IMG_3031 small IMG_3057 small IMG_3066 small IMG_3067 small IMG_3081 smallThere’s been a lot of hoo haa about gelatin lately.

Vegans beware, I’m talking about the benefits of eating those bones and how you can get your fix without going all caveman.

Those paleo converts have been on the gelatin bandwagon for years now, labelling the stuff a ‘pure protein’ and guzzling the powder which claims to promote healthy gut linings, smooth wrinkles, support muscle growth and balance hormones.

Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen and is obtained from cooking down this connective tissue. It contains 18 amino acids, including two anti-inflammatory amino acids, thus balancing, completing, and complementing other meat sources.

Powerful stuff right? The awesome thing is that we’ve been eating it for most of our lives and not even realising it.

I had a strange love affair with jelly as a child. Those marketing gurus over at Aeroplane sure did a number on me because one of my earliest memories I have is asking my mum to make me jelly when I was sad to cheer me up. Now I’m not sure what a four year old would have to be sad about, but the evolution from a warm, coloured liquid to a solid fun food seemed to always do the trick.

Jelly has always been a favourite kid’s food, especially in a 90’s kid’s home. It formed the most important part of the festive trifle, glistening red and green gems atop layers of peaches and custard and evolved into the more grown up edition of rose, raspberry and champagne jelly as we grew up.

I’m thinking a little past the wobbly gelatinous world of jelly in this case and recreating another childhood Australian cult classic, Wagon Wheels.

What’s not to like about fluffy marshmallow, oozy jam and crunchy biscuit sandwiched between a layer of chocolate?

I’m jumping head first into the world of marshmallow making, creating a refined sugar free version with all the benefits of grassfed bovine gelatin.

I promise you won’t even know it’s good for you.

Note: These are best eaten on the day of making as they go a bit soft

For assembly
Gather
2 blocks dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa)
Raspberry chia jam  – I used this brand or make your own

Almond meal shortbread
Adapted from this recipe
Gather
2 cups almond meal
4 tbls butter
4 tbls maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of sea salt

Create
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and wrap dough in plastic wrap
2. Place in the fridge for 30 mins
3. Preheat oven to 175 degreex .
4. Roll out dough to 2mm thick and cut into rounds
5. Place on baking paper lined tray and bake for 12 minutes, turning over half way
6. Cool on rack and make marshmallow

Vanilla bean marshmallow
Gather
2 tbs Grassfed gelatin – I use this brand
1/3 cup boiling water
2/3 cup cool water
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup maple syrup
Create
1. Add the cool water and gelatin to a large bowl and combine
2. Combine the boiling water and maple syrup in a small jug
3. Using electric beaters start breaking up the gelatin gel on low speed, then pour your syrup water down the side of the bowls with beaters still going
4. Add vanilla bean paste and increase the speed to medium for two mintutes
5. Increase the speed to high and beat until mixture forms soft peaks

Create
1. Spread shortbread with marshmallow and half a teaspoon of chia jam
2. Sandwich another shortbread on top and allow to set for 10 minutes
3. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, allow to cool for 2 minutes then coat shortbreads
4. Allow to set in the fridge on a tray lined with baking paper

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