Jello is a very popular dessert loved by children and adults alike. It has a fruity flavor that appeals to many, I included.
If you or your kids love jello, chances are that you buy it in bulk so that you have a quick dessert fix. The question ‘can you freeze jello?’ often arises. You’ll be glad to know that you can freeze jello, but you have to do it in a very specific manner for it to stay fresh.
Before we get into the specifics, let us inform ourselves a little bit about jello.
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What is jello?
The Kraft food brand originally came up with the name Jello to refer to gelatin that they manufactured. The name Jello became so popular over time that all kinds of gelatin are now referred to as Jello.
The term jello refers to a wide range of snacks and gelatin-based desserts. Jello usually has a fruity flavor because most jello flavors are made from fruits. It is sugary and is also quite versatile. You can eat jello as it is for dessert, add some whipped cream to it, or even fruits. You can also put Jello on yogurt custard. The flavor combination is out of this world.
Jello is quite colorful, which is probably why kids love it so much. You can buy jello at any store near you or just make yours from scratch.
Can you freeze jello?
Yes, you can freeze jello. Freezing jello is advisable especially when you have bought it in bulk. However, it is important to note that the quality of jello will not deteriorate but the flavor will change. As much as jello will taste different when frozen, it is still safe to consume.
You are probably wondering whether freezing jello extends its shelf life. Well, freezing does not necessarily increase the shelf life of jello. The shelf life will remain the same so whether you freeze it or not is up to you.
I suggest not freezing jello shots, especially when preparing jello shots for parties. This is because alcohol does not mix well with frozen jello. The reason for this is that jello and alcohol have very different freezing temperatures. Therefore, when mixed together they will have different consistencies.
What exactly happens when you freeze jello?
The bonds in jello are semi-strong in nature. For this reason, chances are that the bonds within the molecules may reform or break. You will therefore end up with jello that has a completely different taste from when it was unfrozen.
Personally, I do not like the taste of frozen jello, but if you do not mind the taste then I do not see why you should not freeze jello.
When you freeze jello, it loses its structure. This is because low temperatures in the freezer make the bonds between the molecules of gelatin break apart. Jello may no longer be visually appealing once you freeze it. It will not be appealing to you, your family, or even guests.
All in all, freezing ensures that the quality of jello does not deteriorate. It will still have the quality it had before but the taste and appearance may not be appealing.
Does jello spoil?
Jello has a high sugar and water content, so it can go rancid. Generally, jello has a short shelf-life. When you prepare your own jello, it can only last for up to seven days when stored in the fridge. Unopened jello cups can stay fresh in the fridge for a maximum of ten days.
Jello cups that contain fruits as an ingredient have an even shorter shelf life. They can only last for a maximum of three days even when stored in the fridge.
If you are buying jello that is pre-packaged and completely sealed, it can last for much longer. This kind of jello can last for up to four months when opened as long as they are stored properly. When unopened, they can last for up to one year.
How to tell if jello has gone bad.
As discussed above, jello will go bad after some time. Storing it in the refrigerator does not extend its shelf life. Instead, it preserves the quality of jello.
Jello will go bad once its time comes. So how will you know that jello has gone bad? First things first, if you prepare jello at home, the rule of the thumb is that you throw it out after a maximum of ten days. If jello stays for longer than 10 days, it goes rancid or becomes rotten. It is immaterial whether you store it in the refrigerator, freezer, or even the pantry.
You should also know that jello prepared at home may go bad before the ten days are over. The cause of this may be a constant change in temperature. It may also be because of the ingredients you used to make it. For instance, if you use fruits as part of the ingredients, the jello will spoil faster.
There are several ways to check whether jello is still safe to consume. The first thing you should do is check whether watery liquids are taking up the gelatin space. If there is a liquid present, your jello may not be safe to consume.
If there are no liquids but you are still in doubt, you can try testing the jello. Normally, jello has a sweet, pleasant taste. If you taste it and you realize it has a sharp, bitter taste, it has definitely gone bad.
When you store jello for too long, molds may start appearing on the surface. If you notice that molds have grown on the surface of your jello, throw it out because it is not safe to consume. Do not try to salvage the jello by removing the parts where the molds have grown. You will end up getting food poisoning.
Can you increase the shelf life of jello?
Proper storage is the key to ensuring that jello lasts for as long as possible. Homemade jello that is stored properly will last for about ten days, but it may start tasting bitter on the sixth or seventh day.
Store-bought jello should be stored in the refrigerator. Do not remove jello from the fridge unless you want to eat it. If you interfere with the temperature of jello, it will go bad sooner than it should.
You should also pay attention to how jello is stored at the store when you buy it. For instance, if the jello was inside a refrigerator, refrigerate it as soon as possible. If it was stored on the shelves, keep them out of the fridge as long as they are sealed.
How to properly store jello
If you have made your own jello at home, you need to cover it with a plastic wrap to ensure that air and moisture don’t find their way into the jello. Air and moisture tend to make jello go rancid. Once you do that, place the jello in an airtight container.
If you buy pre-packaged jello at the store, store it inside the refrigerator when unopened. You can store jello in your pantry or kitchen cabinet as long as the temperature does not exceed 23 degrees Celsius.
When storing jello, ensure you store it away from sources of heat, light, and moisture especially when storing the jello at room temperature.
How to use jello
As we said earlier, jello is very versatile. This makes it a favorite especially when it comes to making desserts. Here are some of my favorite jello mixes.
Jello goes well with almost every type of cake. I particularly love how well it blends in with the chocolate cake, cheesecake, and red velvet cake. You can use jello as the icing for the cakes. The combination of strawberry-flavored jello and chocolate is out of this world.
Rum jello shots
If you are hosting a party (for adults) you should try making rum jello shots. Making these is as easy as mixing flavored jello with some water and rum. I absolutely love the combination between pineapple flavored jello and rum. These shots will make you a favorite party host.
Jello yogurt puddings
Jello yogurt puddings taste as amazing as they look. The options are endless. You can experiment with literally any flavor that you want. Try making a strawberry yogurt jello and let me know if you like the flavor combinations. It is definitely my go-to jello yogurt pudding.
You can freeze jello if you want to, but freezing does not play any major role especially in extending the shelf life of jello. Freezing jello may maintain its quality but the flavor and texture will change.
If you have bought jello in bulk, try freezing a little bit, to begin with. If you do not mind the text, texture, or appearance, then you can go ahead and freeze the rest.
If the flavor, texture, and appearance do not appeal to you, store it in the refrigerator instead. You can also store jello in your pantry as long as it is sealed and unopened.