Jiggling rings and towers of gelatin can bring back unappetizing memories of a culinary era when Jell-O was king. So it’s understandable if you read the title of this post and said, “Seriously?”
Yes, seriously. Forget about flavored gelatin rings made with mini-marshmallows and canned pineapple or with Miracle Whip, peas and diced ham. Instead, envision a rich and creamy dessert with the flavor of fresh, ripe berries and the gentle sweetness of coconut milk. Think about an appetizer that tastes just like salmon mousse, except you can serve it in slices without any need for crackers or bread. And this is just the beginning. With some unflavored, powdered gelatin and a little creativity there is no limit to what you can come up with.
Although the ideal way to add gelatin to your diet is through bone broth and gelatin-rich cuts of meat, it’s easy to add even more by using powdered gelatin. Plus, it’s fun too. If you have kids, make sure to bring them into the kitchen to watch powdered gelatin work its magic.
Because powdered gelatin is mostly odorless and flavorless (those drinking it straight out of a glass might disagree) it can be combined with an endless array of ingredients to make both sweet and savory dishes. Once you have the basic process of cooking with gelatin down, you can experiment with different liquids, proteins, vegetables and fruits.
The two recipes below will walk you through the process of cooking with gelatin step-by-step, but as a general guideline first mix 1-2 tablespoons of gelatin powder into 1/2 cup of cold liquid.
Once the powder disappears and a loose gelatin forms (within a minute) then add 1/2 cup of hot liquid to dissolve the gelatin.
The liquids you use can be anything from water to coconut milk to broth, lemon juice, coffee, tea, etc..
Then, add another cup of any liquid to the dissolved gelatin or add a semi-liquid like sour cream, yogurt or mayo. Lastly, add 1-3 cups of flavorings: seafood, meat or vegetables for savory appetizers and sliced or pureed fruit to desserts. Pour the mixture into a ring mold or other container and chill until firm and you’ll have yourself a gelatin-rich treat.
As you can see, the variations are endless. After one try you’ll realize how easy it is to whip up gelatin desserts and appetizers that are fun to make and eat, genuinely delicious and completely Primal.
**Note: For a consistency that is smoother and closer to salmon mousse, blend the celery, green onions, dill and salmon in a food processor until very finely chopped and smooth. For a chunkier consistency, just chop the celery, onion and dill by hand and break apart the salmon with a fork.
Pour the cold water into a medium bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. After a minute, when the gelatin is wet and gummy, pour in the hot water and whisk to dissolve the gelatin.
Whisk in the sour cream until smooth then stir in the remaining ingredients. Make sure to add salt to taste.
To shorten the amount of time the gelatin will take to become firm in the refrigerator, place the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice and water. Stir occasionally, letting the salmon mixture thicken for 20 minutes or so.
Pour into a lightly oiled 6-cup ring mold, several smaller molds, or a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap.
Cover and let chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 4 hours. Gently shake it out of the loaf pan or ring mold before serving. Serve alone or with salad greens.
Raspberry Coconut Gelatin Dessert
1 tablespoon unsweetened, powdered gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
1 can of coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
1 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Soften the powdered gelatin by pouring it into the cold water.
Heat 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
Add the hot coconut milk to the gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
In a blender, blend the remaining coconut milk with the raspberries and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the gelatin. Stir.
Chill in an ice bath first to speed up the thickening process (like in the salmon recipe) or just pour into small dishes or ring molds. Refrigerate until firm.