Benefits of Gelatin and Collagen
Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen, which is found in animal bones and connective tissue. Gelatin contains lots of amino acids, which is why it has so many health benefits.
Bone broth is an excellent source of gelatin, but you can also find powdered gelatin sourced from grass-fed cows at your grocery store, at Costco, or online. Gelatin powder can be added to almost any recipe, including soups, stews, smoothies, coffee, and even DIY skin care recipes.
We recommend purchasing gelatin and collagen products from animals that have been grass-fed or pasture-raised, since these animals are healthier overall and are not raised using artificial hormones or antibiotics.
Going one step further, look for organic gelatin whenever possible to ensure the animals did not eat a diet that consisted of GMO grains or crops sprayed with chemicals. You also want to be careful about where you get your gelatin products from, especially beef gelatin, because you don’t want to be exposed to spongiform encephalopathy, aka mad cow disease.
I like Vital Proteins or Great Lakes.
Here are some of the benefits of gelatin and collagen:
Boosts skin health
Collagen is the structural protein that helps maintain skin elasticity and keep your skin looking smooth, plump, and supple.
Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but beginning at the age of 20, we begin to produce less.
Helps hair and nails grow faster
Repairs the gut lining, repairs leaky gut syndrome, and aids in digestion
Leaky gut plays a major role in the development of allergies and autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Supports the immune system
Approximately 80% of immune system cells are located in the gut, which means your immune system is a reflection of your digestive health.
Protects and cushions joints and reduces pain and inflammation
The ends of our bones are covered (or “protected”) with cartilage, which is formed from collagen. Cartilage prevents our bones from rubbing together, which otherwise causes pain and inflammation.
This suggests adding gelatin to your diet may be preventative for joint degradation as well as managing symptoms of inflammatory joint conditions.
Repairs damaged hair
Reduces signs of aging
Detoxes the liver
Promotes restful sleep
IS GELATIN THE SAME AS COLLAGEN?
In a word – no!
COLLAGEN MIXES EASILY
Collagen protein powder consists of collagen peptides, which dissolve into hot and cold liquids completely. It’s heat-stable and pretty much flavorless so you can mix it into just about anything to get more bioavailable amino acids into your diet. Collagen protein is perfect to add to coffee, tea, smoothies and even soup.
GELATIN WILL GEL
Gelatin dissolves in hot and cold liquids, and when it cools, it sets into a firm gel. That’s how you get jiggly desserts and snacks.
They cannot be used interchangeably in recipes.
HOW TO EAT AND USE GELATIN
The number one way to get more gelatin in our diets is with bone broth. Use bone broth instead of water in dishes like rice, stews, soups, etc. Drink it instead of coffee. It's liquid gold for our bodies.
Best is homemade, but I like Kettle and Fire bone broth. Every time I use it my family says what I made is delicious. I buy it online.
Here is a great recipe for homemade bone broth:
1 whole chicken or the bones saved from several chicken dinners
a carrot – doesn't need to be peeled
an onion – peeling too is fine
couple of stalks of celery – roughly broken
herbs you might have in your refrigerator
garlic – I usually just cut a whole head in half and throw it in
salt and pepper
I like to make my broth in the crock pot. You can also make it in the Instant Pot or on the stove. There are lots of recipes on the internet.
Put all the things in the crock pot and cover with water. Set on low and let it cook for about 12 hours. Strain it and store it in jars in the refrigerator for a week or less or in the freezer for a long time.
4 cups of juice
2 tablespoons unflavored beef gelatin
2 tablespoons honey
Add 1/2-3/4 cup of the juice to a bowl or liquid measuring cup and sprinkle with gelatin powder.
Whisk together to combine and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to “bloom.” The granules will plump and the mixture will look like very thick applesauce or take on a lumpy appearance.
Pour the remaining (3 1/4- 3 1/2 cups) juice into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until almost boiling.
Remove from heat and stir in honey and the bloomed juice/gelatin mixture. Stir to dissolve.
Pour into an 8x8 (2 quart) baking dish for a thicker gelatin or a 9x13″ baking dish for a thinner one, or into individual glasses or jars for individual portions.
Refrigerate about 4 hours, or until set. (If you’ve used a 9x13 pan, it may be set in as little as 2 hours.)
1 1/2 cups fresh berries or diced other fruit
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons beef gelatin
1-2 tablespoons honey (adjust to taste and natural sweetness of fruit)
pinch of salt
Add water and lemon (or lime) juice to a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let the gelatin soak for 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, blend the berries (or other fruit) until smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, if necessary.
If desired, press the fruit puree through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any seeds or skin pieces.
Heat the fruit puree in a small saucepan together with honey and salt. Add the bloomed gelatin and stir until fully dissolved.
Put the mixture into molds. Ice cube trays or any other candy silicone molds will work. Place the molds in the fridge to let the gummies set for about 2 hours.
Unmold and enjoy! Especially in the summer, the gummies are best stored in a covered container in the fridge.
And since Valentine's Day is coming soon, here is my favorite way to eat gelatin............
1 tablespoon powdered unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1 quart heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to soften.
In a large saucepan bring cream, sugar and vanilla just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Remove pan from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture. Divide cream mixture among eight ramekins and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Dip ramekins, one at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.