Any vegetarian diet needs alternatives to gelatin.
Gelatin serves both nutritional and culinary roles in non-vegetarian diets. However, a lot of vegetarians and all vegans do not consume gelatin in its many forms because it is often created out of boiled pig skins and dissolved veal cartilage and bones. 🙁
This leaves vegetarians with a gap in cooking functionality when a recipe calls for a gel or thickening agent. It also leaves vegetarians with fewer options if they need a source of gelatin to increase bone and cartilage health.
If you are a vegetarian and you are looking for something to replace gelatin, do not despair. I found these alternative options for you on Amazon that work well:
1. Use a corn starch alternative like Instant Clear Gel. For cold recipes its a very good choice that closely mimics functionality of gelatin.
2. Food Grade Kappa Carrageenan – 100% made from natural seaweed sources and is highly recommended for vegan cheese recipes. Best part is that it works like it’s supposed to Be sure to use the food grade version of this!
3. Use seaweed-based alternatives. Agar-agar is a seaweed based alternative to gelatin that can simulate the culinary functions of gelatin. It also can be used in recipes that need to be heated.
4. Increase your calcium intake. One component of gelatin supplements that allegedly increases joint health is calcium. If you want to increase your calcium intake without eating gelatin, you can simply consume more calcium-fortified foods and even take supplements.
5. Increase your vitamin C intake. Another component of gelatin supplements that allegedly increases joint health is vitamin C. You can increase your vitamin C intake by consuming more citrus fruit.
Many recipes need a thickening agent during cooking. Finding one that’s not made from animal products really isn’t that hard. If you want to protect your bones and cartilage, take calcium and potassium supplements. I think the hardest part of not using gelatin is remembering to carefully read the ingredients because it’s added to so many foods.