Up until recently, the only gelatin my family ate was what I flung in a cheesecake or jelly I made for a special occasion. I never thought about using it to improve our over all health but a lot has changed in a few years.
Recently I've even been adding collagen to the bread I bake Alex after his naturopath recommended it. It's made no difference at all to the bread I bake and he eats it just as happily as he did before. I add about a quarter of a cup to the mixture that makes a large loaf.
The collagen doesn't set like normal gelatin which makes it great to add to your baking and cooking. I add it to his custard and sneak in in wherever I can for a bit of extra protein.
So What Is Gelatin And How Is It Different From Collagen?
I've turned to good old Wikipedia for a simple explanation of what gelatin is:
"Gelatin is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and fish."
There are two forms that you can use: gelatin will dissolve in hot water and set as it cools, and collagen can be added to hot or cold liquids and will not set.
What Are the Benefits of Gelatin?
According to Nutra Organics, there are many reported benefits of gelatin such as it assisting digestion, repairing damage to the gut, improving immunity, improving muscle mass and bone density, cartilage regeneration as well as firmer and smoother skin.
I'm keeping it really simple here as I'm not a qualified health practitioner and there is heaps more information you can find about this online - just do a quick search :-)
How Can I get More Gelatin In My Families Diet?
There are heaps of ways you can use gelatin and collagen.
If you're using gelatin, it will 'set' so it's great to make jelly, add to sauces and gravy, home made marshmallows, gummy lollies and panna cotta.
I actually find collagen pretty useful in my kitchen because I can bake with it and add it to the kids food when I'm making things like custard. You can also add collagen to smoothies, chia pudding, cakes and even your tea or coffee. There are so many options.
I wouldn't recommend a heavy handed approach when you start using gelatin. Take it slow and add more as you feel you can.
Here are some great recipes using Gelatin I'd recommend you try:
Easy Marshmallows: Honey Sweetened & All Natural - Quirky Cooking
Berry Nice Gummies - Nutra Organics
Jellies - 3 Ways - Cut Out The Crap
At Happy Tummies, we have a great range of quality gelatin available. Check out our range here in our Gut Health section.
Enjoy! Lisa x