Gelatin is a worthwhile consideration for balancing protein intake. Although it does not have the kind of amino acids needed for post-workout muscle recovery, it does have what is needed for connective tissue health.
In taking a Paleo view of nutrition, our modern protein consumption has become unbalanced favoring a limited diet of muscle meat and its amino acids over the aminos found in organs, cartilage, bone and sinew. We throw a lot of the animal away that would have been consumed by a hunter gatherer. That leaves us deficient in essential building blocks such as glycine, proline and collagen needed to support healthy joints, connective tissue, skin and bone.
Studies demonstrate gelatin’s ability to maintain strong ligament, tendon, and bone integrity providing clear benefits to weightlifters, body builders and other athletes whose joints and connective tissues are regularly subjected to stress. Gelatin builds the strength of our muscle’s supporting structures and reduces joint pain which in turn supports successful muscle-building.
Gelatin can be flavorlessly and texturelessly added to cooking or a protein shake in the form of non-congealing collagen hydrolysate as well as used in the traditional gelling form to make snacks such this week’s recipe below.* I purchase both forms of gelatin from Great Lakes as their gelatin products are antibiotic and hormone free.
Blueberry Peach Gelatin Squares
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh peaches, peeled and diced (I almost threw out my mealy end-of-season peaches before realizing they were perfect for this recipe; any disappointing fruit would work for this!)
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon**
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup gelatin
Combine blueberries, peaches, coconut water, honey and cinnamon in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Let simmer stirring occasionally until fruit has liquified, about 10 minutes.
While fruit is simmering, add gelatin to coconut milk and let sit for 10 minutes. After sitting, add to fruit mixture and stir for a few minutes until gelatin has dissolved; do not allow to boil.
Pour mix into a square pyrex pan or mold of choice. Chill a few hours then dice as desired and enjoy!
*10 grams a day recommended
**The lovely thing about cinnamon and other sweet-friendly spices such as cardamom is that they enhance the perception of sweetness allowing one to minimize the use of sweeteners in a recipe.