Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

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Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

Amidst all worsening stress I am increasingly convinced for that one inevitability of metabolic failure – starting from gut permeability or deterioration of the digestive lining (dubbed as “Leaky Gut”). I am yet to be clinically defined or diagnosed yet as such, despite many dispelling such condition as myth.

But I can at least testify; from having incorporated Gelatin amongst my meals, postworkout shakes as well as refeed day/s – few things already improved. Digestion notably becomes more “settled” down that much sooner. Rather than later. On refeed day/s I find that I feel more comfortable and confident to eat more than without it. Subtly but surely – connective tissue resilience have improved. 

If there is a particular type of proteins able at treating two birds with one stone – from maintaining joints with a historically proven overall gut + digestive support/s and also within powder form itself – as another viable source of many other conditionally essential amino acids, including Arginine…

…Then it has to be Gelatin. One may argue Hemp as a worthy match. But $60 per kilo? No, thanks.

 

Le Viandier de Taillevant / the earliest terminology usage of “Aspic”- before “Gelatin”

The forgotten essential.

Fascinatingly, an archaeological evidence suggested that humans were already using animal tissues as glue – to adhere various parts and components for ornaments, crafts and pottery.

Before “Gelatin” was called as such – the very first printed record out of a French recipebook “Le Viandier” in 1305.  suggested that “Aspic’; was thought to be the earliest embodiment of jelly-like food/s.

Fast forward today, we have found even more uses. Unbeknownst to many of us that gelatin paved the way for everything from our wallpapers. To our kitchen and all the way to cleaning-wares.

Unfortunately – “politics”, this “ism”, or that “ism” gets in the way. I implore thus we accept that “morality subscription” = reality compromises. Because few would willingly accept this reality – that we all play some role towards Ecological Martyrdom.

The future however looks promising. R&D surrounding cardiac & nerve tissue modelling, and “Bio-Ink”organ 3D printing, all based from the very essence of life itself – the humble Gelatin.

Nevertheless, not here trying to copy and paste or reword what the experts already knows. Ray Peat’s page on Gelatin, Skin and Stress – details the relevance of Glycine / Proline amino acids within gelatin towards overall liver health.

Some concerns on the Methionine balance from excess muscle meats versus Glycine from arguably more important gelatins from connective tissues – seemed plausible. Prolonged Methionine intakes over lean meats it seems – has been reputably linked to accumulate homocysteine (a genetics-determinant, suspecting yet undecisively convincing inflammatory marker). Yet dietary institutions kept pushing us towards low-fat dogma and lean muscle meats; further compounding this fear of imbalance. How ironic.

Even whey proteins seems suspect. But I am not about to willingly part from them over pea protein isolates; just for the latter’s lower methionine content. Both casual and habitual moderation inbetween these two – I feel is still a pragmatic necessity.

Methionine is still after all an inseparably critical amino acid for the synthesis of other essential aminos – Cysteine, and Taurine, to name a few. All contributes to the production of master anti-oxidant Glutathione. Worse still – methionine cannot be resynthesized in the body.

But one other aspect unique to Gelatin as a protein source is its impact on leptin & insulin mediator; which reportedly helps prolonging satiation and fullness.

But now to the important bits. A recipe.

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

How to set gelatin.

Generally speaking to “set” a gelatin powder you need a warm liquid source and few hours of cold storage. The premium and much higher priced brands claims they do dissolve completely in cool water; though I cannot testify this in person as obviously – they are far too expensive for regular usage. 

Gelatin can also be incorporated into savoury dishes. Though beware that if it’s to be submerged in any liquid or heated stocks it may “set” to gel – for which is its physical intent nonetheless anyway. I have nevertheless indeed tried adding it in some substitute amounts for my previous Pea Protein Meat Loaf recipe. It turns out just fine and baked without any problems.

I may not be an accomplished cook or a baker, but this page sets out a detailed explanation on what to do and what not to mix it with.  As a note for all you high fructose / fruit lovers – the bromelain enzyme content of many sour / tarty-tropical fruits such as pineapples, papayas – may prevent the gelatin to sets in. More within that page as recommended reading.

A quick Gelatin Whey Jelly recipe.

Humility-budget approved for that last solid meal of the day. Next to protein fluffs, I think I may have found my go-to dessert alternatives. Whilst protein fluffs (just requiring half glass of soda water, and 15g of WPC + sweetener)  may edge in terms of cost per serving, the jelly edge it out in terms of overall nutritional value.

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

Ingredients

Aeroplane Jelly® 2 paks. Half a satchet.
At $1.50 (average pricing) for 2 paks each carrying 9g of the powder – it’s already sweetened although beware that much of this is actually not the gelatin but added sulfurs and the swetener and colouring. However with its built in sweetener – to my palatability – even 2brothersfoods’ unflavoured whey protein concentrates is sufficiently flavoured by just HALF a satchet. So in one purchase of 9g worth you’ll get up to four (4) serves.

Additional (unflavoured) Gelatin powder. Up to 10 grams per supplementary amount.
Now this is where of course the real gelatin comes in mind. Common retail online street pricing is at least $40 per kilogram. The most affordable I found was at just under $25 delivered at 500g worth. My first few weeks have been reliant on using $3.70 storebought Mckenzie’s brand for a 100g supply, which unfortunately last only up to three days of use. Their “leaf” versions turns out at $5 for mere 20 grams, hardly worth it. Alas, what can I do? Frugality pushes you to the limits of accepting only what is bare-“bone” essentials of life.

(Obviously) the protein source of choice. I still am preferring the good old cheap Whey Protein Concentrates (unflavoured mixed with existing flavoured supply)
Use anywhere between from 15g to 20g. Though I’d warn that if you are using exclusively Pea Protein Isolates beware that its’ earth / “clay” like palate is still going to be embedded in the final product. No way of avoiding it unfortunately unless if you are willing to mask it with even more “earthy” spices – cinnamon and raw cacao powders both comes to mind.

Method

Hats off with gratitude first of all to Simon @ cutandjacked to have shared the best ratio of hot & cool liquids for the recipe.

Have 150ML water and mix in 15 to 20g of whey concentrates or pea protein isolates. Get a bowl and pour in ALL gelatin powders FIRST. Boil the kettle pour it at about 150ML. Pour in the other 150ML shake mix of the protein powder + water. Gently but just briefly – stir it around to disperse any excess clumps.

Fridge it for at least two hours. The more protein powder you use I find the quicker it sets. Otherwise realistically by about third or fourth hour – things should be set rigidly. Mine sets in usually at around one & half hours. It would already by this time reasonably firm yet at jelly-like consistency. Serve with 30 or 40g or so worth of (full fat of course) greek yoghurt. That’s it.

Macros.

This is assuming you are using the minimum 15g of protein amount, and using a minimum 4 grams amount of gelatin powder. Also here I am using ALDI Lyttos Natural (not light) Greek Yoghurt, 35g amount on top of finished product.

calories 129
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g 6 %
Saturated Fat 3 g 14 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 78 mg 3 %
Potassium 1 mg 0 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 0 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 19 g 37 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 0 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

To up the fat content – I would add coconut creams (though beware from experience it may impact sleep quality at night), dollops of sour creams or sparing sprinkles amount of linseeds. Also, works well with frozen berries.  Explore other different recipes, uses and cooking methods if you think you can afford more ingredients.

But how to use these gelatin powder outside of this recipe? Simply sprinkle as you would as condiment to existing post workout shakes or as first break-fast meal of the day. The grainniess will take some time getting used to, but we are all here for the benefits and sustenance, not complaining about elitist “taste” or “consistency”. On my refeed days I sprinkle randomly on rice puffs, oatmeals, and inbetween shakes.

Questions and concerns.

Paul Wong @ unsplash.com

1/3 “Gasp! Sulfur dioxide! Bad! Bad!”

I knew someone will complain about this. Cheaper gelatin powders such as in store household names (here in Australia we have McKenzies) – are often laden with sulfur dioxide as an added sulphite. Concerns seen amongst the Internet with this additive (coded as E202 or dubbed as SO2) seemed originated from its reputation as a poisonous gas; if inhaled directly.

Understandably, its allergenic potential to people with Asthma, seems warranted to suggest that SO2 intakes may need to be limited to select population. Coincidentally, a study found it to be damaging at the mitochondrion level, as well as observed association with arrythmias and heart disturbances. 

With anything “Bad” there is “Good”. Nature is confusing. SO2 is an antioxidant and blood-pressure lowering agent; in the context of hypertension. Any ill-informed pedestrian are readily quick to point that MSM and SO2 are both the same thing, yet biologically differ in their metabolism and interpretation. Irrespective, “sulfur” is believe it or not, the third most abundant mineral makeup of any entire human body itself.

So what do I make of this? Yes, all those concerns on the industrial counterpart SOseems very bad, indeed.

Hence why I am willing to spend even more money from my overdraft on proper Gelatin without additives. That study above  on heart disturbances symptom thankfully was intervened by the widely available N-acetyl-Cysteine supplement (shortly abbreviated as “NAC”).

Hence, this suspects the need for maintaining liver health. Although I am never simply “suggesting” to go out and buy NAC supplements as a permanent band-aid.

At some stage, you may have to beg or steal whatever necessary to ensure you get the proper gelatin.

For those who are nosy enough poking around and ask incessantly what “I would do” – I remain pragmatic to keep Milk thistle, taurine, and MSM. Milk Thistle; with or without Taurine; both remain as my further digestive aid on top of betaine HCLs and pepsins. Multiple studies examining liver damage, especially on alcoholics seems attenuated with Stevia as sweetener. I myself, would continue supplementing with Organic MSM throughout my fasting days upon waking up (1 tsp shot with water), but since many days recently – forego without it altogether as I feel the most benefits of fasting without taking any supplements at all in the morning.

Phan Đức @ Unsplash.com

2/3 What about vegetarians? Agar-Agar?

Note: I have not personally testified or used these alternatives. Why? Because of oppressed financial liberty. Take all this research as is to your interpretation and experimentation.

Agar-Agar (short for agaropectin), a gelling agent derivative out of red algae seems promising, perhaps less as a viable source of amino acids but more on the minute micronutrients (some magnesium, calcium and manganese) and a source of fermentable fibre. I am however hesitant to use it. My reasons for this? Are two-fold.

Firstly anything labelled as Agar-Agar is likely to be no different than a carageenan; an additive despite its natural origin from the same edible red seaweed species that Agar is made from. Carageenan unfortunately may impose adverse undesireable effects to some people. I certainly do. Personal exploration and journalling remains critical. Furthermore, many instore household Gelatin replacement brands have all sorts of corn derivatives.

Secondly, Agar/s are NOT WITHOUT carbohydrates. They have a substantial caloric response with as much as 81 grams of usable carbohydrates per 100g. Hence, they’re 80% carbo-loaded. A teaspoon worth of powders will net about 8 grams worth of carbohydrates.  Not a problem if you’re a carb-munching pedestrian. Not good for us LC/Keto folks.

Coincidentally on a side note – I may have to re-evaluate my prior praise on dairy-free alternative milks bearing the above additive. Almond and/or coconut milks – any symptom ranging from stuffiness, “food-just-sitting-there” sensation and noticeably – diarrhoea and “burning”-like stool symptoms.

For many years I am still aware of Konstantin Monarsky’s “Fibre Menace“. To this day – there is still lingering confusion on fermentable fibres association with colon cancer. Unfortunately, amongst the suspecting gum products in my pantry – guar gum and pysllium husk included – belong to this risky category. Whilst I never consume copious amounts, I’d still practise cycling in different “pseudo” gelling agents – between Xanthan gum, Guar’s (although I do not feel well on it at times) and onwards of course from now – regular Gelatin. 

Another alternative is Locust Bean Gum.It might be the most expensive out of all gums. Whilst I have not personally tried or incorporating this in any margins – there is some concern on its prevention of mineral uptake; particularly Calcium, Zinc, and Iron. Not good news, but that study uses quite a high amounts (9g per every 1000 daily calories). The only way pragmatic advice if only readers were to accept it is to perhaps cycle it out inbetween other gums.

This leaves us only one last option. Be a (somewhat flexible) octo-vegetarian. If you can at least allow yourself seafood intakes – marine source of collagens are available, but are likely to be even more expensive. Expect to pay twice over beef or chicken sources premium labels. Good to know that collagens derived from Salmon at least – caused a favourable decrease of triglycerides in one rats study; despite having no differences to any other physiological or metabolic markers.

Gelatin: recipe, essentials and history

3/3 Gelatin or Collagen Hydrosylate / other alternatives?

Collagen hydrosylate is the more premium and upmarket term reserved amongst the much higher priced version of the same thing. Gelatin.  Think $40 upwards for only HALF a kilogram (454g to be precise). They claim and promise a much better solubility / mixability and quality of outcomes due to grass fed / grass finished sources. Of course, I would not deny nor refute these confident claims anyway as they are beyond my affordability range.

What about Glycine or Proline by themselves? Glycine by itself is in my opinion from affordability standpoint – not worth getting at in isolation. Unless if you know what you’re really looking for (do your own research beforehand), alongside with money to burn then go ahead. I consider Gelatin itself as as a unique, synergised group of amino-acids to be consumed as they are in whollistic form.

Much akin to BCAAs supplements – I would NEVER bother getting only Leucine. Or only IsoLeucine. Or only Valine. In isolation.

Many such chained amino acids – seemingly best to work together in natural synergy. Likewise I have been recently surprised – for finding out that even as simple Creatine Monohydrate itself – has plausibly been studied for leaky gut syndrome. Coincidentally its perfect make up of Glycine, Methionine and Arginine – proves it all succinctly.

Otherwise all we have left accessibility wise – is bone broths, and regular beef / chicken stocks. They DO have some of those constituents, but perhaps less so in concentrated amount. Considering that gelatin itself is a protein tissue, if you can actually chew the actual thing – then that wins my conviction as the more authentic go-to source. But I would still keep drinking the stocks warmed with ACV’s, nonetheless.

And There you have it. Another recipe article plus good amount of insight/s done and dusted. Many things demand personal exploration at your circumstances. By all means if you earn a comfortable expendable income – Collagen Hydrosylate should be ranked highly in your pantry.  Comment your thoughts below.

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