I was at a party recently and someone told me that they’d never had a jello shot…..in their whole life! If you’re not familiar, jello shots are small servings of jello mixed with vodka and taken either from a little plastic cup or served in squares or cutout shapes. You have to be really careful with them because they’re sweet and easy to eat too many. The alcohol can catch up to you quickly. Do not eat jello shots like you eat regular non-alcoholic jello. I wanted a lightened-up version so I created these Tropical Vegan Jello Shots for you.
Jello shots are quite a joy but there’s a few problems with them. First, they’re sugar bombs. They often have artificial food coloring (that electric blue is coming from somewhere…and it’s not blueberries). Second, gelatin isn’t vegan friendly….it’s made of animal hide and bone. These Tropical Vegan Jello Shots contain their own natural color and flavor and they don’t contain any animal byproducts for those of you who want to transport back in time to your undergraduate years ti have a sweet treat but in a more grown-up kind of way.
Agar (some people call it agar-agar) is a thickener that comes from red algae. When boiled and cooled, it becomes thick, gelatinous, and firm. Seaweed products has some interesting properties both in the kitchen and for general health. If you love learning all the things about topics like this, I recently wrote a massive piece for Today’s’ Dietitian about the health benefits of sea vegetables.
When making Tropical Vegan Jello Shots, I noticed that it started thickening on it’s own right away. Don’t expect jello shots exactly like you’re used to – these ones are thicker and have a bit of a different texture – but they’re strong and the vodka pairs well with the juice. Get whichever kind of juice you prefer. I used a tropical orange, mango, peach and also some pure coconut water that both worked well. Just be sure to read the label and see that you’re getting a 100% juice product without added sugar or corn syrup. As a dietitian, juice isn’t my favorite beverage. It is very sweet and its easy to drink too much of it too often. One fruit juice serving is 4-ounces; that’s a 1/2 cup. I view it as a sometimes treat – just like cocktails or alcoholic drinks are.
I’m all about posting my recipes for healthier cocktails and beverages. If you’re into that, too, and you like recipes such as my Tropical Vegan Jello Shots, don’t miss some of my other favorites on the Champagne Nutrition blog:
These jello shots are only for those 21+