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What Is Gelatin Made Of? Where To Find the Most Popular Plant-Based Gelatin Replacements

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vegan gelatin substitute

Veganism is all about choosing a plant-based diet and lifestyle. Vegans choose to avoid purchasing or consuming any animal or animal-derived products. Unfortunately, there are many animal ingredients and animal cruelty methods that take place in secret, meaning that they are often hidden and unknown to most. These types of ingredients are present in products from sweets to protein powders, alcoholic beverages and even chocolate. Of course for vegans, this is not the most ideal situation and sometimes makes finding the perfect products near to impossible. Gelatin for example is one of the most used animal-derived products in the world and is typically included in baking and jelly-like sweets or desserts. Luckily there are great gelatin alternatives that can make any item plant-based and cruelty-free.

Is Gelatin Vegan?

is gelatin vegan

Unfortunately, the way gelatin is produced, not only uses animal products but follows guidelines of animal cruelty methods which is typically avoided by vegans due to ethics and morals. So what is gelatin made of? now that you know gelatin is not suitable for vegans or vegetarians the next question you may be asking yourself is what could possibly be in the product. Unlike things such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs the animal cannot be seen when consuming or using the product making it tricky to understand the concept behind it. Gelatin is a protein that is obtained by boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows or pigs. The substance that is created as a result is sticky and gooey. The consistency is what gives things like sweets, jello and even marshmallows their almost bouncy consistency.

What Can I Use Instead Of Gelatin?

substitute for gelatin

As the population of vegans around the world has continued to grow, the demand for vegan alternatives and substitutes has continued to increase with it. Nowadays finding a vegan gelatin substitute is easy and the product result can be made just as good as the original. The aim or goal of plant-based gelatin is to create the same sort of texture and consistency as regular gelatin but only using plant-based ingredients, avoiding all animal cruelty methods. Many vegan brands and companies have already taken this idea on board and have produced products such as vegan sweets, marshmallows, mouses, cheesecakes and other desserts that almost perfectly replicate their non-vegan rivals.

A Vegan Alternative To Gelatin

If you are looking at using a vegetarian gelatin alternative to recreate recipes at home then, one of these great substitutes are ensured to create the perfect result and allow you to ethically follow your chosen plant-based diet and lifestyle. Some of the best vegan gelatin alternatives include :

Agar-Agar

Agar-agar is by far the most well known and globally used plant-based gelatin alternative. It is a flourless jelly-like substance that comes from the cell walls of red algae. It is semi-translucent in colour and has the ability to gel, emulsify and thicken food combinations. Agar-Agar is very popular in Asia and is most commonly used to make desserts such as custard, jelly and pudding. It is readily available and comes in the form of powder, flakes and sheets.

Pectin

Another great substitute for gelatin is known as pectin. Pectin is a fibre that is found in the cell walls of many well-known fruits. Pectin reacts and thickens when it is heated with both acids and sugars and is a common ingredient found in jams and store-bought jellies.

Carrageenan

Another, less-known gelatin replacement is called Carrageenan. Carrageenan which is also known as Irish moss is a substance that comes from dried seaweed. It develops its sticky jelly-like consistency when it is heated and boiled and is available for purchase in a powdered form. Carrageenan is generally used in many store-bought items such as ice cream, marshmallows and even frozen pizza, to help extend shelf life and keep the product intact.

Vegan Jel

Unlike the other plant-based gelatin substitutes we have mentioned vegan Jel is an already developed and established product. It is premade and already contains ingredients such as vegetable gum, carrageenan and tapioca. This store-bought mixture is most probably the closest to reaching the same sort of consistency as gelatin and is great when trying to accurately redesign and recreate an already existing non-vegan product.

The Bottom Line

As you can see knowing the answer to can vegans eat gelatin only scratches the surface of the in-depth processes, ingredients and cruel methods obtained in the production process of such a globally used product. Luckily for us vegans we no longer have to miss out on our favourite treats or give in to popular demand. Instead with all these alternatives available to us, we can make smarter and better choices not only for our health but for the environment too.

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