Quick Recipes and Easy

Bavarian Cream With Mixed Berries, a Low-Cal Dessert

I remember when moms added a small can of crushed pineapple to a package of lime Jell-o and called it “salad. The “salad” didn’t taste excellent to me, but I loved Jell-o with lots of whipped cream. What is in gelatin?

Gelatin is made from from boiled cattle bones and pigskins. The bones and skins are soaked in an acid solution to extract collagen, dried, and ground into powder. Vegans who do not eat protein products may eat gelatin made from seaweed, kuzu vines, and guar plants. You may reckon gelatin is a new product, but it has been around for years.

According to “Behind the Wiggle,” an article on the Kraft Foods Web site, Peter Cooper, an industrialist and inventor, patented gelatin in 1845. “Although he packaged his gelatin in clean small boxes with directions for use, Cooper did very small with it,” the site says.

But Pearle Wait, a carpenter and cough medicine manufacturer, had other thoughts. He added strawberry, raspberry, orange, and lemon flavoring to gelatin powder. His wife Mary came up with the Jell-o name and the rest is food history. Today, grocery stores carry many products that contain gelatin.

You will find individual gelatin desserts in the refrigerated section, Napoleons and shortcakes in the bakery, and mousse mixes in the pudding aisle. There are marshmallows. marashmallow creme, and marshmallow cookies, and more.

Ordinarily I am not a dessert eater, but every so often I crave something sweet. I am also trying to lose five pounds. What could I make? I rummaged around in the freezer and found a package of berries. In the refrigerator I found an open carton of Cool Whip Free. There was a package of sugar-free Jell-o on the shelf. Of course I chose to combine them and the result is Bavarian Cream with Mixed Berries.

You can make this recipe in six minutes or so. Lemon zest gives a fresh taste. Thanks to the frozen berries and cold topping this dessert sets in record time. My husband gave it a five-star review and, much as I despise to admit this, I have been snacking Bavarian Cream. Try this recipe because I reckon you, your kids, and grandkids (if you have any) will like it.


.6-ounce package sugar-free strawberry Jell-o

2 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated

12-ounce package frozen mixed berries with no added sugar

2 cups Cool Whip Free

8 large strawberries (optional)


Add boiling water to Jell-o and stir until powder is dissolved. Add the lemon zest and frozen berries, stir and cool for a few minutes. Gently whisk the Cool Whip into the berry mixture. Pour into a 1 1/2-quart glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours.

As it chills the fruit-gelatin mixture will separate into two layers, with fruit on the bottom and a creamy layer on top. To unmold set the bowl in hot water for a few seconds. Place a plate on top of the bowl, flip the bowl and plate over, and shake gently until the dessert comes out.

Cut dessert into triangles with a serrated knife. Garnish each plate with a fresh strawberry if you wish.
Makes 8 servings.

Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson

harriethodgson.com harriethodgson.com

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance nonfiction writer for 28 years. Before she became a health writer she was a food writer for a local magazine. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief,” written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from amazon.com amazon.com A five-star review of the book is posted on Amazon. You will find other reviews on the American Hospice Foundation Web site (School Corner heading) and the Health Ministries Association Web site.

About the Author

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