Curious about collagen, or what about gelatin? In this blog post I am sharing with you my favourite paleo chocolate pudding made with gelatin and coconut milk. As much as I love my chocolate chia avocado pudding, I wanted to create something a bit different. I tasted a very similar version of this pudding at one of my favourite healthy restaurants in Toronto and knew that I wanted to recreate this at home. It took a couple of tries, but I figured out a way to make it that I think you will absolutely love too.
Collagen has kind of been all the rage lately in the health and wellness space and I’ve been enjoying it for a few years now as well. I can definitely say I have seen an improvement in joint pain, as well as externally with my hair, skin and nails. I was curious to try gelatin in a recipe so I got some from my favourite collagen company, Vital Proteins.
What is Collagen Used For:
Collagen is found within us, as it is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is found in our muscles, tendons, bones, skin, digestive system and blood vessels. Since it is so abundant, you may be wondering why do I need to consume it as a supplement? Well, unfortunately as we age, our collagen production begins to decline. This starts to happen in our 30’s.
The type of collagen we choose to take matters. Currently, there is no plant-based or vegan source of collagen. So it will come from animals, usually bovine or marine. Either choice is good, but I would suggest no matter what, you ensure that the brand you are getting is of high quality. If it is bovine, grass-fed and organic/pastured is preferred and marine collagen should be from a wild caught source.
What are the benefits of collagen:
There are numerous health benefits of collagen, here are some of them:
- Helps with joint health
- Helps improve digestion
- Helps support your gut health
- Helps with hair, skin and nails
- Is a complete source of protein, ideal for adding into any type of food or beverage
- Helps with tendon and bone strength
What is Gelatin Used for:
Gelatin is something that is a little bit different. Essentially, it’s what makes jell-o jiggle and wiggle. So why exactly would you want to use it? Well, similar to collagen, gelatin is derived from collagen and obtained from various animal body parts. And although that doesn’t sound too appetizing, it is very nutrient dense and contains lots of the same goodness that collagen does. However, it acts a little differently than collagen. It will dissolve in hot water, but gel up in cold, making it the perfect addition to my paleo chocolate pudding. That gelatinous quality is one of the best things about it because when we consume it, it helps give our bodies that same elasticity.
Similar to collagen, it is also important to ensure high quality gelatin, so you won’t find that in store bought jell-o unfortunately. Aim for the same grass-fed and organic/pastured bovine source to ensure it is of the highest quality.
Here are the health benefits of gelatin:
- Helps with gut health and digestion
- Protects your joints and helps with joint pain
- Can help improve sleep quality
- Improves your skins health and appearance
- Can help maintain strong bones
A lot of the same benefits from collagen are also found in gelatin because they are structurally very similar as they contain the same amino acids. However, the way that they are used is very different. Gelatin forms a gel like consistency when mixed with cold water and can also help to thicken hot liquids like soups and stews. This makes it more practical for cooking.
Paleo chocolate Pudding:
This paleo chocolate pudding has gelatin in it which makes it thicken up quite nicely and makes it more jell-o like. I really like this type of consistency plus when you add the gelatin, it also boosts the protein content as well. So because of the more jell-o like consistency, I am not sure if it is pudding like enough, but because of a little thing called SEO, it’s called pudding. Sorry, but that is just the way it is.
If you want to make this keto, use the lakanto monkfruit sweetener as I did. I truly find this type of sweetener the best tasting which is why I use it over stevia. With that being said, I don’t follow any particular diet (in fact I am anti diet) but I know many still do for other health reasons. So I am giving you options with this recipe. But feel free to use other sugars in its replacement, such as coconut sugar, brown sugar or anything else. I don’t know how a liquid sugar (such as maple syrup or honey) would work because I haven’t tried it personally. You can add the additional topping such as coconut whipped cream and chocolate chips if you want, or add some fresh berries or nothing at all. The choice is yours!
This paleo chocolate pudding is quite rich, which is why I suggest serving it in smaller quantities but you do you! I used small mason jars to store them in.
Paleo Chocolate Pudding with Gelatin
A deliciously decadent chocolate pudding made extra thick with the use of gelatin.
Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to a large mixing bowl, and then sprinkle in the 1 tbsp gelatin evenly. Let it sit without mixing.
Add the remaining coconut milk to a small pot over medium heat and whisk in the raw cacao powder, sweetener of choice, vanilla and sea salt. Mix well.
Remove the warmed coconut milk and slowly add to the large bowl of gelatin and coconut milk while whisking constantly. Stir and whisk until there are no clumps.
Use a fine mesh sieve while pouring into your containers to ensure it is smooth and no clumps remain.
Once it has been poured into your containers, seal the top and let it sit in the fridge for about 2 hours or more.
Remove from the fridge and top with chocolate chips and some coconut whipped cream or fresh berries.
I have tried different brands of collagen over the years and I 100% stand by and use Vital Proteins exclusively. It has zero taste, blends seamlessly in liquid (both hot and cold) and the ingredients are sourced from high quality sources.
So tell me, do you use collagen or gelatin?
If you make this paleo chocolate pudding, please tag me on Instagram!