Gelatin Hearts (RECIPE)


GFCF/ Soy-free/ SCD/GAPS/Low oxalate

Gelatin Hearts are finger gelatin that you can pick up and eat with your fingers.  It is two layers of gelatin with a strawberry heart in the middle.

Read instructions and get ingredients for everything ready.  Start with the White Gelatin.

For gelatin, use a good quality gelatin from pasture-raised cows.  If you are using gelatin packets, please note they are often 2 teaspoons rather than1 tablespoon so you will want to measure the amount.

Delicious with no added sweetener.  Use honey or no sweetener for SCD/GAPS.

White Gelatin Layer– Coconut Gelatin


  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup coconut milk or cream
  • 2 Tablespoons gelatin (use grass-fed type such as Bernard Jenson’s), plus 1 teaspoon additional if you want them thicker.
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or sweetener of your choice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract



Put 1/2 cup of cold water in a 1-quart bowl

Sprinkle gelatin on water and let it dissolve.

Add 1/2 cup of boiling water – pour slowly, let sit, then stir well.

Add coconut milk, honey and vanilla.

Pour into bottom of flat-bottom pan 9 x 13 inches or two smaller pans (no greasing needed), and place in refrigerator to set.

Cut strawberries while white layer sets.  Wash, destem, and cut strawberries in half.  Cut a small V into the top of the strawberry to accentuate the heart shape if needed.  Once white layer is set, place strawberry on top.  The sticks in the photo are simply a guide for me to keep them lined up (do whatever is easiest for you).

Make Fruit Gelatin next.  See assembly instructions for how to complete the layers.

Fruit Finger Gelatin

For the juice for this recipe, any type will work, fresh squeeze or bottled. A clear (not cloudy) juice is best in order to see the strawberry heart.  Some good pink juices are homemade watermelon or strawberry juice).  The juice used in the photo is black cherry.


  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 Tablespoons gelatin (plus one teaspoon if you want them on the firmer side)
  • 2 cups juice


Hearts on gelatin

Put 1/2 cold water in a 1-quart bowl

Sprinkle  gelatin on water and let it dissolve.

Boil 1/2 cup of water, add 1 cup of fruit juice and heat until just about boiling – pour on top of gelatin slowly, let sit, then stir well.  Add the second 1 cup of fruit juice and stir.

The sweetness of the gelatin depends on the juice.  If your juice is more on the sour side, you may want to add a bit of sweetener of your choice – 1 Tablespoon should do the trick.  If it’s a sweeter juice but it tastes too “watered down,” reduce the amount of boiling water and replace it with more fruit juice (that you heat along with the water).



Pour on fruit gelatin covering about 1/3-1/2 of the strawberry.  Let set in refrigerator 20 minutes.  Note: if you pour it all at once, the strawberries will float and it will not work.

Keep the extra liquid gelatin on the counter so it does not set. After about 20-30 pour remaining gelatin to cover strawberries.

Place gelatin in the refrigerator to complete the gelling process.

When set, slice and serve.

Recipe Adaptations

In most recipes, including this one, you can often swap certain ingredients for similar and possibly even more beneficial or specifically tailored helpful ingredients. For example, if the person you were giving the above treats had a bit of a cough or cold, you could use elderberry syrup or even resveratrol juice, or veggie juice to add in extra antioxidants and immune support.

To reduce the sugar from the juice, you can use less sweet or not sweet juice like cranberry and add stevia.

For the water, you could swap that with coconut water, to give additional electrolytes and some coconut flavor.

You could ADD hydrolyzed collagen powder to the recipe, to get even more peptides which are easy to digest, but you still need to use gelatin to get the jello type of result (or it won’t gel).

Coconut milk is a great ingredient as it’s is rich and creamy and contains good fats and is helpful especially for those with an issue with dairy, but any nut milk could be used.

For the next celebration, show your family, loved ones, and clients how much you care. Share treats that provide beneficial nutrients that boost to our cells as well as aid repair, growth and our immune systems, which is a whole additional gift in itself!  

9 servings
70 minutes


Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who received her master’s degree in medical nutrition with distinction from Arizona State University. She is also a published nutrition researcher and has specialized in complex neurological conditions, particularly autism spectrum disorders and ADHD for over 20 years. Julie is the award winning author of Nourishing Hope for Autism, co-author of a study proving the efficacy of nutrition and dietary intervention for autism published in the peer-reviewed journal, Nutrients, and also the founder of Download her free guide, 12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.


  1. Gelatin undergoes a hydrolysis process in order to extract it from bone and connective tissues. The result is many peptides that easily swamp our glutamate receptors located in our small intestine. Therefore, I do not recommend gelatin for those avoiding excess glutamate. The claim that Great Lakes makes that there is no MSG in their product refers to what is available to bind the taste receptors on the tongue, but does not consider the taste receptors in the small intestine. Hydrolyzed proteins should always be avoided. Here’s some science behind glutamate receptors in the gut:

  2. Thank you for sharing. This seems like a fun recipe. I have the same question about glutamate. My brother has considerable snp’s in the GAD gene and suffers from seizures. We are attempting to control glutamate but I would love to be able to use gelatin to be able to deliver vitamins that he won’t swallow in pill form and also for the other healthy benefits. Would you happen to be able to share your thoughts/wisdom about the glutamate in gelatin? Much appreciated.

    • Hi Shelly! You have a great question. I’m going to reach out to Dr. Katie Reid, PhD. She knows a lot about glutamate and would be a great person to answer your question.

  3. Hi,

    How do you join the two layers together?

    • You pour one on top of the other. Science does the rest. 🙂

  4. This seems like a lot of fun to make. I have a bag of frozen strawberries that are defrosted in my fridge. I think I’ll blend them up with some Kiefer water to make the top layer. There won’t be a cute heart, but it will work. Thanks for sharing!

  5. do you have a pin it button? i can’t find it but i see you’re on pinterest.

    • Not yet Natalie. But if you download the “Pin It” button on your browser, you can pin anything.

  6. Hi, Julie !
    I was excited about this recipe and my mom made it with my daughter yesterday! 🙂
    It ended up more along the consistency of gummy candies ~ very very rubbery chewy! My mom recommended halving the amount of gelatin. Have you gotten this response from anyone else?

    • Try taking it down by one tablespoon each recipe. I’ve made some slight changes since the last time I made this (and have updated the recipe). I’ve decreased the gelatin a bit and it’s a better texture I think. After making this a number of times now, it seems for finger gelatin that about 1 Tablespoon of gelatin per cup of liquid (maybe plus a bit more) offers the best texture. Thanks for your experience and feedback!

  7. Julie, isn’t gelatin high glutamate?

    • I thought that you had to be cautious about gelatin consumption on a low oxalate diet because glycine promotes oxalates. Was I miss-informed? I would love to be able to make my little ones jello again they used to love that stuff!

  8. Very cute. However, the directions at the end…I don’t understand them. Also, there sticks in the 1st picture but no mention of them in the directions. What are they? Are they needed?

    • Thanks Jennifer. I fixed the directions based on your questions. Let me know if it makes more sense now. The sticks are simply guides for the strawberries (not necessary). The assembly of the fruit layer needs to be done in two steps – pour half the fruit gelatin, let set, then cover with the rest. If you pour that all at once, the strawberries will float. Let me know if you have other questions. Julie

      • Thank you!!!


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