**This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins.**
Grass-fed gelatin is some pretty awesome stuff.
I’ve been using it on and off for over two years now. I know that I feel better when I use it consistently. And, it is kind of fun sometimes. (Really.)
Why Grass-Fed Gelatin?
First, that stuff you can find at the store is not healthy gelatin. There is the “gelatin desserts” that are full of artificial colors, flavors, and possibly sweeteners (or sugar). But there is also plain gelatin in little packets you can buy, and that’s not so good either.
That gelatin is processed at high temperatures. Gelatin naturally contains glutamic acid (an amino acid), but when processed with high heat, it turns to MSG. That is not good for you at all. Plus, gelatin is made from the bones and connective tissue of cows. Most cows are raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) and are fed regular antibiotics, bakery waste, GMO corn and soy, and a bunch of other garbage. (Literally — see this confession from a former CAFO farmer.)
At any rate, it’s not a health food when it’s from unhealthy cows and heavily processed.
But! Never fear. Gelatin from grass-fed cows, processed at lower temperatures, actually has quite a number of health benefits. These include:
- Gut health (soothes irritated guts, helps to heal and seal leaky gut)
- Detox (helps to eliminate toxins in your gut)
- Skin (improves collagen production, making skin look younger)
- Hair (grows hair stronger, shinier, healthier)
- Nails (stronger, healthier nails)
- Muscles (includes amino acids we rarely get otherwise, which help build strong muscles)
Anyway, this is some pretty awesome stuff. I include it in my diet in the form of homemade bone broth, but also add extra as a supplement. I notice a difference when I do this. There are actually several different ways to get your gelatin in — many kid-friendly!
10 Uses for Grass-Fed Gelatin
1. Morning detox drink
This is my favorite and most common use! I mix some type of juice (usually grape or cranberry) with about 2 tbsp. gelatin, add hot water, then add my supplements to it. I try to do this immediately after waking up — and after my oil pulling routine. Here’s a recipe.
2. Gummy vitamins
This is a kid-friendly way to get good stuff into your kids! You can use any juice you prefer and add powdered supplements (1/2 c. juice + 5 tsp. gelatin + 1 – 2 tsp. of up to 3 powders). Or, try my kid-friendly gummy vitamins, or ultimate stay-healthy gummies.
3. Fruit snacks
Seriously, who doesn’t love fruit snacks? My kids constantly beg for them at the store. They know exactly which ones use the natural food dyes and such, which I have bought in the past. But right now we’re trying to stay away from sugar, so even the “natural” ones won’t work. Instead, we make our own! It’s simple — 1/2 c. juice + 5 tsp. gelatin. (Use half the juice cold, stirred into the gelatin, then heat the other half the juice and add it once the gelatin is absorbed.) I have a cute little heart mold we use. At least when my 6-month-old isn’t playing with it — turns out silicone is great for teething.
4. Post-workout drink
Want to help build your muscles? Gelatin is great as a protein powder post-workout. It’s not a complete protein, but it includes the amino acids that aren’t found in meat and that we rarely get. Add collagen peptides (which don’t gel) to any liquid, or throw 2 – 3 tbsp. in a blender with 1/2 c. nut butter, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 c. milk or coconut milk, and ice.
5. Anti-stress drink
Gelatin is a really great way to reduce stress. A little stirred into your drink can help make you feel better. Try adding collagen peptides to ginger lemonade, and use a little magnesium lotion (on your skin, not in your drink) for real anti-stress help!
**Try using either the blue or green cans from Vital Proteins for all of these recipes. I happen to prefer the green, which is a true gelatin. Blue is the collagen peptides, which is basically gelatin that is broken down so it doesn’t gel anymore. It’s supposed to be easier to digest. I just like the texture and versatility of the gelatin. The peptides will work in ideas 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10. You’ll need a true gelatin for ideas 2, 3, 8, and 9. Vital Proteins is grass-fed and high quality!**
6. Stomach soother
Gelatin is very gentle on your stomach, so it’s a great thing to drink when your stomach is upset. Stir it into some ginger tea or diluted juice — you don’t want too much sugar if you aren’t feeling well.
7. Allergy fighter
Gelatin is also anti-inflammatory! Because of this, and because it addresses poor gut health, it can help ease allergy symptoms. Drink this daily with turmeric and nettles and raw honey — all great for allergies!
8. Baking recipes (gluten-free)
Believe it or not, I’ve recently learned that you can use gelatin in gluten-free baking! For example, in this recipe for bread, or this gluten-free pie crust. I plan to try several more gluten-free recipes using gelatin! It sounds like an awesome substitute for eggs and gluten as it lends structure to the recipes. Pretty neat to have a safe, whole-food substitute.
Okay, this one is just fun. It’s not remotely healthy! But a good amount of honey or sugar that’s cooked and beaten with gelatin makes marshmallows. They are delicious, way better than store-bought. And for those of us with allergies, they are corn-free.
10. Anti-inflammatory soups
Sometimes, you need a little “extra” in your soup. Real bone broth has natural gelatin in it, but adding a little more is sometimes good, especially if you are sick or have been around sick people! Add a tbsp. or two to a pot of soup — just be sure to add it to cold water first, then once it has absorbed, add to the pot and stir well. (Or a little hot soup to a cup of gelatin and cold water, then pour it back into the pot.)
Choose Quality Gelatin
As I mentioned above, choosing quality gelatin matters. One of the best ones is Vital Proteins. They offer collagen peptides, which dissolve in any liquid (also great to throw in smoothies, milkshakes, etc.) and actual gelatin (which dissolves only in hot liquids). Peptides don’t actually gel, but gelatin does. I personally like gelatin better! But many prefer peptides because they are easier to use.
These cans will last a long time. With daily use, we’re talking 2 – 3 months at least. I often forget to do it everyday, so it might even be more like 4+ for me. Oops. It’s one of my more frugal supplements, honestly. But it does make a big difference.
Actually, some of the key amino acids in gelatin, which are hard to find in other foods, help promote the formation of GABA in your body, which can fight depression and anxiety. Good reason for me to keep taking it! (And maybe for you too.)
Anyway, lots of awesome uses for gelatin. And it’s delicious. 🙂
What are your favorite uses for grass-fed gelatin?
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