A super quick and simple recipe that even the little ones can enjoy! But first some details...
Gelatin is simply the heated form of collagen. It contains varying amounts of amino acids (protein's building blocks) but proline, hydroxyproline and glycine are the ones that predominate.
Collagen is formed from a triple helix structure of amino acids. Glycine sits at every third position and then two different amino acids sit at the other two positions, these are regularly proline and hydroxyproline. Glycine, proline and hydroxyproline, as discussed previously, are the most concentrated amino acids found in gelatin.
The benefits of gelatin comes down to collagen being the main player in the bodies most abundant tissue - connective tissue. Connective tissue makes up parts of the body such as skin, cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, adipose tissue etc. It is the most widely distributed tissue in the body as it's function is to literally hold your body together.
Connective tissue also makes up a large part of the digestive system in being a component of the different layers of the intestinal lining. When we talk about gut health we are talking about the intestines and their role in digestion and absorption of nutrients, the way they house your communities of bacteria and the local intestinal immune system and in supporting the production of important chemicals like the neurotransmitter serotonin and cellular mediators such as butyrate. Gelatin provides the nutrients for healthy connective tissue and subsequently assists with the different layers of the intestinal lining.
Additionally, amino acids also have a variety of functions within the body, for example;
- Is an inhibitory neurotransmitter within the nervous system (exerts a calming effect on the body) and has been shown to enhance the quality of sleep
- It helps with the digestion of fats through being a main conjugation factor for the synthesis of bile
- It helps to construct DNA and RNA necessary for correct cellular formation and function
- Assists in preventing the breakdown of muscle tissue and helps to repair damaged tissues
- Is a precursor to one of the bodies most potent antioxidants glutathione
In practice, food as medicine is by far the most important tool in the progression of health status. If you can incorporate daily practice of healthful dietary acts they eventually amount to healthful benefits. Do things for one day and you're unlikely to see a benefit, but do things regularly and you're likely to see the benefits over time.
The recipe for these little gut lovin' gelatin gummies provides you with something to incorporate regularly, in order to reap the benefits over time.
I used the NutraOrganics grass-fed gelatin for this recipe, which I have stocked in my little clinic space. Different gelatin products have different instructions so this recipe follows the instructions for this brand.
Blueberry, Lime and Vanilla Gelatin Gummies
Juice of 3-4 limes
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 tbs vanilla extract
3 tbs of raw honey
1 tbs coconut sugar
'Bloom' gelatin - add 1/4 cup of the gelatin to 1/2 cup of water and stir and set aside.
Heat the cup of blueberries in a pot with 1/4 of a cup of water, the coconut sugar and vanilla.
Smash the blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon until all the juices are squeezed into the mixture.
Strain and press the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring jug keeping the liquid. (I also use the pulp of the blueberries to eat with some coconut yoghurt as a snack)
Put the lime juice in to the saucepan with the blueberry liquid and add the honey and take off the stove once boiled. You need 200ml of this liquid. Add more water if needed or pour some out if there is too much.
Add the 'bloomed' gelatin mixture to the hot blueberry/lime liquid and stir until all dissolved.
Pour into silicone molds and put in the fridge for two hours before popping them out of the molds.
Keep in the fridge and use as bribes for little people instead of using chocolate and refined sugar sweets!
You can change the flavours depending on your tastebuds and the flavour combinations you like! You just need 200ml of the liquid to add to the 'bloomed' gelatin.
Tip: Use good quality silicone molds or you will do what I do every time and struggle to get them out of your containers :)