Not all “jello molds” have to be made from gelatin and not all have to be super, sugary, sweet (although those are good too!). This uncommonly refreshing treat is made with watermelon, basil, and gelled with agar-agar, a vegan gelatin alternative. I don’t work with agar very often but I did devote an entire chapter it in my book, Hello Jell-O!. This recipe appears in my book but I have included it hear so you can try it before summer slips away. Even if you yourself are not vegan you can still enjoy this healthy and delicious treat… or you can make it for your vegan friend. We all have at least one.
Watermelon Basil Agar
10 medium-size basil leaves, roughly 1/3 cup loosely packed
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons of agar agar powder
2 cups cubed watermelon
In a blender or small food processor mix the basil and 1/2 cup of the water until the basil is mostly liquefied.
In a saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cup water and the sugar to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in agar agar powder until fully dissolved. Stir in the basil water. Refrigerate until it begins to thicken and stir in the cubed watermelon. Spoon into individual molds and refrigerate until firm. Unmold and serve.
Photo by Angie Cao from Hello, Jell-o! 50+ Inventive Recipes for Gelatin Treats and Jiggly Sweets