Collagen: A Fantastic Dairy Free Protein

 Collagen: A Fantastic Dairy Free Protein Source

Collagen hydrolysate is one of my favorite protein powders. It’s well known around the health food and paleo blogs; however, many people have never heard of this source of protein. It’s also commonly confused with hydrolyzed gelatin which is often used to make home made gummies and jello.

I’m writing today to clear up the confusion and give the low down on this wonderful dairy free protein source called collagen hydrolsate.

I often post recipes using hydrolyzed collagen (which I will call “collagen” for the simplicity of this post). When friends and family go to buy this new protein they see that the same brand makes both collagen and gelatin, and they come back to me with lots of questions and confusion.

Here is the lowdown on the two protein sources:

Collagen and gelatin are very similar. They are both a wonderful source of amino acids. While these amino acids are non essential because our bodies can make them on their own, they are still in short supply in some people with nutritional deficiencies or those who are highly stressed who may not be able to create them in the amounts our bodies need for optimal health.

The biggest difference between collagen and gelatin is that the manufacturing of collagen is more intensive and therefore breaks up the amino acid chains into smaller units than the processing of gelatin.

Collagen is then water soluble and even easier to digest for some than gelatin which is not water soluble. Therefore, while gelatin has the ability to set liquids, collagen only gives baked goods a slightly “chewy” texture.

Why I LOVE Collagen:

  1. It’s dairy free: Dairy is not something that humans were made to digest easily and can cause very unpleasant symptoms in some. I love that collagen is not only versatile but it can be used as a substitute to any whey or casein protein powder in anything from shakes to high protein baked goods.
  2. It contains helpful amino acids: The amino acids in collagen are said to be beneficial for joint healthy, improved skin elasticity and reduced signs of aging and improved digestion.
  3. It’s a wonderful source of protein: Collagen (and gelatin) have 6 grams of protein per TBS and are relatively tasteless making them easy to mix into liquids and baked goods.

While one of my favorite ways to consume collagen is from home made beef or chicken bone broth, some might find the task of making broth to use on a daily or even weekly basis quite tedious.  This is why collagen powders are a fantastic source of protein.

I buy my collagen from Thrive Market. I have not found it cheaper anywhere else, and if you are new to Thrive you can receive 25% off your first order when you click this link.  You can also purchase it on amazon by clicking here and some local health food stores may carry it as well.  I personally prefer the Great Lakes brand of kosher beef collagen because it’s made from grass-fed cattle.

A note of caution: While collagen is often easier to digest for most people than gelatin you may want to start off slow. A tsp as a serving in a protein smoothie may be a good starting point and work up slowly to up to 2 TBS. It can be hard on some peoples stomachs if you start taking in 2-3 TBS a day right off the bat.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that contain collagen:

Do you use collagen in your diet already? Have you heard of it before? If so, do you have a favorite recipe? Feel free to comment in the section below.

*Some of the above links are affiliate links.  Click here to learn more about affiliate links.

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