Gelatin: The Youthmaker
The wiggly stuff behind “Jello”, gelatin is a fibrous protein made of amino acids, the building blocks of about a third of the protein in your body. It gives resiliency to our bones, ligaments, joints and muscles. It helps keep our skin wrinkle-free and our hair and nails healthy. Gelatin also heals the gut wall and improves digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily. If you’re focusing on anti-aging, gelatin is a great source of collagen.
Choose plain, unsweetened gelatin derived from grass-fed beef and use natural fruit and fruit juices to sweeten your gelatin-based treats. Gelatin “jellies” are a great way to serve medicinal herbs and teas to kids, such as elderberry for their immune system and ginger for tummy aches or sore muscles. Gelatin is a very readily digestible source of amino acids which form the basis of protein and new healthy cells.
How to Use It
Fruit Compote With a Twist
This twist on the traditional French dessert one of my ways of integrating this superfood (gelatin) into our diet a few times per week. Served warm, it’s delicious on its own, or spooned over hot cereal or organic Greek yogurt. With the gelatin added in you’ll want to serve this compote warm – when chilled it gels into a fruit leather-like consistency and could also be poured into ice cube trays or candy moulds for quick sweet snacks later on.
3-4 cups fresh or frozen fruit (berries, cherries, apples and/or mangoes work well)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
pinch fresh orange or lemon zest
2 tbsp organic unflavoured gelatin powder
1-2 tbsp raw honey
1-2 tbsp water
Place fruit into sauce pan and turn onto low-medium heat to thaw and bring to simmer. If fruit is raw to begin you may need to add 1-2 tbsp water. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently and checking to make sure juice does not burn. Add zest and vanilla and stir in. When juice has condensed slightly, add gelatin powder and stir until all lumps are dissolved. Add honey to sweeten the mixture (to taste). Remove from heat and divide into dessert bowls to serve.
Dr. Liz’s Basic Bone Broth
In the fall and winter especially, I simmer up a nourishing bone broth (a.k.a. homemade soupstock) about once a week. Bone broths are not only a favourite Paleo-friendly beverage (instead of say, herbal tea), but when made from healthy animals, bone broths are very restorative to human health. They help to heal the gut, provide a readily absorbable source of calcium and other minerals, and are rich in gelatin and collagen, which is nourishing to our skin, muscles and bones. Add sea salt to taste and any herbs you like. As a stand-alone drink it’s perfect if you’re hungry before bed as the minerals will help you sleep and a cupful is extremely easy on your digestion. You can also integrate bone broth into your water for cooking rice or quinoa, or even into smoothies a few tablespoons at a time. The easiest way to prepare it is to put your ingredients into a crockpot and let it simmer all day, or overnight.