It's past Thanksgiving, your grandparents went home, and you're still probably feeling sleepy from all that Turkey and pumpkin pie. One great thing about the week after Thanksgiving is all the leftovers! What to do with all that cranberry sauce... we're going to make cranberry SLIME!
This activity is similar to the edible slime we made last month. This time, we're using cranberry sauce in replacement of corn syrup. The sugar and water in the sauce acts similarly to corn syrup, and the cranberries add even more texture (and flavor!) to the slime.
Gelatin is an interesting substance. When heated it becomes a thin liquid, but it thickens as it cools. Once cold, the texture is very firm, but it will go right back to liquid if you heat it up again! This means it is thermoreversible.
Gelatin comes from collagen, which is derived from animal connective tissue. You might not think of "Jello" as healthy, but gelatin is almost all protein, and can actually be good for us, as long as we're not adding too much sugar or artificial coloring. So, snack away!
How does sugar compare to corn syrup? Although sugar is not a thickening agent, it does make water thicker once it's dissolved. When you heat sugar and water together, they form a thin syrup, similar to corn syrup. Both sugar and corn syrup are used as sweeteners, and they should both be consumed in moderation. Sugar comes from sugarcane or sugar beets, and corn syrup, obviously, comes from corn. While sugar is made of sucrose (fructose and glucose bound together), corn syrup is made of glucose and fructose that stay separate. Corn syrup is often used in candy recipes because its smooth texture makes it easy to create caramels and hard candies without any clumping or crystallization issues.
Let's get slimy!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Cranberry sauce (cranberries, water, sugar)
- Gelatin (we used natural beef gelatin: Knox packets work great, too!)
- Mixing bowls
- Sauce pan
Here's what to do!
- First, you need to make your cranberry sauce (if you don't already have some). This simple recipe is super easy. Measure 1/2 cup of water into a saucepan. Turn the heat for the burner on medium high.
- Measure 1/2 cup of sugar into the water and stir.
- Add 1 cup (about 1/2 pint) of cranberries into the sugar water and leave to boil.
7. Put the bowl of cranberry sauce in the refrigerator to chill while you move on to your next step: Dissolving the gelatin.
8. Measure 1 cup of water into a sauce pan and sprinkle 6 tablespoons (or 6 packets) of gelatin into the water.
9. Heat over medium heat on the stove top, stirring constantly.
10. Once the gelatin is dissolved, the water will look kind of yellow-ish. Remove from heat and set the gelatin aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
14. If you put your slime in the refrigerator, it will harden into a gel. If you want to play with it again, just heat it up in the microwave for about 40 seconds.