Gelatin: Wiggly, Jiggly Goodness


Today, I present you with a challenge: Never buy artificially flavored gelatin again! But don’t worry. I’m not just going to challenge you—I’m also going to provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Why? Because gelatin is great for your overall health, except when it includes refined sugars, acids, and artificial colorings and flavors. Not to mention artificial sweeteners in the low-calorie version.

Now, I know that “jello” is a staple in many households. It’s often made with raspberries and topped with whipped cream for a potluck or dessert at a family gathering. Other times it’s made into a sturdier version that’s cut into squares you can pick up with your fingers—aka, “finger jello.” I would never tell you not to make your favorite variation of this American classic. But I am here to tell you that you can make it yourself—without the artificial stuff—for a fun snack or a well-received dessert. And it couldn’t be easier.

First things first, though. Why should you include gelatin on your menu? According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, some of the benefits of gelatin include:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, both of which are great for your skin, bone and tendon strength, and blood vessels—and can even help ease the pain associated with arthritis.
  • Amino acid glycine to help gastric acid production and aid digestion. Those with peptic ulcers or digestive tract issues should definitely give it a try.
  • Protein enhancement, allowing us to get the full benefits of other protein sources we consume.

Now, onto the ingredients you’ll need to make healthier jello:

  • Unflavored gelatin. I can find this at my local health food store, but you can buy it online here.
  • Fresh-squeezed or organic, not-from-concentrate juice. The choices are only limited by your imagination. What’s your favorite kind of juice? Turn it into jello.

That’s it! I told you it was simple. Of course, you could include some organic fresh fruit and/or top it with some homemade whipped cream, but keeping it basic works, too.

The first time I ventured into the culinary world of homemade jello, I used this recipe. Thank you, Martha Stewart! Since then, I’ve experimented with a kombucha jello recipe, as well as an herbal tea version. (I enjoyed both, but my boys definitely prefer the fruit juice variety.) To make the beloved finger jello, simply add more gelatin. This makes it so firm that you can pick it up and munch away.

It’s true that you shouldn’t eat anything with this much fruit juice on a regular basis, but it’s definitely a tasty treat that you can make occasionally for your kids and still feel decent about. To reap the benefits of gelatin in your diet more often, make sure you always have some bone broth on hand to include in your soups, stews, and sauces.

Eventually I’d like to try my hand at using gelatin to make homemade marshmallows—just to say I did—but I’m not there yet. For now, I’ll stick to my regular cup of bone broth or an occasional treat of fruit juice jello to keep moving my family toward optimal health with gelatin.

Are you ready to accept my challenge to never buy artificially flavored gelatin again? Awesome! If you already have unflavored gelatin around your house, what’s your favorite way to prepare it?

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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self-health | whole food nutrition

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