Gelatin is gaining popularity in the real food and athletic communities for its gut- and joint-soothing properties. It's a protein derived from collagen - another type of protein found in animal connective tissue - that's been cooked. Collagen is well known for its role as a supportive protein, helping form skin, tendon, ligament, and bone. It's also important for gut health. As athletes, maintaining healthy joints, which go through a lot of wear and tear, and a healthy gut, which keeps us from getting sick, is really important.

 

Normally, we get gelatin from cooked animal tissue. Bone broth (soup stock) is a great way to get it naturally. If you've ever cooked, then refrigerated a chicken and come back to find jiggly meat juice at the bottom of the pan - that's gelatin.

 

gelatin, gelatin recipes, benefits of gelatin, gelatin for athletes, jelloSince gelatin is a protein, people commonly think it's good for post-workout recovery, but that's incorrect. Gelatin is high in the non-essential amino acids proline and glycine, and while those are good for building connective tissue, they're not great at building muscle. For post-workout recovery, choose protein sources such as meat, eggs, and fish, which are rich in the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These BCAAs are critical for muscle protein synthesis.

 

While bone broth and soups are great, you may want to switch it up and include these gummies to supplement gelatin in your diet. Look for high-quality brands of gelatin powder such as Great Lakes, which derives the gelatin from grass-fed animals. This recipe is only slightly sweet, so you won't want to eat the whole pan at once. As a supplement, the recommended serving of gelatin per day is about one tablespoon, so if you cut this recipe into sixteen servings, then four squares will get you there.

 

Strawberry Lemonade Gelatin Gummies

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (455 grams) strawberries
  • 1 cup (240 mL) coconut water
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons (22 mL) honey, optional
  • 4 Tablespoons (40 grams) high-quality gelatin powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coconut oil

 

Directions:

  1. Grease an 8"x8" (20 cm x 20 cm) glass baking dish with coconut oil. You can really use any sort of pan you'd like, but if it's larger, the gummies will be really thin.
  2. Cut the green tops off the strawberries, then roughly chop the berries. 
  3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring the strawberries with the coconut water to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the berries soften and release their juice, about 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour the mixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until it's smooth. (Caution: Take care when using hot liquids in a blender!)
  5. Pour the blended mixture back into the same pot you used earlier. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and honey (optional). Gently stir to combine. 
  6. Now it's time to add the gelatin. If the fruit mixture is boiling hot, wait until it's cooled down a bit. If the fruit mixture is only slightly warm, turn on the heat to low. One tablespoon at a time, slowly add the gelatin and whisk it constantly until it completely dissolves. Continue until all four tablespoons of gelatin have been dissolved.
  7. This recipes makes an 8"x8" (20 cm x 20 cm) pan. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and refrigerate at least two hours or until the gelatin is firm to the touch. Cut into squares as large or small as you'd like. Store covered in refrigerator for three to four days.

 

Photo courtesy of Steph Gaudreau and Stupid Easy Paleo

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