Make Fruity “Vegan Jello” Slices with Agar Agar! I didn’t think it was really possible to make a vegan, gelatin-free “Jello” mold until I tried it for myself using an ingredient called Agar Agar. Agar is a flavorless, colorless, clear seaweed ingredient. Kids will get a kick out of this deep-sea-creature looking ingredient. When you dissolve the agar flakes into hot water – the same as you would jello – you can create a wide variety of “gelatin-like” recipes. All that are 100% vegetarian and vegan. The possibilities are endless! Custard pies, jello fruit slices, jello molds, fruity jelly pops and more!..
Agar Agar Fruit Mold – or Fruity Slices
1 3/4 – 2 cups fruit juice (I used Cranberry light)
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Agar Agar flakes*
*note: you can adjust the softness of your mold by increasing or decreasing the agar agar amount
1/2 cup fresh fruit (optional – add after boiling process)
tip: adding frozen fruit can quicken the “chilling” process!
For slices: you will need fruit rind molds – see below for instructions.
To Make: Add your fruit juice and agar flakes to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Stir until the agar has completely dissolved. this should take about 5 minutes. Make sure it has completely dissolved, or you will be left with tiny clumps of what end up tasting like plastic beads. You can add in additional sugar for an extra sweet dessert. Pour the liquid into your serving cups, fruit rinds or jello mold. Add optional whole fruit. Chill in the fridge until set. Will depend on the size of the container. A large jello mold will take about a half day to fully chill and harden in fridge.
Jello Slices! Also known to some as fruit slice jello shots. Well, I made these using cranberry juice and loved them. I guess “jello shot” is the wrong description for a nonalcoholic slice. Contrary to the jello shot recipes – these fun fruity slices don’t have to contain alcohol at all! I guess rather than calling them jello shots, call them jelly fruit slices. They are super fun and you could easily use a wide variety of fruit “molds” like watermelon rind, orange rind, lemon rind etc. Use the same preparation method as above. Kids will love getting involved in the “scooping” process of the fruit rinds.
To make fruity slices: slice the fruit in half to for a bowl. Scoop out the flesh. This part is tricky. Then fill the scooped rind with the agar liquid. Chill, then slice after the agar has firmed in the fridge.
Agar Amount: The general rule I use is 1 1/2 tsp or agar per 1 3/4 – 2 cups of liquid. However – note that the brad of agar will alter this amount. If you are using a brand which is more powdery rather than bead-like, you may need less. Test your brand and adjust as needed. You should get a feel for how much agar you need after the first try.
The downside to agar agar? You might see the $6-8 price tag in a tiny bag of agar agar and be turned off. Especially when you could easily score a sweetened jello pack for under fifty cents in some stores. Don’t worry though – there are about 11 Tablespoons per pack of Agar Agar. So really, that could even out to about 20+ servings of jello – and so the pricing actually isn’t as bad as it seems. Actually, if you are just using agar for a fruit jelly mold – it turns out to be a pretty good deal! If you are making custard pies or very high gel-ing mold, you will probably be using more that 1 1/2 tsp per recipe.
You can try my Agar Agar recipe for Coconut Custard Pie here.