Odds are good you've heard about the many benefits of gelatin and collagen. Both have been a standard in our repertoire for a long time and I can personally vouch for the benefits I've seen both for myself and our kids thanks to our frequent use. Stronger nails, thicker, more healthy hair, less joint pain, improved digestion and fewer complaints when growing pains come around. Speaking purely from a dollar-to-benefit comparison, gelatin really is worth it, especially considering how easy it can be to incorporate into the everyday diets of children. Soups made with collagen rich bone broth, smoothies with a hefty scoop of collagen powder and the ease of making homemade "gummies" mean kids are less likely to protest to ingesting crushed bone dust. :)
I tend to just make our gelatins with whatever juice I have around, as long is it's free of sugar and has some other potential benefit (we also like pomegranate and cranberry) but these cherry treats are the ones that get requested the most. And I also love that they simultaneously get the benefits of coconut oil, too. We especially go through a lot of these during sports season when little bodies are being stressed under the strain of heavy physical activity.
While I'm sure you can use a standard blender for these I can only vouch for an immersion blender.
Creamy Cherry Gelatins
- 2 1/2 cups 100% cherry juice
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, solid is just fine
- 3 1/2 tbsp powdered beef gelatin such as Great Lakes or Vital Proteins but NOT collagen!
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, pour 2 cups of cherry juice, reserving remaining 1/2 cup in the measuring vessel, ideally a glass pyrex. Heat the juice over medium heat on the stove. While the juice is heating, slowly and with constant whisking sprinkle the gelatin into the reserved juice. Once juice begins to boil, add frozen cherries and heat again until just simmering. Remove pot from heat and stir in coconut oil and vanilla. Carefully use an immersion blender to blend juice, cherries, coconut oil and vanilla until completely smooth. By now the gelatin mixture should be solid (not like concrete, you should still be able to pierce with a fork). Scrape the gelatin mixture into the warm juice mixture and place back on the burner, which should be off but likely still warm. Slowly stir for a few minutes until gelatin has completely dissolved. From this point you can gently pour into cute little molds...or just pour into an 8x8 pan like I do! Carefully place into the fridge for a good 6-8 hours, until nice and firm. Cut into squares and serve whenever - these are the perfect snack any time of day but be forewarned - they will not stand up to a hot lunch bag!
Makes 16-20 square gummies, depending on cutting size