In a variation on the homemade juice gelatin cups I made earlier, you can also put fruit into these for a nice visual touch (and better nutrition). These are thicker than regular jello, more like jigglers, so they hold up at room temperature for several hours in a packed lunch. I used 100% fruit juice (apple, pear and passion fruit) and Knox unflavored gelatin (1.25 cups juice or a little less to one envelope of gelatin for a firm but not hard texture), put pieces of fruit in the cups in the fridge container first, then filled with the gelatin liquid. Keep a stash of these in your refrigerator to grab and throw into a lunch in the morning when you’re short on time.
I also wanted to show that you don’t have to have special Japanese food cups to make these: the clear plastic containers are 1oz and 2oz. plastic “souffle cups” with lids that I picked up at Smart & Final (125 cups for about $2.25, 125 lids for about $1.75). I’ve also seen the same sort of thing from the Solo brand at kitchen or party supply stores. The white round plastic container with mango in it is actually a 1 oz container that held a single serving of cream cheese (from CostCo). You could also use cupcake liners (foil or coated paper) — be creative.
The condiment cups with lids can either be thrown away or washed and reused, depending upon your dedication to waste-free lunches. A variation on gelatin would be to make mini-flans (or puddings), and pack them in these cups with lids and a cold gel pack (like the Japanese miniature pudding cups from Kiku that make an appearance in so many bentos).
Caution: Don’t add fresh or frozen pineapple, kiwi, papaya, guava, figs, or ginger root to these or the gelatin won’t set up properly.
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