I would like to make vegan Jell-O. I know that I need to use agar, but what about the flavoring?
"Agar" (also called "agar-agar") is a sea vegetable derivative that is processed into translucent flakes, bars, or powder. The beauty of agar is that it has virtually no taste of its own and it jells, making it an excellent vegan replacement for gelatin. Vegan jelled desserts made from agar are also known as “kanten."
The jelling capabilities of agar flakes, bars, and powder differ, so always use the specific product called for in a recipe. Agar must be thoroughly dissolved in a boiling liquid before it will jell. The easiest way to make flavored vegan jelled desserts is to use fruit juice for the liquid. Apple juice works especially well, or you can combine it half and half with another juice, such as cranberry. If you want to add fresh fruit (such as berries, bananas, or melon), stir it in after the kanten has set, just before serving. Avoid pineapple, however, as it may inhibit jelling due to a natural enzyme it contains.
The standard ratio for vegan jelled desserts is 1 cup fruit juice to 1 tablespoon agar flakes or 1 teaspoon agar powder. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, and simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the agar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill for 4 to 5 hours, or until set.
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