Tart, sweet and irresistibly jiggly, this lemon jello is rich in collagen protein, which is an essential nutrient for lustrous hair, glowing skin and strong nails. Unlike the little packets of yellow #5 and refined sugar we grew up with, it’s made with just a handful of wholesome ingredients – fresh lemon juice, honey, water and a dash of lemon extract if you happen to have it on hand.
If you’ve never made homemade jello before, the process is super easy:
- Mix the gelatin powder with a little liquid so that it “blooms.” This helps prevent clumps in your finished dish.
- Mix honey with water and heat it up on the stove.
- Combine the bloomed gelatin with the hot water mixture and pour it into jars to cool.
- Eat yummy jello 🙂
Once you try this recipe, you’ll probably want to make #allthejello, so with that in mind here are a couple more recipes to save for later:
Strawberry Jello – Made with fresh or frozen strawberries, this recipe is so much better than the boxed stuff.
Creamsicle Gelatin Cups – In this recipe, orange jello is topped with a layer of vanilla cream. There’s a dairy-free option available if you need it.
Oh and one more quick note, the lemon jello recipe below makes approximately 1 3/4 cups. You can pour everything into a small glass storage container and cut it into jiggly cubes, or you can make single-serve containers using three of these tulip jars or four of these small mason jars.
Naturally Sweetened Lemon Gelatin Recipe (Copycat Jello)
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1¼ cups water (Divided)
- ¼ cup light colored honey (Or more to taste)
- 7 tsp grass-fed unflavored gelatin
- ¼ tsp lemon extract (Optional but recommended. You can use store-bought or homemade lemon extract)
- In a small bowl mix together the lemon juice, 1/4 cup water and gelatin powder. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan combine 1 cup water and honey.
- Heat over medium-low heat until the mixture is hot but not boiling.
- Whisk in the gelatin mixture until completely it is dissolved. Taste and add more honey if needed. For extra lemon flavor, I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract if you have it on hand.
More Healthy Lemon Desserts
Lemon Mousse – Light, fluffy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
Lemon Bread With Vanilla Glaze – I’ve been told by one Starbucks Lemon Loaf lover that this sweet and tangy lemon bread is just as satisfying as store-bought.
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – Moist and cakey, these muffins are super simple to make! My daughter helped perfect the recipe, which makes them extra special in our house.
Lemon & Coconut Macaroons – These easy cookies are like chewy, lemony bites – or blobs, as my kids call them – of sunshine.
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I have a question. We have grass-fed gelatin and have been making your gummie snacks for my 13mo old. Have you ever heard of little ones having an allergic reaction to gelatin? He’s not ever had any vaccinations, which is the only allergic reaction to gelatin I can find when googling it. He loves the gummies and jello I’ve made so far and I know how healthy it is for him so it makes me sad if he is allergic to it. I’m planning an elimination diet soon to get to the source but was just checking to see if you know any information or now. Thank you!
Hi Jenny! I wish I had something helpful to point you to but I have not heard of anyone having an allergic reaction to gelatin before. Hopefully the elimination diet will bring some clarity for you!
Can pectin be used instead?
My son is allergic to beef. Maybe your little one is too? I have to use pork gelatin, or else he reacts.
Omg Kari, I sure hope not!!! We’re proudly beef eaters in our home. I need to get to the bottom of it and was trying to get through the holidays before starting the elimination diet but I don’t think I can wait much longer. If he is allergic to beef it’s good to know there is pork gelatin available though.
PLEASE, please, please, do NOT feed your child any kind of pork products!!! The human body does not process pork fat or pork proteins into energy, it sees them as toxins! The trichinosis parasite can and does survive the cooking process, to the point that medical examiners EXPECT to find evidence of the parasite in OVER HALF of the autopsies performed in the US! Pork is BAD and BAD FOR YOU. There is high-quality veggie-based gelatin available if you L.O. is allergic to beef, but please, don’t give them pork!
Hi Jenny, we’re having the same issue right now too. non vaccinated child as well. although she definitely shows signs of “leaky gut” from antibiotics I had during labor. she has food sensitivities to tomatoes, citrus, grapes. Its weird since she does fine with broth. I too was making fruit chewy snacks and jello like snacks
Oh no Leah, it sounds like you might have tried an elimination diet already to pinpoint those foods? I’ve done baby led weaning with my son, so he’s just eaten what we’ve eaten for meals which has worked out great so far. But now that he reacted to something, I have no idea what it was. His reaction looked like a bumpy rash on his face and legs, with some of it seemingly turning into patchy eczema. A rash doesn’t bother me, but the eczema does. That finally cleared and then he must have eaten something to set it off again, this time it was more blotchy eczema on his legs and arms. I bought The Eczema Cure from Holistic Squid and plan to do the elimination diet she suggests in that book. I’m really hoping it’s not an allergy to gelatin, or any of the big allergins like eggs, nuts, that kind of thing. He LOVED the sour gummies and jello made from gelatin, and it was so easy for me to make that it proved to be a wonderful snack. Crossing my fingers for sure!!!
yes we have done many rounds of elimination diets. I have nursed my oldest till she is 3 and cut her off because it was a bit stressful nursing her and my 1 yr old. I know I should have tried harder but it was the best I could do. I want to do Gaps but waiting till after Christmas. We do mostly Gaps now, full WAPF and no processed period. Same kind of rash though. pin point dots mostly on arms and upper chest. I give her lots of EPO and slather in tallow. also lots of FCLO. she gets probiotics and eats cultured foods. at a loss right now.
ok so I think it may be the honey and not the gelatin because she has been gelatin free for some time and the rash is getting worse. meanwhile her honey consumption has increased. homemade elderberry syrup, herbal tea, etc. also in the fruit snacks, jello, marshmallows, maybe you have the same issue?
Wow Leah, I understand how you’re at a loss at this point, especially after following all the “right ways to do things” like you are! I haven’t done GAPS and was going to try the not quite as strict plan in The Eczema Cure book first. I don’t know what is triggering the reactions. He’s still got these dry patches on his legs, and a little on his upper arms. I’m not sure about honey. I stopped using honey last week because I ran out. However, I really hope that’s what is triggering your little one’s reactions! It would be amazing to know what the problem is and be albe to stop it at it’s source. Good luck Leah! I hope this is it and things calm down for you and your little one!!!
I know this post is really old but I still wanted to suggest something. Sometimes people struggle for many years to diagnose what their trigger is. Look into salicylates. Both gelatin and honey contain high amounts.
What is Fermented Lemonade and how does it differ from the benefits of reg. lemonade? Assuming of course, the lemonade is made with real lemons 🙂
Thank you in advance for your time and help.
Hi Jennifer! Fermented lemonade is infused with healthy probiotic bacteria using the process my friend Kristen describes here. Hope that helps!
Where is a good source for grass fed gelatin?
Hi Jami! I recommend Great Lakes or Bernard Jensen. 🙂
Could you use kombucha instead of the lemonade?
My daughter is allergic to citrus. Is there a different fruit that would work instead of lemon?
Hmmmm, thinking of using water kefir lemonade instead! YAY!!!!!
@ Jenny: do you think your little one may have a reaction to the sugar or lemon in the gelatin? try giving them a little gelatin on a spoon and see if it is ok? hope you get some answers!
@ heather: i LOVE your website!! i am due in a couple weeks and your info is sooo helpful! cant wait to try this recipe! thank you 🙂
Yay! So glad you’re here, Kristi! Wishing you a beautiful, butter birth!
meaning “plain”gelatin 🙂
Amanda Rae Smith
By lemon oil, do you mean lemon essential oil? Or something else?
Yes, lemon essential oil. You can usually find a food grade option at the grocery store.
Sadly, I have been allergic to gelatin all my life. Never tried grass fed per se, since I gave it up in the 1960’s. Jenny, hope your elimination diet shows the culprit, but gelatin is definitely possible. 🙁
Heather—-sauerkraut lemonade?!?! Is that good?! Can I use bubbies sauerkraut juice from their jars of refrigerated kraut?
If you use Kristen’s recipe it will be! And yeP, you can use Bubbies 🙂
I just made this recipe tonight and it is DELICIOUS!! i had some strawberry juice kombucha and added lemon and it was soooo tasty!
Perfect timing! I just looked at my sauerkraut jar tonight and wondered what to do with the juice!
I have some beet kvass handy, I’ll try making pink lemonade and let you know how it turns out. I made a batch of the regular probiotic lemonade (with whey) a while back after seeing it on Wellness Mama and my kids LOVED it.
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Looks like a great recipe I must try soon. Never thought of using gelatin this way. Thanks !
i heated about 1/2 of lemon juice with a tablespoon of raw honey and a dash of water. once the honey was dissolved i stirred in the gelatin and then added 16 oz of Kombucha (strawberry) once it had cooled a bit. it was soooo yummy (yes, WAS cause it is gone now) . the recipe says to dissolve the gelatin in warmed kombucha (or fermented lemon aid) but i didn’t want to heat mine at all. it worked great!! using kombucha made the jello a little fizzy so yum!
Thanks Kristi for telling us how you did this! Hopefully I’ll figure out that my little guy isn’t allergic to gelatin and I can try this! 🙂
Yummy, this sounds great! I love anything lemon and I just bought some Great Lakes grass-fed gelatin to make homemade marshmallows. This will be another great recipe to use the gelatin. Thanks for sharing!
How much lemon oil do you recommend?
I just add it to taste 🙂
Any ideas for making this into an ice pop?
Do you know if I can add brewer’s yeast to it? Or is it not a good idea?
I have not tested it with yeast so I’m not sure, sorry!
Another question is, can you use whey powder for this? It’s a lot easier than draining yogurt every time I need a cup of whey. Thanks!
Unfortunately, protein powder would not work as it is a completely different product than whey (that may have health risks – eek!). You could use a vegetable based starter, though! (If you don’t want to keep them on hand you can find them here)
Hi! I was wondering if pectin can be used in place of the gelatin? I can’t find high quality in my health food store and don’t to buy an expensive one online… I CAN get good powdered fruit pectin though! 🙂 New to your blog, LOVE it!!
I’ve never tried it so I don’t know. I’m thinking it would probably not have quite the same effect, though. 🙁
Dawn @ Transformed By Food
Love the idea of using sauerkraut juice with this instead of the whey. Thanks!
can regular unflavored gelatin from an average grocery store be used? Ihave some in my pantry I’d like to use before buying “the good stuff” you recommend since it’s pretty expensive.
Yes it can 🙂
I was looking into buying the Great Lakes Gelatin and one of the reviews on Amazon said it contains MSG… which I avoid completely. Surely this is a mistake?! I’m only 28 and have wrinkly eyes and want to give this product a try 🙂
Nope, no MSG. Here’s a statement from Great Lakes: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/noMSG.php
Where can I get the lemon oil? I checked Amazon but it looks all like essential oils – those are not edible, correct?
Elizabeth Gosselin Walsh
Doterra oils are edible too.
Caitlin Gibson – If extracted without solvents, essential oils derived from citrus are generally considered edible. They are, in fact, used to flavor a lot of commercial products. The brand that I linked to actually states that they are edible on their site, but explains that they label them as “not for internal use” so that people will not use them improperly.
Personally, I don’t use essential oils internally except in cooking, where they are well-distributed in food and unlikely to cause irritation. Similarly, many people choose to take “buffered” vitamin C because it is gentler on the tummy. Hope that helps! http://www.nowfoods.com/Products/FAQs/M042887.htm
Oh, and I’m thinking of starting a private Facebook group to discuss questions like this. 🙂
P.S. Citrus oils labeled as organic are always extracted without solvents 🙂
Thanks for the informative response – very helpful. Also, sorry that I missed that you linked to a recommended product…I was actually looking for a link before I asked the question 🙂
Glad to help, Caitlin Gibson! I’m hoping to create a resource page soon so that it’s easier to find products I recommend 🙂
Could you substitute lemon zest for the lemon oil?
Aletha Wilson D'Amico
Laura Wilson show mom
Leslie Parker – I think it would probably work, especially if you avoid the bitter white pith.
Hello! If I were to use lemonade in this recipe, how much sauerkraut juice do I add?
This looks and sounds great! One point though. “Jello” is a brand name and should not be used in the name of this dish. I know that seems naggy and is a minor point, but think of it like copyright. Would you want me posting your recipe without giving you credit? Again, this sounds like a delightful recipe that I will be trying!
Hi Rachel, quick update. It’s my understanding that jello has become genericized while Jell-O is a brand name. However, I’ve updated the name while I look into it more.
My FOODIE FRIENDS IN MY BUILDING had an amusing JELLO ASPIC CONTEST during this neverending CORONAPOCALYPSE QUARRANTINE. Sugar-free lemon jello is the most critical ingredient for any aspic. My crazy throwback aspic aquarium won, & it was delicious….although that was hard 2 convey via a ZOOM CONFERENCE CALL judging session… Lol! Thank U delicious lemon jello, because you’re timeless & full of collagen peptides!
Honey flavour was too strong (for us). Substituted maple syrup and 👌🏻. Great recipe, thanks!
Bad recipe, it uses way too much gelatin. Unfortunately, I made 2 of this recipes before I found out, the quantity of gelatin should be 2 teaspoons in stead of 7!!
I am sorry for my expensive gelatin, it is all wasted.
Love, love, LOVE this recipe. I make it all the time. Two tweaks: I swap out the honey (my son doesn’t like the taste) for maple syrup and use a few drops of lemon essential oil instead of lemon extract (because I didn’t have any on hand). Excellent way to get gelatin into us and a great snack!
Should i double this reciepe to equal. a 3 oz store bought jello pkg?
the reciepe calls for 3oz pk