Kiwi Jello – Yes, It Can Be Done!

Kiwi_fruitWe have kiwi vines on an arbor in our front yard, which faces south. This is a good thing, because we live in a northern climate. We started growing them at least 10 years ago with some success after about 4-5 years, but this year we had an exceptional summer for crops. We picked 106 kiwis! Nearly 10 pounds of them, and most of them are as large as the ones you get in the stores. Nice!

You may or may not know that kiwis aren’t ready to eat when you pick them. They have to be put in a paper bag for a couple of weeks. You can hasten their ripening by putting an apple in with them, but we didn’t do that this year, which is probably a good thing, because we sort of ignored them for a little too long. When I checked on them, most were still not ready, but a few were pretty darned squishy. Not wanting to throw them away because of our neglect, I tried to think of something I could do with them and save the day, and the fruit.

The first thing I did was put them in the freezer for a while, so at least they’d be firm enough to cut up once I had an idea for what to do with them. Then I remembered I had made us a kiwi sorbet a couple of years ago. That was pretty nice. Keeping dessert in mind, I then thought about jello. But there was something in the back of my head that said you can’t make jello with kiwis or pineapples. Sure enough, that’s right on the side of the jello box. Undaunted, I went to the computer to find out why. Many people commented on pineapples – you can use canned but not fresh. Canning heats the pineapple and takes away some enzyme or other. Ah ha! I’m going to cook my kiwis!

Out of the freezer they came, and I quartered them and peeled them. Well, actually I just sort of squished the flesh off the skin – they were that soft. Then into a sauce pan and onto the burner. I cooked them for a while, then hit them with the immersion blender. I added some agave nectar (lower glycemic index for hubby, who isn’t diabetic but needs to watch his sugar intake) until it was just barely sweet. Then I followed the directions on a package of Knox Gelatin. You use 4 envelopes to make jello jigglers, so that’s what I did. I used the hot kiwi puree to dissolve some of the gelatin, then added enough water to come up to what the directions said, stirred in the remaining gelatin, then put it all into a rectangular baking dish, and into the fridge.

A few hours later, and we had our kiwi jello jigglers! They’re just sweet enough to not be tangy or tart, and the little crunch from the seeds is quite fun. If you have lots of kiwis to use, like we do, this is one creative idea that I hope you’ll try and enjoy!

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