Friday, October 22, 2010

Num Yummy Jell-O Shake

Having a love for whole foods and a big heap of faith in the WeightWatchers program often presents me with a bit of a conundrum.  Here's the thing, when you are counting "points" you start to think of ways to work the system.  One effective way of doing this is using food substitutes.  You know what I am talking about: artificial sweeteners, churned oil imitating whipped cream,  some spray butter flavored substance in a spray pump bottle. 

Items like these have little to do with whole foods, other than serving as their impostors.  I naturally cringe from picking these things up, until I started to hold my food passions and cravings hostage to point counting.  Then a little spray of butter flavoring on some nice homemade whole wheat bread seems a little less harmful.  After all, I am eating that whole wheat bread!

So, in saying this, I am going to address this issue by presenting two options for this specific recipe.  One is a regular jello shake recipe, and the other is the sugar free jello shake recipe.

Regardless if you go for the sugared or non sugared option on this recipe, the reality is that this is a lower calorie, and lower fat, substitute for other thick and creamy drinks.  My son drank this down like it was a delicacy.  It was fast and easy.  A word of advice?  As soon as you are done with your blender fill it with hot water.  That will ease clean up later if you can't do it right away.

Here is some info regarding the nutritional benefits of gelatin.

Health Benefits:
  • Gelatin appears to be beneficial to athletes for muscle growth and metabolism.
  • Gelatin promotes a feeling of fullness.
  • Gelatin helps maintain regularity
  • Gelatin's high collagen protein content helps keep your skin smooth and firm. Many creams contain collagen to moisturize the skin but it is more effective when taken through food.
  • Gelatin strengthens the hair, keeping it looking shiny and healthy.
  • Gelatin is also excellent for the nails because it makes them stronger, so they do not break easily.
  • Gelatin is excellent for your bones because of its high concentration of glycoprotein and proline amino acids. If you have a deficiency in both amino acids, you can have joint pain. When it is taken orally, it travels directly to your blood and from there; it goes to its destination, the connective tissue. By adding at least 10 grams of gelatin to your regular diet, your joints will quickly regenerate in case you overexert yourself.
Now that you see the benefits, let me inform you on the less-than-appealing process by which that little package of powder gets in your kitchen.

Commercial Making of Gelatin: To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up the various animal parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down, and the resulting product is called gelatin.

Both of these excerpts are taken from the same website:

The recipe that I am working from comes from the cookbook that accompanied by Blendtec Blender (boyfriend).  I adapted it to make it lower in calories, but really, it is super simple.  This recipe does require that you have a capable blender.  I think any blender that can mix ice up well is good enough.  I use the Blendtec Total Blender.  Isn't he handsome?  Sigh.... it's true love.

Blendtec TB-631-20 The Professional's Choice 1560-Watt Total Blender, Red

Num Yummy Jello Shake 
(I used lime for the sugar option, and a box of lime and of lemon for the sugar free option)

1 C. Boiling Water
6 oz. package flavored gelatin (any flavor)*******
Put those two items in the blender and blend on a medium/low speed for half a minute.

Add 3 cups of ice to blender carafe.
Blend for another half minute at a little higher speed.

Add 1 c. Cold Skim Milk

Blend for another half minute at same speed as last step.
Pour into a glass, put in straw and enjoy.

*******Sugar Free option
Instead of using one 6 oz. package of regular Gelatin, use two .30 oz. packages of sugar free jello.

Other options for the recipe are to pour the shake into a container and allow it to set in the fridge for a fluffy/whipped treat, or use a version of whipped cream instead of skim milk to add more creaminess.

WW/Calorie Info.

Recipe yields about 7 cups, or 7 servings.

Regular Jell-O:
WW points: 2 per serving
Calories: 108 per serving

Sugar Free Jell-O:
WW points: .5 per serving (the website calculator will tell you it is 0, but when you do the math on the 7 cups and then divide by the number of servings you get .5)
Calories: 23 per serving

For more information on the artificial sweetener in sugar free Jell-O, aspartame, go here:


  1. Wow. Your blog is beautiful. I'll be making this soon. That is, if I can find all the jello boxes Sylvia stole from the cupboard and hid around the house!

  2. But those boxes are so much like blocks!