Gelatin Experiment


Some days, I get totally caught up in researching a new health trend I read about, looking for the people who claim it is not actually a miracle, citing studies it is not actually safe, etc. If I don’t find any cause for grave concern and enough people are saying it personally makes a difference for them, I’m game to give it a quasi-scientific shot. Today’s curiosity: gelatin.

In short: Gelatin is made from boiling bones, which extracts the collagen. Collagen is what makes our skin supple and elastic. I’ve seen people claim it helps with hair and nails too, but they are made of keratin, so I’m a little skeptical about that. The collagen in gelatin has been hydrolysed (chemically altered by water), another reason to be skeptical. However, it is also an inexpensive, low fat protein and it really can’t hurt anything. So, I’m going to try including 1t of gelatin into my diet daily for 8 weeks and see what comes of it. I’m just hitting that age where my skin is a little less smooth, a little less elastic, and anything that promises to slow down cellulite is worth a shot, especially if it costs so little and makes really delicious recipes.

My first recipe is an adaption of a number of home made pudding recipes.

Almond Milk Gelatin Chocolate Pudding Recipe

  • 2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate
  • 1 full scoop Garden of Life Chocolate Raw Meal Replacement (or 1 additional ounce bakers chocolate)
  • 2 packets of knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 c demerara/raw sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 t organic vanilla

In a sauce pan I heated the milk and chocolate, while whisking in the gelatin. The trick to home made pudding is whisking a lot, end of story. When the gelatin is well dissolved, about 2-3 minutes, add the salt, sugar, and chocolate powder (yes, I know cooking raw food stuff denatures a bunch of the goodness out of it, but honestly, the mix makes me gag, so I’ve been using it up in baking recipes, and it works great as a substitute for thickeners like flour or cornstarch in chocolate based recipes). Whisk on medium-low heat for another 4-5 minutes, then let cool, whisking occasionally and add vanilla extract, give it a good whisk, and chill, covered,  in the fridge for 2+ hours.

I am lovin’ this pudding. I would make it just as a wholesome dessert if it wasn’t part of my experiment. It actually came out so thick that I added a splash of french press coffee from this morning and it added such a nice depth of flavor (as coffee always does to chocolate). It does have a slight graininess from the powder which doesn’t bother me because it tastes a lot like brownie batter, but if you want a really silky luxurious pudding, I would go with a second square of baker’s chocolate instead. It’s also cheaper 😉

Hopefully soon my grass fed uber-duber gelatin will arrive and I can try it. I hear it’s worlds apart from regular knox, and it’s significantly more eco-friendly and less expensive in a jar than lots of little packets.