Do you ever have bone broth envy?
When you read about bloggers who have a perpetual pot or slow cooker of bone broth going all week long, dipping some out and drinking it, using it in recipes daily and reaping the benefits of all thatand …do you ever wish you had it together enough to keep something like that up (or had enough bones, or a family who liked drinking it, etc.)?
If you’ve read enough about the health benefits of gelatin, like resilient joints, boosted immunity, improved digestion, and vibrant hair and nails, you probably got the feeling you have to eat bone broth all the time – either that perpetual broth in a mug every morning or constantly including it in some way in your meal plans by cooking rice in it or incorporating soups as a main or starter to a meal.
It’s really hard for me to keep up on a daily broth goal, especially in the summer as the weather heats up and life gets busier.
I don’t always feel like a mug of hot liquid in the morning, and it’s definitely nicer to have a cold salad, maybe with some grilled meat, instead of hot soup and bread (although my family does still eat quite a bit of soup, much to my 3-year-old’s dismay).
This post is sponsored by Vital Proteins.
You Can Break Free from Broth Envy!
The key to the broth habit really isn’t as much in the mug as in the components of the broth.
What people are usually looking for in their daily dose is gelatin, the powerhouse in the joints that is slowly infused into the broth.
So if you want to seek traditional foods and feel like a failure because you can’t keep up the broth habit, don’t lose hope.
You can find gelatin, the important part, without the broth.
This is great news for me, because not only is it more difficult to talk myself into hot soups in the summer – or even great meal planning to think ahead enough to thaw broth for making rice – but I also have a lot of trouble keeping up on making bone broth in the warmer months.
In the winter, I love piling a ton of bones into my biggest pot, simmering it all day, then plunking the pot down in the cold garage overnight and picking things up again in the morning. If I’m busy, I can let the bones (or broth) sit a few days before starting the next batch or straining and storing the broth.
I can also store jars of finished broth in the garage rather than playing a losing round of Tetris trying to fit everything into our refrigerator.
So for me, broth-making in the summer is a huge hassle and major feat of organization, and I don’t always have the bandwidth to do it.
When I don’t, however, I start to feel guilty that my family isn’t regularly getting a basic building block for health.
Newsflash: High Protein Smoothie Nearly Kills Blendtec
My mom nearly broke my big fancy high-powered blender just by adding a tablespoon of one ingredient.
And I’m the one who recommended it, even purchased the stuff for her to use.
My dad had been told to eat more protein as he recovered from bladder removal surgery (for cancer), and we were trying to find ways to do that without loading him up on meat, meat and more meat (and eggs). Not that there’s anything wrong with meat, but it’s expensive and already something he consumed in abundance before he got sick.
I remembered from an old high protein foods post I’d written that gelatin, the powdered stuff, has a surprising amount of protein in a small portion of gelatin.
I had often wondered if one could make a protein drink with gelatin as the base, and I figured that I could make it easy on my mom and counseled her to included gelatin in my dad’s diet in the quickest way I had read about – in a smoothie.
I am a pro at hiding all sorts of stuff in smoothies, from greens to chia seeds, kelp powder to probiotics. I knew some people added gelatin for the protein boost and joint health, and I wanted my dad to have the immune boosting benefits of gelatin as he was going through chemo anyway.
I sent my folks some well-sourced gelatin through Amazon and was surprised to hear back from my mom that, mixed with frozen fruit an liquid, it practically seized up the blender!! The cold immediately thickened the gelatin which gelled and was too much for the blender to bear.
Trust me when I say I was pretty excited to get a note from our new sponsor, Vital Proteins, explaining the difference between cold-soluble and heat-soluble gelatin. I’d heard those terms before but never knew quite where to find this elusive “cold soluble” stuff and whether it had the same health benefits.
Now that I’ve tried it, I’m a bit embarrassed that I didn’t just figure it out and jump in – it couldn’t be easier, and it’s the solution to all my bone broth envy and impotence in the summer months!
My Favorite New Smoothie Add-in
I don’t do smoothie recipes.
In the morning, I can’t be bothered with checking amounts and ingredients, or we’d never get the kids to school on time. If we’re having a smoothie, it’s a second food along with something else, and it needs to be made FAST.
I have a “smoothie bag” in my freezer full of other bags: peeled banana pieces broken into thirds, lightly steamed greens, organic cranberries, kelp powder and other frozen fruit. I can pull it out along with some milk and yogurt and start throwing things into the blender until it looks full enough, hit the button and be on the way to breakfast.
As long as I follow my “framework recipe” of a handful or two of greens, at least one whole banana, a cup or two of milk and/or yogurt, and another handful of some sort of frozen fruit, the smoothie always works out fine.
I put kelp powder, probiotics, chia or flax seeds and other stuff in regularly, and this month I’ve started incorporating collagen peptides from Vital Proteins. It’s completely tasteless (I tried it in plain water just to make sure for you!) and works beautifully without bogging down the blender.
So I finally learned my lesson. Collagen is really cold-soluble gelatin, with all the same health benefits, such as:
- gut healing and sealing (see GAPS Diet info for more)
- high protein source, which means it can help you feel satiated longer
- joint health
- tightens skin and reduces signs of aging
- increases bone and mineral density
- digestive aid, especially of milk, meat, beans and grains
- reduces inflammation of gut lining, supporting nutrient absorption
- “protein sparer” – helps our body use the protein from meat most efficiently
- improves treatment of peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer
- treats malnutrition and improves bone density
- immune booster
- Sources: 1, 2
Collagen is the basic building block of skin, hair, nails, bones and joints – 25-33% of a person’s entire body!
Our ancestors practiced whole animal nutrition, meaning they didn’t waste an ounce of a beast they killed. Collagen from skin and joints of animals was part of their everyday diet, but in our age of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (and who knows what happens to all the other chicken parts!?), most of us have lost that practice and the benefits.
Using collagen – cold-soluble gelatin – on a daily basis is an easy way to incorporate these important nutrients, and the fact that it’s all shelf stable is great when you’re low on fridge space, too.
Who Has Time for a Smoothie Every Day Though?
My whole story about not being able to juggle copious amounts of bone broth in the summer months applies to blenders, too. No way can I get that thing dirty every day. In the winter, I can leave the whole container in the garage overnight and simply make another smoothie the next day, no additional dishes.
But not this time of year.
And as I told you Monday when I broke down my husband’s recent hair analysis and mineral balance test, he is supposed to drink at least a cup of bone broth a day to support his digestion.
We’ve had mugs a few times this week, but it’s an uphill battle.
We learned another good collagen trick though – where has this stuff been all my real food life? I’m sad now that I waited so long to figure out what cold-soluble gelatin really was!
How to Add Gelatin to Coffee
Hubby still drinks coffee every morning (although half-caf now to better support his adrenals), and if you simply mix a scoop of collagen protein gelatin into a bit of milk in the mug first, stir it in, then pour in the hot coffee, it all dissolves to nothingness. This stuff is the regular gelatin that will “gel up” in broth, jello, gummies, etc. (So don’t make your coffee into iced coffee!).
He promises there’s no taste whatsoever either, and he would be totally picky about that if it wasn’t true, trust me!
You could also use the collagen peptides (cold soluble) in coffee too, if you don’t use cold milk to mix the regular gelatin into.
I’m really happy to have an easy way to get gelatin into my family, without needing a recipe, without having to make or plan anything, and without any complicated steps.
I’m really curious to see over time if we see any improvement in joint pain (or maybe if my crow’s feet just disappear! Wouldn’t that be cool?). I’ll be sharing a homemade jello-type recipe in August for back-to-school lunch packing (eek, let’s not even think of that yet!), and I’ll be sure to let you know how our gelatin boost has been going!
If the routine if easy enough for me, believe me, it’s easy enough for you. You can find 100% grassfed, odorless gelatin and collagen at Vital Proteins.