Vegan Gelatin: What Are Some Good Vegan Alternatives of Gelatin?

Vegan diets are really on the rise. Vegan diet appeals both nutritionally and ethically to people. Many people have become familiar with the inhuman conditions that animals and birds experience in slaughterhouses. Vegan diet has nutritional benefits such as reduction of inflammation as well. Star athletes such as the NFL’s Chris Paul and the NBA’s Chris Paul have shown that switching to a vegan diet can help prolong your athletic career as well. As a result of multiple factors such as the ones we have mentioned, the number of vegans is rising everyday. With a rise in the number of vegans, the number of vegan alternatives to regular food has also risen. While the “impossible burger” and “seitan” have proven to be tasty substitutes to actual meat, there are some food items which many people didn’t know used animal products. One such item is gelatin. In this post, we will look at the vegan alternatives of gelatin. Let’s get started.

The Best Vegan Gelatin Alternatives for You

Why should vegans use vegan gelatin?

Knowing what things you can eat and what not is essential and, although some are obvious such as meat or fish, others we do not fully understand how they are developed and we continue to use them. Gelatin is one of them. You should know that this product is made from bone and muscle remains of animals that are boiled at high temperatures until they extract what is known as collagen and that becomes gelatin. Therefore, if you are against the consumption of products of animal origin, from now on you would no longer have to consume them.

Vegans can replace this important ingredient in the kitchen with other products of plant origin. Here they are:

Vegan Gelatin: Agar-agar

Agar-agar is a seaweed that you can get at any herbalist and comes in three different forms (flakes, powder or sheet) depending on the recipe you want more you will want to make one or the other.

This alga is found in the seas of southern Africa and is colorless. Among its wonderful properties, it is worth mentioning that it is capable of absorbing a lot of water (up to 300 times its weight) and in doing so, gelatin is formed. It is one of the most widely used vegetable stabilizers and an essential ingredient in every home that boasts of cooking without consuming animal products. It is, in short, the perfect substitute for gelatin to prepare sweet and savory dishes.

The gelling capacity of agar-agar is impressive: just a teaspoon of this powder can thicken a large amount of water and the result is a compact and resistant gelatin. Another advantage is that, unlike other gelatins, agar-agar also gels hot, which allows you to prepare hot gelatinous dishes.

It also differs from gelatin of animal origin in that it is capable of gelling those fruit juices that do not set with normal gelatin, such as pineapple or kiwi (due to the high acidity content of these exotic fruits, the gelatins do not set correctly).

However, you should know that agar-agar does not set if it is mixed with fatty products: therefore it is not a good thickener for sauces or hot dishes of this type. For them, however, we vegans have another product that can be really wonderful if we know how to use it: tapioca or cassava flour.

Vegan Gelatin: Tapioca

Tapioca is a product that is extracted from the starch of a tuber known as yucca. Formerly it was used a lot in traditional South American foods and has gained so much fame over the years that it can now be found in any country in the world. It is a food full of healthy properties, so taking advantage of it in your kitchen will not only ensure you have a magnificent thickener but also provide your meals with an important nutritional contribution.

To use tapioca on a hot plate you must sprinkle a tablespoon of this product on the preparation you want to thicken and mix well. Then you should let it sit for about 15 minutes before putting the lid on. You will see how in a short time you have achieved a surprising consistency.

Vegan Gelatin: Kuzu

Another vegan gelatin alternative is Kuzu. In Japan it is used to harden certain foods or preparations, to give them more consistency. The way in which it is used is by adding 1.5 tablespoons of kuzu to each cup of the liquid that you want to harden.

Vegan Gelatin: Guar and Xanthan

The guar gum is a product used as a substitute vegan cooking gelatin. It is derived from the guar seed. Similarly, there is xanthan gum which is also used for the same purposes. These two require a different preparation than agar-agar and tapioca and are usually used only by professional cooks, but if you want to try them, do not hesitate to do so.

Vegan Gelatin: Carrageenan 

Another great vegan gelatin alternative is carrageenan, also known as Irish moss. Although it does not reach agar-agar’s consistency, it can be used to affirm a liquid mixture. Many people use it to curdle gelatin and the results are almost identical to regular gelatin.

To use it before you must wash it carefully and soak it in water so that it becomes fluffy. Only then should you add it to the liquid in which you are going to prepare it and boil it for about 10 minutes. Then you must strain the carrageen.

How to make jelly with vegan gelatin?

As you can see, there are various products that you can use to continue eating delicious and that your diet does not lead to or encourage the torture of other animals. Here is a recipe to prepare a delicious vegan dessert with agar-agar.

To make this dessert you will need 2 tablespoons of agar-agar, 1 litre of boiling water, 4 tablespoons of sugar, a glass of strawberry juice and some strawberries and raspberries (or fruits of your choice)

  • Place the agar-agar with the boiling water and leave it on the fire until it dissolves completely.
  • Add the fruit you have chosen, the juice and the sugar and stir well until the algae begin to gel.
  • Now you can enjoy this wonderful dessert. And best of all, no animals were harmed in the making of this dessert.
  • Pour the dessert into a deep container or individual wells and refrigerate overnight.

As you can see, it is possible to perfectly combine a balanced and friendly diet with the rest of the animals with delicious and nutritious meals; so you no longer have to regret the lack of those exquisite jelly desserts in your life. With these vegan gelatin options, you can enjoy as much jelly as you want, without worrying about harming animals.

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