Have you heard of Konnyaku?
Konnyaku (蒟蒻) is also known as “konjac, konjaku, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam”. (Can anyone tell why so many eerie nicknames? ). It is a natural food made from a type of mountain potato mixed with calcium hydroxide or calcium oxide extracted from eggshells.
It is a traditional Japanese health food and has been consumed for over 2000 years. It appears in many dishes in Japanese cuisine such as oden, sukiyaki and sashimi. Besides that, it is also widely used as a substitute for gelatin in making jelly dessert.
Konnyaku has no fat, low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Hence, it can bring us many excellent health benefits as below:
a) normalize cholesterol level.
b) control sugar level in blood for diabetes.
c) prevent high blood pressure.
d) clean toxin in the intestines and prevent intestinal cancer
e) ideal for weight control as it expands in the digestive system and gives the feeling that the stomach is full.
Apart from its nutritional value, Konnyaku jelly yields a firmer and springier texture compared to normal jelly. Because of these two signature qualities, it caught on fast to become a popular household choice for healthy snack after it was first introduced to Singapore and Malaysia about one decade ago.
You can find Konnyaku jelly moulds of different types and shapes as shown in the photo below. As for preparing Konnyaku deserts, it’s idiot proof. You only need to follow the simple manufacturer’s instruction on the packaging of the Konnyaku powder, and adding on fresh or canned fruits of your own liking. Properly supervised, even a kid can do it!
However, parents and caretakers should be aware that jelly products containing Konnyaku may pose choking hazards as it is extremely difficult to remove if it gets stuck down the throat. Thus, it is not suitable to serve children below 4 years old and the elderly. Even for older kids and adults alike, to prevent getting choked unnecessarily, it is recommended that the jelly be first cut or bite into smaller pieces and chewed properly before swallowing.
I like to share this jelly desert recipe with you because it uses Konnyaku, a not-to-be missed super food. This recipe is also made mostly of fruits juice and fresh fruits. I only used a little bit of sugar for this recipe to suit my personal palate. You can adjust the amount according to your preference. It is also not necessarily to use any special Konnyaku jelly moulds to make these jellies. However, they are great for presenting attractive and cute looking jellies to your kids.
This homemade jelly may not be one of the healthiest snacks, but it is definitely a healthier version compared to those bought off the shelf in the store that comes with preservative and colouring additives. I bet this delicious jelly, when served chilled, would be a cool treat that can surely cheer your little ones up during this hot weather.
Suggested reading references for Konnyaku:
Konnyaku jelly cooking video clip by Phoon Huat:
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