summer berriesc.  Jane Quincannon Stanchich

The whole family will love this naturally sweet, purely vegan fresh berry dessert. This recipe works, as it is well tested, tried and true! Include different fruits or juices for variety. We also call this "Kanten.”

Agar, a sea vegetable, is amazingly nutritious and mineral-rich. (See below.) Most gelatin desserts are made with animal bones. Read the instructions on the package of agar that you purchase.

Options are listed below. The scrumptious whipped dairy-free cream topping is delicious on desserts year round. Serves 4-6

  • 2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries or whole blueberries/raspberries rinsed, de-stemed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 cups organic apple juice
  • 4 rounded Tablespoons agar agar flakes*
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla
  1. Mix the fruit and sprinkle lightly with lemon juice.
  2. Divide and place on the bottom of a heatproof 9-inch square Pyrex dish or in 6 small, heatproof dessert dishes.
  3. Place apple juice in a saucepan. Do not heat juice yet! 
  4. Stir in the agar flakes and let sit in cool temperature juice for 10 minutes. (If you heat the agar too soon, it will form grains or a hard skin on top of the juice.)
  5. Add sea salt, bring to low boil, reduce heat; stir well. Simmer 5-6 minutes until all agar is dissolved. 
  6. Turn off heat. Stir in the vanilla.
  7. Remove juice from heat and let cool for 3 minutes only. (If longer, it will set firm.) Using a ladle, carefully pour juice over the berries.
  8. The "gello" will set at room temperature or in the fridge.


Prepare this dessert with peach juice and fresh peaches or pear juice and pears. Mix and match. Let the children help out in fruit selection. Make fruit designs in the kanten.

  • This kanten version yields a clear gelatin. Some cooks blend the already set kanten so it becomes creamy and smooth like pudding.



Enjoy a sweet creamy and easy dessert topping that is dairy and sugar-free!

  • 1 box FIRM Mori Nu Tofu (organic, unrefrigerated-pre-cooked)
  • 2 Tablespoons fine almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla
  • 1 drop almond extract
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or brown rice syrup, to taste
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Cut open the tofu package and let the water drain out. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Scrape sides of blender with rubber spatula. Adjust flavors. Blend again. Chill before serving.

*   If you use water-packed, refrigerated tofu, select Firm, slice in cubes and pre-boil slowly with a pinch of sea salt for 5 minutes to make it digestible.

*  If the topping is too thin, blend in more almond flour a teaspoon at a time. Too thick? Drizzle in small amounts of almond milk.


Agar’s Amazing Health Benefits

“Kanten” is the Japanese word for gelatin dishes beloved by people of all ages. Enjoy this cool, delicious, nutrient-rich fruit “gello” recipe using organic apple juice, colorful summer berries, and mineral-rich agar sea vegetable. 

Note: Common commercial “Jello” gelatin is produced from the skin, bones, and tendons of cows and pigs.

Agar, a type of seaweed used as a vegan thickener in gelatin desserts, is clear in color and free of flavor. Derived from red algae, agar is rich in magnesium, iron, manganese, and calcium. High in fiber and chlorophyll, agar strengthens bones, helps to relieve constipation and to balance blood sugar. 

Agar is often used to improve digestion, enhance weight loss, and prevent anemia. It contains amino acids, folic acid, essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. It also supplies a large quantity of antioxidants as well as red and blue phycoerythrins, carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin.  

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