RECIPE: Cucumber, Mint & Strawberry Jelly

I was unconvinced by jelly as a kid.

Well actually I remember being entirely enamoured with the smell, the wibbly-wobbly on a plate thing, & the magic of the dissolving cubes in the hot water, but the tasting…..well I was a tad non-plussed.

This was not a problem however as my sister used to eat the cubes from the pack so 2 of 3 times we probably didn’t get to the stage of the jelly being made!

Scan forward to today however & you can probably guess that this gorgeously gelatinous beauty & I are a tad more on the same page & guess what…..I’m just about to tell you why!

So collagen has been a bit of a buzzword for the last few months & this is not by accident. It is a fantastically useful inclusion into our diets for many reasons – it supports gut health, skin health, joint lubrication, you name it if it involves elastic or connective tissues then collagen probably helps.

But then so does gelatine!

Yep the classic culinary ingredient is exactly the same in terms of the amino acids (protein building blocks) that it provides it’s just the chemical structure that is different which is why they behave/need to be used slightly differently too.

So collagen is broken down into small peptide chains allowing its dissolution in pretty much anything, whereas gelatine is longer, hence the need to apply heat to dissolve it, & the consequence that it turns things to a gel.

Now that to me just opens up numerous doors to include both in our diets, this simple recipe being an example. You can also make these with other juices, additional probiotic powders, anything & everything you fancy! Just beware the pineapple & kiwi conundrum – the enzymes within these fruits will digest the proteins in the gelatine & you won’t get a set jelly. But other than that feel free to experiment – I personally love these rose, beetroot & pomegranate cube versions as little, natural sweet bites.

Serves 2-3

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large handful fresh mint 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Planet Paleo gelatine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 strawberries
  • To serve – I like the texture of crumbled gluten free oatcakes + some extra sprigs of mint
  1. Roughly chop your cucumber, add to a blender with the mint & blitz until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve or muslin to separate the juice from the pulp (you can use this in soups or smoothies). Sprinkle the gelatine over the juice & leave to bloom for 5 mins.
  2. Heat the water until boiling, add to the juice & whisk until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
  3. Pour into a lined container & leave to start to set for 10-15 mins.
  4. Slice the strawberries, dip lightly into the jelly to coat (this will prevent them from oxidising & discolouring) then gently rest on the surface.
  5. Cover & pop in the fridge for 2 hours (or more).
  6. Serve with whatever you fancy, use within 5 days.

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