Jan 26, 2017

Review: Jell-O Simply Good Gelatin and Pudding Mixes

Jell-O recently released a new "Simply Good" product line that includes no artificial flavors, dyes, or preservatives. The gelatin mixes are flavored with fruit juice and colored with vegetable and spice extracts. The gelatin flavors include Strawberry, Pineapple Orange, Mixed Berry, and Orange Pineapple, whereas the pudding line includes Banana, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Caramel, and Chocolate flavors.

The gelatin and pudding mixes go for a suggested retail price of $1.59 per four-serving package, but I received these courtesy of Jell-O.

Rather than the familiar wax pouch inside of a cardboard box, the Simply Good mixes come in easy-to-open plastic pouches. The mixes inside are a lot more granular than I remember the old Jell-O packages from my youth being (then again, I hadn't made Jell-O since I was around 12 years old). The deserts were easy to make and dissolved fairly easily, considering what appeared to be their coarse texture.

Of the pudding mixes, I tried both the Banana and Chocolate Caramel flavors.

Both puddings had a smooth texture and were fairly soft-set, even after considerable refrigeration; if you like a thicker, denser pudding like the ready-serve versions, I recommend cutting down a little on the amount of milk called for in the instructions.

The Simply Good line is more judiciously sweetened than the classic mixes, which I prefer personally. That being said, I still found them plenty sweet overall. The Banana pudding had a nice, fresh banana taste and was very similar to the banana pudding I remember from my childhood. The Chocolate Caramel pudding was a little disappointing, however. The cocoa flavor was not very pronounced and the caramel flavor was very light with an unfortunate chemical taste. I wanted to like the Chocolate Caramel pudding more, but I was pretty underwhelmed by it.

Of the gelatin mixes, I tried the Strawberry and Mixed Berry flavors.

The reduced sweetness is more pronounced with the gelatin mixes. They taste mostly like the familiar Jell-O you know, except the flavors taste more authentically like fruit juice. There's just the barest hint of that natural fruit tartness to the gelatin, which actually improves the taste vastly. The Strawberry flavor tastes the closest to the classic Jell-O mix, whereas the Mixed Berry has a nice berry profile with notes of blueberries and something that tastes very similar to grape juice. Texture-wise, the Simply Good gelatin set exactly like any other Jell-O mix; that is, the gelatin was firm enough to hold its shape but yielded easily under light pressure.

Overall, I enjoyed the Jell-O Simply Good line. Although some of the flavors fared better than others in terms of execution, the line mimics the classic flavors of the original Jell-O gelatin and pudding mixes well enough that most people won't notice a difference unless they're searching for it (like I did). While the puddings turned out nicely, the real stars of the Simply Good line are the gelatin mixes. The combination of fruit juice and less sweetener resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable dessert that was nostalgic yet never cloying.

By Renee.

Nutritional Info - Jell-O Simply Good Banana Pudding, unprepared
Serving Size - 1/4 package (25g)
Calories - 100 (from Fat - 0)
Fat - 0g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 350mg
Carbs - 23g (Sugar - 19g)
Protein - 0g

Nutritional Info - Jell-O Simply Good Chocolate Caramel Pudding, unprepared
Serving Size - 1/4 package (28g)
Calories - 100 (from Fat - 0)
Fat - 0g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 420mg
Carbs - 24g (Sugar - 18g)
Protein - 0g

Nutritional Info - Jell-O Simply Good Strawberry Gelatin, unprepared
Serving Size - 1/4 package (22g)
Calories - 90 (from Fat - 0)
Fat - 0g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 90mg
Carbs - 19g (Sugar - 19g)
Protein - 0g

Nutritional Info - Jell-O Simply Good Mixed Berry Gelatin, unprepared
Serving Size - 1/4 package (21g)
Calories - 80 (from Fat - 0)
Fat - 0g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 85mg
Carbs - 18g (Sugar - 18g)
Protein - 0g

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