Introduction: Homemade Jello and Heart Banana

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. When my children were growing up; I always tried to feed them healthy foods. I limited the amount of sugar and unhealthy ingredients they ate by making jello, using fruit juices and I served homemade snacks. Now that they are grown, they still eat a healthy diet and do not drink sodas or eat a lot of junk foods. I am sure many of us have wondered if our parenting skills are paying off when our children are young and acting out.  Well, I believe they do! I have seen it more times than not. Sometimes the sweet rewards come a couple of years after they have experienced the world as an adult and before parents experience the rocking chair. 

This tutorial will show how to make Jello using fruit juice and will also show you how to make heart designs in bananas as well as using jello to fill a banana. I have seen writing on bananas and Jello filled fruit, but I have never seen a banana filled with Jello made from fruit juice or heart shapes in the bananas. These are meant to be eaten the first day for best appearance. This instructable was inspired by the Valentine's Contest. Let's get started!

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

The good news is . . .  . .  you won't need to practice on 20 bananas! But you might plan on using more than what you want to make because there is a trick to getting it right. I will try and walk you through my experiments so you won't make the same mistakes that I did. I used store bought flavored jell-0 for the jello filled banana because it worked better.

Fruit juice (I am not sure about pineapple juice though) 
Knox unflavored gelatin or Agar Agar.
Greenish firm Bananas
Lemon juice approximately 2 Tablespoons, used to help prevent browning on the bananas
Sweetener if desired
Funnel, ladle or spoon 
Tiny heart shaped cookie cutter 
Tooth pick is helpful
A bowl or something to prop the banana up as well as the banana end as shown in the pictures.
I made some banana jello that was made using apple juice, Knox unflavored gelatin  and the banana. I blended the juice together with the banana and followed the recipe.  It tasted very good. The color was off unfortunately, so I did not use it. I thought it would be awesome to make a banana jello filled banana! It tasted just like a banana only it had a different texture! 

Step 2: Make Jello

Homemade jello:

2 Envelopes Knox Unflavored Gelatin
1/2  Cup cold fruit juice
1 1/2  Cups fruit juice,heated until boiling
1 Tablespoon sugar or sweetener if desired  I did not use sweetener because I thought it was sweet enough.

Pour cold juice into a bowl.
Stir in gelatin until dissolved.
Let set 1 minute.
Add hot juice and stir until dissolved.
If you are going to make the jello filled banana I would add 1 extra package of Knox Gelatin or if using regular jello use 1/2 the amount of water, as if you were making Jigglers. My juice was not cold, so I put mine in a zip lock bag and placed it in the freezer and it did not take very long to chill.  

Step 3: Shaping the Banana Hearts

Wash the bananas.
Cut the stem tip.
Remove the end about 2 inches ( reserving the cut off piece.)
Gently push the cookie cutter into the end piece.
Carefully remove the heart.
Scoop out the excess banana using a knife and straw.
Re-shape the heart if necessary using the cookie cutter.
Make a heart shape in the remaining banana section and scoop out excess banana and re-shape if needed.
Dab the ends with lemon juice to prevent browning. 

Step 4: Filling the Banana Hearts With Jello

Place the banana and the banana end into a dish to prop up the banana sections.
Fill the heart shapes with Jello using a ladle or spoon.
Chill ( when the short end is firm, dab it slightly with water and place it back on the banana matching it to the banana section, and chill again until very firm.
Tie a ribbon around it to make it pretty!

Step 5: Banana and Jello

This banana is much more difficult to make. I tried filling the entire banana with the banana jello but it did not work because the banana peel was too limber to mold the correct shape. So I decided to remove 1/2 or the banana and fill the other half with jello. It worked much better. It is tricky not to break through the skin. It takes patience and probably a few ruined bananas, but it is worth the effort. Just take it slow and as you are using the straw do not apply much pressure. The good news is . . .  if you break the banana skin you can freeze the banana and make smoothies or banana bread at a later time. I did not get a picture of removing the banana with the straw using this style of banana, but I did get a picture of another banana that I tried to make.

Wash the banana.
Clean up the stem as shown.
Remove the end of the banana like the heart banana in step 3.
Make a heart shape in the end as shown following the directions in step 3.
Using the knife carefully trim around the inside of the banana as shown.
Cut a cross shape using the knife on the banana.
Remove about 1/4 to 1/2 of the bananas insides as shown using the knife and straw.
Dab the banana ends and the inside with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Fill the banana with jello.
Place the banana in a container that will hold it upright so the jello does not spill.
Place the dish in the refrigerator until firm.
When the end of the banana is firm, slightly wet the jello and place it on the banana as shown or . . .
Remove the peel and then attach it.
Chill until very firm.
Tie a ribbon around it if desired. 

Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

You will notice the banana peel turned dark. I waited until the next afternoon to take pictures and it is better to eat the banana the first day. OK, now you guys know why I share so many projects here! My husband teases me all the time about my projects here on instructables. Secretly I am trying to lure a few of you readers into making your first instructable! 

I wish to thank instructables, our sponsors, authors, and loyal readers for making this DIY the best on the web! Have a splendorous week!


Valentine's Day Contest

Participated in the
Valentine's Day Contest