Homemade gelatin is easier, more nutritious, sets firmer and is more flavorful

Jarrod Schoenecker

I have a sibling who doesn’t eat anything with pork products in them. Strangely enough, you will find pork products in places sometimes you don’t always think of — one of them being store-bought gelatin.

This sent me on a hunt of how I could make my own gelatin and the results were surprisingly simpler, more flavorful and more nutritious than I realized. In fact, if you can somehow make anything into a liquid, you can make it into gelatin. It also sets firmer.

A few months ago, I made a sweet onion gelatin from scratch for my friend who LOVES onions. I pureed some onions, filtered it, and followed my usual steps to make it. As my friend said, “That tastes surprisingly a lot better than I thought it would taste. It’s not that bad.”

One thing I have found out is that some liquids need to be diluted, some need more sugar, and some need both. Sharp citruses, such as lemons or grapefruit juices, or a tart cherry juice need both. Very sweet fruit, such as apple or grape juice, sometimes need to be diluted but rarely need sugar.

What may be a turn-off for some is that, unlike store-bought gelatin, the colors may be more muted or it could take on a cloudy appearance if not filtered heavily. I like that natural look — which is something I think we have lost in the mass-produced food world.

If I can make onion gelatin shine, then I am sure you too can do the same. I’ll share my simple recipe with you. Beef gelatin powder, used to make it, may be hard to find in a grocery store nearby but it easily ordered online. A package of beef gelatin powder will last you a very long time, unless you really love gelatin!


Homemade Gelatin Recipe


2 tablespoons of beef gelatin powder

4 cups of liquid

Sugar (To taste)



  1. Get your liquid to the flavor-level you want it by diluting with water and/or adding sugar.
  2. Take 3 cups of the liquid and heat in a saucepan until boiling.
  3. Take 1 cup of the liquid and whisk in the 2 tablespoons of the beef gelatin powder to let it bloom. This step is important and only takes a little over 5 minutes, and the other part of the mixture should be boiling at this point.
  4. Combine and stir the entire batch together well. Feel free to add pieces of fruit at this stage.
  5. Pour into containers and refrigerate for a few hours or until set.
  6. If multiple layers are desired, follow the same steps as above but wait until the first layer is close to being set and then pour the next layer over it. This is popular for “rainbow gelatin” and for those who like to add a creamy-white layer over the top of it. Let the gelatin set appropriately after adding each layer.


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