Low calorie jelly for candy cravings

Here’s a sugar-free substitute for gummy candy that takes minutes to prepare. It’s low in energy and high in volume so you can eat plenty of it. That makes it great for dieting.

Diet cravings

High volume foods like broccoli and lean protein are great for dieting, but I like to have treats. For me they’re an important part of not feeling overly restricted, which can lead to uncontrolled binging.

Gummy candy is delicious but so energy dense, basically pure sugar. You can still eat it and lose weight, but eating a lot of high-caloric-density food when your calories are low means little food volume, which exacerbates hunger.

Sugar-free candy is another option. It has lower energy density than its standard counterpart, but it’s still pretty high.

Diet jelly to the rescue

Diet jelly (or Jell-O in America) is artificially sweetened, therefore really low in calories. I’d been having it as a dessert on a previous cut, and while it was good the texture wasn’t quite right to cover the gummy candy craving. I wondered whether I could modify the recipe to make a stand-in. Turns out it’s pretty decent.

How to make

The trick is to use roughly 1/2 the amount of water the packet says. Exactly how much depends on how chewy you want it. Some days I like it softer with a bit more water, and others I want it super-chewy (1/3 the instructed volume).

The instructions say to pour boiling water over the crystals and stir, but I find using cold water and a microwave far quicker and easier.

  • Put the powder in a bowl
  • Pour over about 1/3 the water you’ve measured out and leave for a few minutes (you don’t have to wait, but if you do it dissolves faster and easier later)
  • Microwave on high for 90 seconds
  • Stir till it’s all dissolved
  • Stir in the rest of the water and set in the fridge

As you can see in the image above, I cut it into strips to be more gummy-snake-like (though sometimes it’s fun to eat the whole disk like a sandwich).

Hits the spot

It’s not quite the same as real gummy candy, but I found it similar enough to deal with the craving. For a stretch I ate this stuff every day.

Note: don’t be tempted to let it warm up out of the fridge before you eat it. I thought that might make it more like the genuine article, but it turns out that even room temperature heat isn’t friendly to this particular dessert. That mix of gelatin and water really needs the cold to maintain its structure.

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