How To Use Jell-O

How To Use Jell-O

Although this post is entitled, How To Use Jell-O, it could also have been named How Not To Use Jell-O. Choose the version you wish after reading, but I recommend the latter. But if you want to find the post again, you will need to use the former since that was used as the title for the post.

how to use jell-o

First, let’s review Jell-O’s roots. Yes, Jell-O has roots, although planting Jell-O will not result in a Jell-O bush. Skip this part if you have no interest in history.

Jell-O is Born

how to use jell-o

Carpenter and cough syrup manufacturer Pearle B. Wait invented Jell-O in 1897. Peter Cooper held the first patent on gelatin, but gelatin is flavorless and is not Jell-O. Wait bought Cooper’s patent and his wife May added orange, strawberry, raspberry, and lemon flavoring. Jell-O was born. May also came up with the name, Jell-O. Unfortunately for the Wait family, they sold the brand and recipe to a neighbor, Frank Woodward, for $450.

how to use jell-o

Although Woodward struggle to get sales for the product at first, even trying to sell off the rights, he eventually applied multiple marketing avenues, including giving Jell-O and molds to arriving immigrants on Ellis Island. The Jell-O brand took off in the early 1900’s as a result of the relentless marketing by Woodward. Today, Jell-O remains as one of the top ten most popular desserts in the United States and has 99% brand recognition.

So What Is Jell-O Made From?

I remember stories about Jell-O being made from stuff in horse’s hooves (or maybe that was glue) and I always assumed it contained sugar because it is sweet. I like Jell-O.

Gelatin, the significant ingredient in Jell-O that gives it the cool, jiggly properties we all recognize, is made from collagen protein found in connective tissue of animals. Tissues like tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone, and skin. Primary source in Jell-O today is likely pig skin. Concerning the sweetness of Jell-O, it’s true, Jell-O contains sugar. If you read the ingredients on the package and run a calculation, you discover that sugars constitute 86% (86.363636…..for those in the sciences) of a serving.

how to use jell-o

I’d rather forget this part of my research because I like Jell-O.

Jell-O The Dessert

how to use jell-o

Jell-O is intended to be used as a dessert, although flavors like tomato, celery, and mixed vegetables which have been tried in the past are questionable for that role. Combined with other ingredients, Jell-O also makes other dishes such as salads, cakes, and so on. There are thousands and thousands of recipes that exist for such purposes. That is not the subject of this post. But in searching for possible videos on other uses for Jell-O, I came across this cooking video using Jell-O I consider precious. It is from a collection by Emmymade In Japan which I had not seen before. If you’re into cooking, it’s worth taking a look at her fun YouTube channel. This is her Jell-O recipe:

How To Use Jell-O (or How Not To Use Jell-O)

The following is a collection of nontraditional uses for Jell-O: If anyone is interested in trying some of these (I’m not), I can get the information for you or it should come up in a search of your own:

  • Weight Loss Aid—Actor John Malkovich claims a 70 pound loss on a Jell-O only diet for four months.
  • Jell-O Can Part The Sea—In the 1923 classic movie, The Ten Commandments, Moses parts the Red Sea which is made of Jell-O.
  • Jell-O Shots—Jell-O and alcohol of different varieties. (I confess I did try this one once or twice)
  • Cat Litter—I am not sure about this one. I think you’re supposed to spread it on cat litter but I’m not sure what it does other than make it pretty. I did accidentally find a recipe for cat litter cake using Jell-O. Really, I did.
  • Hair and Clothing Dye—Just follow the directions on the package. (Don’t do that. There are formulas online)
  • Finger Paints—And you can lick your fingers clean.
  • Removing Bathroom Soap Scum—And you can bathe in it at the same time.
  • Wrestling—You can wrestle in it. (You’ll need a very large refrigerator I imagine)
  • Color Horses—Only in the Emerald City like they did in the 1939 Wizard of Oz.
  • Homemade Play-Doh—All edible.
  • Flavored Lip Gloss—You can also add sparkles.

how to use jell-o

  • A Fuel Cell—Jell-O can be used to produce electricity although you may need a lot to replace a power outage generator.

And my favorite

  • Test Brain Waves—Using an EEG machine, a bowl of Jell-O produced brainwaves equal to a human subject in a Batavia test in 1993. (Do not tell secrets in front of a bowl of Jell-O)


I am a fiction writer, but research topics and provide posts like the one above for enlightenment and entertainment. If you liked it, please take a look at some of my other posts and my home page, R. A. Andrade. This topic was prompted by the following passage in my upcoming novel, Three Remain:

Glen turned onto the expressway entrance ramp, his anxiousness signaling his foot to mash the accelerator down. He entered the roadway at 80 mph and immediately backed off the throttle, not wanting to risk a ticket. Once again, he noticed the obvious…no other vehicles on the road. None. Usually, with people going to work, there would be a steady stream of traffic on the expressway. He glanced from the road ahead to the rearview mirror, then to the opposite side of the expressway. Empty. He peeked over at Sunshine, but she seemed lost in thought…he wondered if about her amnesia, the absence of other people, or what flavor Jell-O she likes best.

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