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I would like to make vegan jello. 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, melon, or banana),
stir it in after the kanten has set, just before serving.
(Pineapple may inhibit jelling due to a natural enzyme
The standard ratio for vegan jelled
dessert is 1 cup fruit juice to 1 tablespoon agar flakes
or 1 teaspoon agar powder. Bring to a boil, reduce 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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