A few years ago, after diet number “who knows” battling the last 15 pounds of my 60+ weight loss, my hair was thinning and my nails were brittle. Enter flavorless gelatin, derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones. (Macabre. And I used to be a vegan.) It has about 30 calories per tablespoon and is all protein, mainly glycine and proline. Want to learn more about the health benefits of gelatin? Click HERE andHERE.
For starters, you can get the basic Knox brand from the store, but a much cheaper option is to order in bulk. I’ve used NOW brand beef gelatin powder, which is about $25 for FIVE POUNDS (which lasts FOREVER) as well as Great Lakes brand, which is considerably more expensive but is a finer powder (which lends to slightly better gelling) and is from free-range cows (you can order porcine gelatin as well, but I haven’t yet tried this.)
I’ve experimented with using it to thicken soup, ice cream, smoothies, and to make my own “jigglers.” Of all these methods, my favorite by far is “moo-sse.” Seriously, I LOVE this stuff and eat it almost every day. The gelatin keeps my nails and hair strong and shiny, and this fairly low-calorie dessert keeps me satisfied after dinner. You get a HUGE serving for around 100 low-carb calories. Plus- there are INFINITE possibilities for mix-ins! I’m sharing my recipe for basic chocolate pudding in this post, but STAY TUNED for many more, and please, feel free to share any combinations you dream up!
First, I’ll show you how to set the gelatin:
Basic gelatin prep:
Makes enough for about two servings of pudding
2 T Gelatin
4 c. Water
Measure 1 c. water into a microwave-safe container. Sprinkle gelatin into the water and immediately whisk with a fork until combined. Let the mixture sit undisturbed for about 8 minutes. Pop the whole thing in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until water is warm, almost hot, to the touch.** Add the remaining 3 c. water and whisk until blended, cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours. This stuff will keep for awhile- I’ve never had any spoil on me.
**Note: If you have a fancy-schmancy microwave, it will take less time. I have the cheapest one I could find- but I would imagine the longest you’d want to heat the water with any model would be about 1:15. It’s important to get this “just right,” so I wouldn’t recommend doubling or halving the recipe.
On to the MOO-SSE (get it?!):
- ~2 T Cocoa (I prefer Hershey’s Special Dark)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- Liquid Stevia, to taste
- Almond or Coconut milk
- Cayenne pepper (personal favorite! You’ve gotta try it!)
- Nutritional Yeast
- Maca powder
- A tiny bit of xanathan or guar gum to thicken and smooth
- Cottage cheese (If you can tolerate dairy, I HIGHLY recommend this- it makes the pudding extra creamy)
- A TBSP or two of heavy cream