Gelatin for the Win!

We love collagen and we know that you do too, so that’s why we want to make sure that you know all about it’s sister: Gelatin. If you’re anything like me, you LIVE for summer treats on a warm day and sometimes I crave a little more than just a smoothie. This is where gelatin can come in (don’t worry, we are including recipes below). Once I learned how to use gelatin to disguise my healthy treats into delicious snacks...there was no turning back. Collagen and Gelatin are now a part of my healthy routine.

So you might be asking yourself what the difference is between collagen and gelatin, and the response might surprise you. They are actually pretty similar and both can support your health and beauty goals. The main difference is that collagen can be used in both hot and cold liquids without gelling, whereas gelatin will thicken or congeal and directions need to be followed for use.

Gelatin is great to cook with because, like collagen, it is flavorless, odorless and colorless. One of the most common reasons people might choose to cook with gelatin is for its thickening or “gelling” properties. It opens the door for a lot of fun recipes that include both sweet and savory options! For a more savory dish or recipe, you can simply add some gelatin to thicken a sauce or soup. Now for my personal favorite: the sweeter options for gelatin recipes. Gelatin is perfect for use when making treats like healthy gummies, jello cups, ice cream and even marshmallows!

Here is my favorite recipe and a great one to try this summer:

Pistachio & Rose Panna Cotta

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c whole milk
  • 1 tbsp Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin
  • 3 c whipping cream
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp rose essence
  • 1 tbsp dried rose petals
  • 1 tbsp pistachios, crushed

DIRECTIONS

  • Pour milk in heavy saucepan and sprinkle gelatin in a single layer. Let sit and thicken for 5 min
  • On medium heat, stir milk + gelatin mixture just until gelatin dissolves - do NOT boil
  • Add cream, honey, sugar, and salt - stir until sugar dissolves
  • Stir in rose essence and remove pan from heat
  • Pour mixture into 6 ramekins and cool slightly at room temp
  • Refrigerate panna cotta until set (6 hr or overnight)
  • Top with rose petals and pistachios before serving

This is a bit fancier than your average gummy or jello cup - both of which are highly recommended - but if you have the time to try this recipe, you will not be disappointed! Healthy gummies are also perfect for summer and are much easier to make (click here for a standard Gelatin Foundation recipe).

There are some small things to keep in mind when cooking or making treats with gelatin:

Need to firm up your gelatin recipe?  Try adding sugar or cream. Sugar pulls water from the gelatin molecules which strengthens their gelling effect, while cream can help to thicken the liquid as well.

Too runny? If you are following a recipe that contains acids and salts, you may notice that it’s a bit runny and that is because salts and acids actually decrease gelling. While working with these ingredients, you may need to use more gelatin.

How do you suspend solids in gelatin? Allow the gel to cool until it has become semi-firm, then stir in solids - I always think of when I was a kid and I made strawberry jello but had to wait a little bit before adding the bananas into the jello (anyone else remember that treat as a kid?!)

Where do I store gelatin?  Gelatin should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container in a dry well-ventilated area.

Gelatin can seem a bit intimidating if you’ve never used it before, but I promise, that it’s actually quite simple to use and can really help to step up your healthy snack and treat game! Gelatin is so versatile and the recipes are total game changers. So basically, what we are trying to say is that you should definitely give gelatin a chance...you’re going to love it! 

 Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Nor is it intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a medical professional. Individual results may vary.