot easier and less expensive to make than total peanut butter based, or suet based.

1948 Jello Commercial

Did You Know?

Des Moines, Iowa has the highest per capita Jello consumption in the United States.

Do You Still Serve Jello Desserts?

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    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 

      7 years ago

      These are great recipes for Christmas. Thanks!

    • Jerilee Wei profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks Aya! Gelatin and jello is something that those of us who grew up in the 1950s probably take for granted.

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Thanks for pointing out the health benefits of gelatin. Those are some mouth watering recipes and great pictures!

    • Jerilee Wei profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks 2patricias! We have a lot of you here in Florida and that's pretty funny to me. I'll have to remember that. Here jelly is different than jam (as it is clear with no visible fruit).

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      And the stuff you spread on your toast is jam (not jelly). When English people hear Americans talking about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they think maybe you are putting jello in a sandwich !

    • Jerilee Wei profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks 2patricias! I didn't know that it was called something different there. Learn something every day here on hubpages.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I just found this! I love jello (it's called jelly in England) and am tempted to try these recipes - at least some of them. I do keep a stock of tangerine jelly in the cupboard, as I love it with mandarin oranges, and topped with real cream. (lots of calories, but at least real cream has calcium).

    • Jerilee Wei profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerilee Wei 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks Anamika S! I missed your comment when it was first made.

      Thanks marisuewrites! We don't see too many green parrots here in Lakeland but used to see some in Orlando where rumor was in the neighborhood that an elderly couple had an aviary and birds escaped.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      9 years ago from USA

      These look scrumptious!!   YUMMMM  and I thank you as I'm adding these to my files!

      I'm not touchin' the bird food, tho' I'll make it for them!! I love watching birds come to feed - Florida is full of green parrots.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      9 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I never thought Cofee and Jelly would go together. Being a Coffee lover, I guess i should definitely give your coffee jello a try.

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