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Jello: a gelatin dessert. The wiggly-giggly dessert you probably played with as a child, poking at it with your fingers, and swishing it around inside your mouth. When I was young, I remember dreaming about playing in a whole bath tub filled with Jello! How much fun that would have been! Before we have too much fun reminiscing about our Jello-playing days, let’s consider if Jello’s main ingredient, gelatin, is also “fun” to our insides.
Gelatin: Good Or Bad?
The functions of gelatin when taken internally are
- Helping digest cooked foods. Raw food compounds attract liquids. When we eat raw food, they attract digestive juices for rapid and effective digestion. Cooked foods are harder to digest because they repel liquids. Here is where gelatin comes in; it attracts liquids, even after it has been heated! Nourishing Traditions concludes: The same property by which gelatin attracts water to form desserts, like Jello, allows it to attract digestive juices to the surface of cooked food particles.
- Treating intestinal disorders (hyper-acidity, colitis, and Crohn’s disease).
- Allowing the body to more fully utilize the complete proteins eaten. Using gelatin-rich broths is a great protein fill-in for those who cannot afford large amounts of meat in their diets, even though it is not a complete protein.
- Treating many chronic disorders (anemia, diseases of the blood, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, and cancer).
- Aiding in the digestion of milk and milk products. This benefit of gelatin may be most helpful for mothers who are making their own baby formula using milk. N. R. Gotthoffer wrote in Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, when gelatin was added to cow’s milk the fat emulsified and the casein of the milk was stabilized, improving the digestion and absorption of the fat. Milk containing gelatin helped infants digest it more rapidly and completely.
- Supporting liver health. Gelatin contains a large amount of the amino acid, glycine, which the liver uses for detoxification.
Gelatin is good for you! In fact, using a gelatin-rich broth on a frequent basis will provide continuous protection from many health problems!
Where your gelatin comes from is so important because the fake stuff will actually harm your body. The best gelatin to buy is what occurs naturally. In powdered form some great brands to use are Great Lakes and Bernard Jensen which are made from pastured animals and do not contain MSG.
Another great source of gelatin is homemade bone broth. This is a great base for making your soups taste even more delicious!
- Sugar – the main ingredient in jello is supposed to be gelatin, not sugar! So much sugar is harmful to our bodies, especially white sugar.
- Gelatin – most likely contains MSG.
- Adipic Acid (for tartness) – is mildly toxic.
- Natural and Artifical Flavor
- Disodium Phosphate and Sodium Citrate (control acidity)
- Fumaric Acid (for tartness)
- Red 40 – may cause hyperactivity in children.
- Yellow 6 – may cause an allergic reaction. Read more about the dangers of artifical food dyes.
- Blue 1 – may cause an allergic reaction.
You definitely don’t want to eat this jello. If you have some boxes of jello in your pantry right now, toss them in the trash and claim a Real-Food Victory Point! Oh-Yeah!
Now, let’s make some real jello!
- 2 Tablespoons Gelatin, powdered, from pastured animals (Bernard Jensen or Great Lakes brand)
- 2 Cups Freshly squeezed juice from fresh or frozen fruit, any flavor! (I used store-bought organic juice)
- 3 Tablespoons Raw Honey, taste your juice first to see how sweet it is already, then add your honey to taste.
- Juice the fruit using a juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, you can also use a blender or food processor and then strain the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Mix the gelatin into 1/2 cup of the fruit juice in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir or whisk until completely blended and no evidence of powder remains.
- Let cool.
- In a mixing bowl, blend together the gelatin-juice mixture with the rest of the fruit juice.
- Pour into a glass baking pan or jello mold.
- Cover and put in the fridge for several hours until set.
- When set, carefully unmold or cut into cubes.