Homemade Blueberry Pineapple Jello is a family tradition at Thanksgiving. The recipe is lightened up with a real fruit puree and greek yogurt, making it the perfect holiday treat!
All the Thanksgiving feels are hitting hard this week. Thanksgiving has always been one of my very favorite holidays. Not a surprise since I’m a foodie, but there’s much more to it than the food for me. Yes, Thanksgiving food is probably my favorite ever, but its all the memories and warm fuzzy feelings that surround preparing all of that food that make me love Thanksgiving so much.
But I’m extra excited this year, because I get to host my very first Thanksgiving in our new house! I’m ecstatic, like a child on Christmas Eve who can’t sleep. It may be silly but I just can’t wait.
For as long as I can remember, the Thanksgiving holiday has always been a two-day extravaganza of cooking and baking and laughing and just enjoying the company of my huge family. It starts on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving, aka Pie Night, where no fewer than a dozen pies are baked and ready for the next day: pumpkin, pecan, apple, cherry, pumpkin chiffon, chocolate banana, buttermilk (the newest addition), and duplicates of any that may be necessary to make sure everyone feels the pie love come Thursday evening. We also prep anything else ahead of time that we can before getting up the next day and doing it all over again.
Thanksgiving dinner prep starts as early, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade in the background. After the blessing’s been said and the food’s been devoured, it’s time to watch the Cowboys play football in between naps before we finally dig in to those glorious pies.
I really can’t imagine Thanksgiving any other way. I’m going to do my very best to make the first Thanksgiving in our new home just as memorable and perfect as the rest of them!
Just like Thanksgiving, my mom’s Blueberry Pineapple Jello only rolls around once a year, and it is part of a family tradition that MUST be on the dinner table. You might be thinking, “jello on thanksgiving?” Um, yes. Not just any jello. The best jello you’ve ever had. It’s loaded with blueberries and pineapple and topped with the most amazing creamy pecan topping. I don’t expect you to understand until you try it, but once you do, it’ll be your new favorite. It’s that good.
This month’s Recipe ReDux challenge was to “trim the table” by lightening up a favorite holiday dessert. I knew right away that I was going to choose the jello. Because that means I get to eat it twice this year. Score!
Instead of using the flavored gelatin, which can be loaded with sugar, I opted to make my own using plain gelatin, blueberry puree and pineapple juice. Then I lightened up the topping by using reduced fat cream cheese and greek yogurt in place of sour cream. The result is just as tasty, but with fewer calories and less sugar. And that, my friends, means you can have an extra slice of pie (or two)! Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Blueberry Pineapple Jello is a family tradition at Thanksgiving. The recipe is lightened up with a few simple swaps, making it the perfect holiday treat!
- 2 cups blueberry juice or puree (see below for instructions)
- 2 cups pineapple juice (from pineapple can) or water
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 1 large (14-16 oz) can crushed pineapple
- 2 envelopes plain gelatin (about 2 tbsp)
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 8 oz nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- To make the blueberry puree: Place 2 cups blueberries in a small saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the berries and heat on low until berries are softened. Let cool before placing them in a blender to puree. Strain to remove any seeds or skin. Use 2 cups of puree for the recipe.
- To make the jello: In a large heatproof bowl, combine 1/2 cup of pineapple juice and gelatin. Set aside to let the gelatin swell.
- In a medium saucepan, combine remaining pineapple juice and blueberry puree and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl with the gelatin. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Pour mixture into a large heat-proof serving dish or individual heat-proof serving dishes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until slightly gelled. Stir in the blueberries and pineapple and return to the refrigerator overnight or until fully set.
- To make the topping: In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat together cream cheese and greek yogurt until smooth. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Stir in pecans.
- Top set jello with cream cheese mixture and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
gelatin recipe adapted from http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/easy-homemade-jello-gelatin/