If you’re looking for a natural alternative to protein powder, gelatin is a great option. It contains between 6-12 grams of protein per tablespoon, helps aid in digestion, and can contribute to the building of strong cartilage and bones. Gelatin has also been shown to benefit the digestive tract, immune system, heart, liver, muscles, and skin. It also helps aid in detoxification.
One of the best ways to consume gelatin is in homemade chicken stock. If you’re looking to increase the amount of gelatin in your diet, you can add granulated gelatin to soups, stews, puddings, baked goods, etc. I like to use it in grain-free baked goods because it acts as a binder and I also add it to smoothies for the nutritional benefits.
Not all gelatin is created equal, so it’s important to purchase from a good source. Bernard Jensen and Great Lakes gelatins both come from grass-fed animals and do not contain any MSG (most other brands of gelatin do contain MSG). Now, it might sound like a processed food, but it’s basically the same as if you made a pot of chicken stock, moved the gelatin from the liquid and let it dry.
Panna Cotta is a simple, slightly sweet and creamy dessert that is a great way to get some extra gelatin in your diet. I adapted this recipe from my first cookbook Deliciously Organic. The original version uses milk and cream, so for a dairy-free version, I substituted with coconut milk. It’s a popular “girly” dessert (great for bridal or baby showers) because it’s smooth, creamy, and not too sweet. Top with seasonal berries, and you have the perfect light dessert.