Don't know about you, but springtime is one of my favourite times of the year! So many pretty flowers and trees wake up from their winter slumber and come into bloom. Daffodils, tulips and cherry blossoms to name but a few. Spring makes me feel so upbeat and cheery!
Springtime also coincides with Easter. Easter means different things to different people... but almost all people use this time to indulge and eat a bit of CHOCOLATE l!
Compared to just a few years ago, there is a wide range of dairy free chocolate eggs to purchase in supermarkets and even online. Perfect for those of us who have IBD, IBS, dairy allergy or intolerance but still want that chocolate fix!
If you fancy something a little bit different this year, you could try making these sweet and tasty jelly eggs!
These jelly eggs are made by layering fruit juices, mixed with a setting agent. Hollowed out eggs are used as molds, but you could use any mold of your choosing!
I used agar agar powder, which is a plant based form of gelatin to make the jelly layers. Beef or pork gelatin works just as well, though I do find that it can be a little bit more 'foamy', creating air bubbles in the layers. If you are using traditional gelatin, I would recommend skimming the surface of juice/gelatin mixture before pouring.
These eggs are bursting with flavour. The best thing about them is that you can customize the layers and also adjust the sugar content to taste. In order to make the juice, I cut up my chosen fruit, added a little water and popped them in the microwave for 45 seconds, until the water boiled. Boiling the fruit releases their colour, sugar and flavour into the water.
The eggs pictured contain the following juices; yellow (squeezed orange), purple ( boiled, strained blueberry + boiled, strained blue pea petals), Red (boiled, strained strawberry), blue (blue spirulina), green (green spirulina + squeezed lime).
You could create almost any juice layer you wanted using other fruits like mango, pomegranate and lemon. No need to boil any of these first to release the juice. Just squeeze, strain and go!
Here is what some of the ingredients look like after squeezing or boiling;
If you decide to give this recipe a go, share your thoughts, pictures and recipe tweaks. Good luck!
Notes before we get cooking!
FODMAP red, amber green rating reflects the total amount of Fructose (FTS), Lactose (L), Mannitol (M), Sorbitol (S), Galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and Oligos Fructans (FTA) in the TOTAL volume/weight of the ingredients used in the recipe. Grey means that no FODMAP rating exists for the listed ingredient..yet!.
This recipe makes approximately 6-8 eggs (3 eggs pictured). If this is too much, you could half the recipe. I make these eggs a day in advance to give them time to set. They last 1-2 days after that in the fridge.
The ratios given in this recipe are 1/4 tsp agar agar powder to roughly 1/3 cup juice. This makes a semi-firm jelly. If you want softer or harder jelly, adjust to your taste.
I'm a big fan of simple recipes that don't need fancy equipment. For this recipe it does help to have a sharp pin or needle (to pierce and hollow the eggs), a syringe or small jug for pouring the juice into the hollowed eggs, and an empty egg container to keep the eggs upright until the jelly sets.
Boil and drain, squeeze or reconstitute your selected fruits, petals or powders to make your juices.
Let the mixtures cool.
Add icing sugar, if using, to taste.
Add 1/4 tsp of agar agar powder to each of your juice mixtures and stir well. Set aside.
If using eggs as molds, make a small hole in the top of each egg, taking care not to crack the rest of the shell. A safety pin or toothpick works well as a tool to do this.
Empty out the contents of the egg, rinse well and gently shake dry.
Arrange your juices into pouring order. Take the juice that will be used for the first, bottom layer and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds (until it just begins to boil).
Let the mixture cool and thicken slightly (5 mins, depending on the quantity of setting agent used) and pour into your chosen mold. You can use a syringe, or any jug with a small spout.
Let the layer cool further (5-10 mins). As it cools it forms a skin that can hold the next layer of mixture.
Repeat steps 7-9 until the mold is full.
Place in the fridge to set, at least 6 hours.
Unmold the jelly, or peel the eggs and enjoy!!
I'm very passionate about the management of autoimmune conditions in a healthy way.
I speak with medical professionals, read journals, try and test new recipes to share with you and diligently undertake research online. That being said, as you know, each autoimmune disease, as well as any set of symptoms you may be experiencing are unique.
All information provided is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure the appropriateness of any information in relation to your own situation.
And finally, please comment and share so we as a community better cope with our conditions by through growth and learning.