Jelly Treats

Knox Gelatin advertisementA few decades ago, it was a trendy thing to use Knox Gelatin for everything from tomato aspic, to losing weight, and repairing splitting nails. The company made claims about its health benefits and the general thought was, ‘it couldn’t hurt’.

Fast forward to the present and what I’ve learned about nutrition and traditional foods, and it seems there was a good reason consuming homemade soup was good for you: the broth or stock that was the base was an excellent source of cooked collagen or gelatin. Collagen is mostly composed of glycine and proline, two amino acids found in the bones, fibrous tissues & organs or animals that we no longer get enough of in our modern diet.

Yet these amino acids are the building blocks of every cell in our body, not only used in bone, teeth, skin, hair and nail growth. Collagen is present in all the smooth muscle tissues, blood vessels digestive tract, heart, gallbladder, kidneys and bladder holding the cells and tissues together. It’s difficult to emphasize just how important this is for our body. So, Knox was onto something with touting its product as healthy.

The best solution would be a return to regular consumption of homemade soup or broth but that could be a stretch for busy young families. Another more appealing solution, especially to kids who may not get excited about a bowl of chicken soup, would be a take off on the popular gummie bears. In this case, a jelly square or shape that combines a fun snack with the benefits of collagen.

Gelatin snacks are good not just for kids, however. The amino acids glycine and proline are also anti-inflammatory which is good news for boomers worried about joints and the heart. And, rather than spending a lot of money on expensive collagen creams for mature skin eating gelatin will work more effectively from the inside.

Great Lakes GelatinWhile Knox has been a long time producer of gelatin, my preference is a provider of gelatin from grassfed animals, rather than mass raised in factory farms. Great Lakes Gelatin has two kinds of collagen and the one I use is labelled Gelatin (in the red container), rather than the Collagen Hydrolysate (green container). The Gelatin is the one appropriate for getting food to gel (jelly, panna cotta, etc.).

Jelly Treats
Yummy gelatin fruit treats
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh or frozen mixture fruit (cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  2. 1/2 cup water (optional: replace with coconut water, pure fruit juice, tea)
  3. 1/4 cup unflavoured gelatin
Instructions
  1. Line an 8-inch square baking tin with parchment, or use a silicone mold with fun shapes
  2. Blend fruit and water (or other liquid) until smooth
  3. Over a saucepan set a sieve and pour in blended fruit; stir and press mixture through sieve until you end up with smooth puree in saucepan and a glob of seeds & pulp in the sieve. Discard the glob
  4. Into the smooth puree, slowly whisk the gelatin until thoroughly combined. Let sit (this is called blooming in gelatin lingo) for 5 minutes
  5. The puree will be thick; whisk over medium high heat until mixture is pourable and hot. Do not boil! Remove from heat
  6. If using a baking tin pour mixture in, scraping pan as necessary; if you're using silicone molds, it's easier to pour into a 2-cup measuring cup and then pour into molds
  7. Set gelatin in fridge until firm--2-3 hours minimum. Cut into squares or remove from molds and transfer to securely covered container. Keep refrigerated
Notes
  1. As with any gelatin, do not use fresh pineapple, kiwi or papaya--the natural enzymes in these fruits prevent proper setting
  2. In the past I didn't sieve the pureed fruit but the treats are much more appealing to kids made with the smooth puree; plus, no seeds in your teeth
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About Leslie

Trying a little bit of everything: writing, learning Wordpress & basic coding, cooking, playing with grandkids, travelling, gardening, making soap & body treats, and getting older. Not necessarily in that order.