Remember how magical jello was when you were a kid? It came in florescent colors and jiggled and sometimes had fruit suspended in it! The main ingredient, gelatin, is what gives jello its jiggly texture. At some point you surely heard the rumor about the gelatin in jello being made from horse hooves (the rumor was true at one point, but now it’s primarily made from pig parts). It’s ok to be grossed out though, because jello is nasty: aside from the gelatin, it contains sugar or artificial sweetener, artificial flavors, and food coloring.
But gelatin, jello’s primary ingredient, is quite the superfood. Gelatin is made from cooked collagen that is produced from the hides, ligaments, tendons and cartilage of pigs and cattle. Quality matters here obviously! The main gelatin on the market is Knox, which is not made from humanely raised animals. I like both Vital Proteins and Great Lakes gelatin which is kosher (the beef one is anyway) and made from pigs and grass fed cattle. I get the Great Lakes red label that you can use to make puddings, panna cotta, gummy snacks, marshmallows and other treats you want to gel. I also add it to smoothies to thicken them and for the protein and benefits. The green label dissolves in liquid and won’t gel.
I like the Vital Proteins collagen peptides, which doesn’t gel but is easily absorbed. It’s great added to my turmeric tonic for a therapeutic super healing warm beverage.
Gelatin has some awesome health-promoting properties. In my practice, I’ve recommended it for clients healing from IBS and digestive issues, or for those transitioning off a vegetarian diet. It’s great for your skin, nails and hair (you can even make a mask for your hair with it OR add a teaspoon to your shampoo!).
Check out the awesome benefits:
*Great source of trace minerals and amino acids
*Good protein source. I like to add 1-2 tablespoons to smoothies.
*Builds healthy skeletal system and strong teeth
*Healing for the GI tract
*Excellent for joint and tendon support. Great source of chondroitin and glucosamine
*Good for post workout muscle recovery
*May aid in weight loss due to amino acid content
*Supportive for hormones, thyroid & adrenals
My favorite gelatin treats are mousses and puddings. I typically make pumpkin or chocolate puddings. Mmmmm… therapeutic pudding! None of the artificial junky ingredients from store-bought pudding. Grass Fed Girl has a strawberry panna cotta recipe that uses gelatin, and Empowered Sustenance has a pumpkin mousse.
Here is my favorite chocolate pudding with gelatin. Enjoy!
1 Tbsp Unflavored Gelatin
1/3 cup warm water
2 oz Unsweetened Dark Chocolate
1 can coconut milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Xylitol, maple syrup or honey
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the coconut milk and sweetener until melted and mixed thoroughly. Use a whisk and whisk it to break up clumps. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla and cinnamon. Mix the gelatin with 1/3 cup of warm water until dissolved. Add the dissolved gelatin to the chocolate mixture and stir well. Divide between 4 bowls and put the pudding into the refrigerator for two hours or until set and chilled.
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