Yes, you can freeze jello. Both homemade and store-bought jello can be frozen in the freezer. But what are best ways to freeze it? What should you know before freezing jello? Read this article right away to discover the appropriate answer.
For a long time, jello is one of the dishes present regularly in every family. Not only children but also adults love jello. Freezing is common method to preserve it for longer.
However, you should defrost and enjoy it as soon as possible because the long freezing process will lose the inherent flavor and pliability of the jello.
What is jello?
Jello is a familiar dessert on family meals. It is often served with yogurt or fruit.
Jello is available in stores as ready made dessert that is sold with cup-sized servings such as the name Jell-O is belonged to Kraft Foods Company.
It can also be homemade jello that you buy the powdered mix from supermarket to make your own jelly at home.
What is jello made from?
The texture of jello has 4 main parts: gelatin, sugar, water, and food coloring.
A mixture of gelatin, sugar, water and food color is dissolved and boiled to a certain temperature and then cooled to form a gelatinous, semi-solid substance which is called jello.
Jello has a soft texture but a stronger bond than jam or any blend.
- Gelatin: a popular ingredient which is flexible in food processing. It can play the roles as gelling agent, a thickener or stabilizer in the processed foods. You can find gelatin in a variety of foods like gummy bears, jelly, sour cream, whipped cream, cream cheese, margarine, marshmallows…
- Sweetener: usually the artificial calorie-free sweeteners or sugar.
- Artificial flavor: the chemical mixtures that imitate a natural flavor.
- Food coloring: It can be either natural or artificial. To provide safer foods for consumers, beet and carrot juice can be used as natural coloring.
Is jello healthy?
Jello is primarily made from gelatin which contains collagen. While collagen may have some benefits for health like good for your bone, reducing joint pain, preventing skin aging, but following are some issues that you should take into consideration when eating store-bought jello.
- Low calories but high sugar: In general, jello is low in calories and fat free, so it is a good choice for diet. However, it is high in sugar and low in fiber and protein, many people consider it unhealthy food. Besides, jello is also low in nutrients and does not provide vitamins and minerals.
- Not a healthiest choice: Store-bought jello may contain sugars, sweeteners, artificial colors that may affect your health negatively. Even though jello is a popular dessert, it may not be considered as the healthiest food options.
If you eat store-bought jello, you should choose the vegan jello or consider consuming an appropriate amount of jello to be safe for your health in the long term.
It is best to make your homemade jello with gelatin and fruit juice. Your healthy jello is also unsuitable for vegetarian diets.
Why do some people don’t want to freeze jello?
There are some reasons that people may not want to freeze jello.
- Favor the consistency: If you are someone who prefers the consistency and consistency of jello over flavor or color, you should not freeze it. After defrosting, jello will not be as flexible as being fresh. Because the texture of jello consists of colloids and polymers that will separate from each other when it is too cold.
- Prefer freshness and eye-catching jello: Eating fresh jello is more delicious and better than thawed one. In addition, if you need jello for dessert of a party, frozen jello will lose its appeal appearance.
How long can jello last in the freezer and fridge?
- In the freezer: Depending on the sugar and water content, the shelf life of jello in the freezer can last up to 3 months, even 6 months.
- In the fridge: Because store prepared jello contains a high amount of sugar and water, after 10 days in the fridge it easily rots and molds. If your jello has toppings like fruits or whipped cream, it can last in fridge about 3 days.
- In room temperature: If you leave it outside, it will go bad quickly within a day.
Therefore, it will be more effective if you store the jello in the freezer for later use.
How to know if jello goes bad after frozen
When going bad, jello has lost its inherent properties like the taste.
If there is alcohol inside the jello, it will take longer to spoil compared to the jello with fresh juice.
Because the number of enzymes in fresh juice will prevent the pectin from strengthening the texture of the jello. Frozen jello has a juice ingredient that will quickly spoil if you do not freeze it properly.
Signs to know if jello goes bad after frozen
- Liquid appears: You can look at the jello to see if it contains water inside the gelatin.
- Changes in texture: Detached water molecules are a sign of jello’s structural breakdown leading to damage. After that, the jello will become moldy or become a breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t pay attention.
- Sour smell: also indicates that your jello has spoil.
- Changes in color: For frozen jello, if you leave it open when it is in the freezer, it is prone to spoilage and mold. At that time, the sugar in the jelly will be infected, making the surface of the jelly black.
After about 3-5 days, the contaminated product will be fermented by yeast and mold. When eating spoiled jello, you may have abdominal pain, even vomiting.
How to freeze homemade jello correctly?
To freeze jello in the right way, you should pay attention to the process of putting the jello in the freezer. Here are the specific instructions on how to freeze jello according to experts:
- Step 1: Pour the jello into a box with a flat surface but do not push too hard as the jello will expand a lot during freezing. Or you can break the jello into several parts into different boxes.
- Step 2: Close the lid tightly. If you don’t use a container with a lid, you can replace it with cling film to keep out moisture.
- Step 3: Label it and put it in the freezer.
During freezing, do not to let the temperature fluctuates too much because the physical state of the water element in the jello to be affected and make jello easily spoiled.
You may also like: Can You Freeze Soy Milk?
Freezing homemade jello – what you should know
After making the healthy jello, here are the next steps to keeps in mind before freezing.
- Use the right container: Plastic container is good enough for your jello. Choose a container without leaks and it should have lid to prevent freezer burn.
- Never overfill the container: Remember to leave a little space of 1 inch on the top of container as the air will expanse during freezing time.
- Arrange by layers: After the jello is properly chilled and set, you can put the next layer on top of the other.
- Put the container at a flat surface: You should make sure the container is level when it is in freezer. It protects jello from shifting inside and prevent an unsightly and lopsided jelly that may occur at the end.
How to thaw frozen jello in the right way?
To thaw jello, you can:
- Put it under water: You put the frozen jello container under the sink and wash it with warm water.
- Put it in fridge: Take the frozen jello from the freezer and then put it in the fridge to slowly defrost it so that the jello retains its desired texture.
Frequently asked questions
Is jello vegetarian?
No. The ready-made Jell-O is not vegetarian. As it is made from gelatin which is originated from bones and skins of animals, jello is not vegan.
However, there are some vegan jello which is made from plant-based ingredients or seaweeds, available in market.
How long can I freeze jello?
Jello lasts in the freezer from 3 to 6 months. The time preserving jello in the freezer depends on the water and sugar content in the jello.
How can I freeze jello pudding?
You must ensure the jello pudding is completely cold. After that, you should leave about 1 inch and not push the container. That way, you’ll preserve your jello pudding better and longer in the freezer.
Is freezing jello suitable for a chest freezer or an upright freezer?
Both freezers are suitable for freezing jello. However, because of the horizontal structure, the chest freezer will keep frozen longer than the upright freezer if there is a power outage. So, if you want to keep the jello at the best temperature for use, you can give preference to the chest freezer.
The bottom line
The freezer will help you preserve the most perfect jello in terms of both color and flavor if you want to use it for a long time.
The freezing process and the amount of substance in the jello play key roles in preserving the frozen jello for long time.
Hopefully, you will freeze jello to serve your family meal every day after reading this useful article. Thank you for reading!
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