Whipped Peppermint Gelatin

Whipped Peppermint Gelatin

 Today’s recipe combines a couple of different concepts. One is the 1-2-3 Jello they used to sell when I was little. I was never all that fond of Jello, but make it creamy and fluffy, and I’m all in. At some point I’m going to have to try making a real food version of this recipe, which actually works on replicating 1-2-3 Jello, but today I’m just taking the concept and whipped and foamy jello and applying it to something else.

 Tea gelatin.

 Several health food bloggers have used the concept of tea gelatin as a way to trick… uh… coax family members to ingest medicinal teas. This is a great idea, but I wanted to more for the fun, flavorful, elegant side of tea gelatin.

 What I really wanted to make was a whipped chai gelatin, but sadly, I haven’t remembered to order more of the best rooibos chai ever, so I decided to go for a simpler and lighter peppermint tea gelatin.

 The beauty of this whipped peppermint gelatin is that it’s equally good on the medicinal side of things (can you imagine anything better to eat when you’re recovering from the stomach flu?) and the elegant side of things (I’m seeing a garden party with individual servings of whipped peppermint gelatin in tea cups being nibbled on by ladies with unreasonably fluffy and lacy sleeves… err, the gelatin is being nibbled on, that is, not the tea cups).

 If you do want to use this in an elegant setting, make sure you pour the gelatin into individual goblets, or bowls, or tea cups, or something, as it is unreasonably hard to make it look elegant again after scooping it out of a large serving bowl. (Ask me how many pictures I had to take to get one for this post that didn’t look like a mutant cauliflower brain…)

Healthiness Rating: Healthy

 The exact benefits will vary depending on which tea (and sweetener) you choose to use, but most herbal teas are going to have good general health benefits. (Peppermint, for instance, is soothing, calms an upset stomach, eases headaches, and can act as a decongestant.)

 The gelatin itself is much lauded for many health benefits including improving digestion and healing leaky gut, improving skin health, helping the body to regulate insulin and other hormones, detoxing the liver, building bone and muscle mass, supporting joint health, raising metabolism and supporting the adrenal system. (If even half of that is true, I think I need a lot more gelatin in my diet!) Many people suggest using only gelatin from grass fed beef–the gelatin I personally use is bulk gelatin from Azure Standard, which generally responsibly sources their products, but I have no information about the source of the gelatin specifically.

 And as for sweetener, you can adjust the amount to taste (as written, the recipe makes a fairly sweet dessert, half as much would probably be adequate for a lightly sweetened dessert or snack) and choose whatever level of healthiness you’re comfortable with in a sweetener. I generally use turbinado sugar, as I find it to be a good compromise between healthy sweetener and reasonable price (compared to say, honey, which is a superfood, and quite expensive for good quality).

Whipped Peppermint Gelatin

1 TBSP gelatin (or one packet)

1/4 cup cold water

2 cups boiling water

2 peppermint tea bags OR 1 TBSP loose dried peppermint leaves

1/2 cup turbinado sugar OR 1/3 cup honey

Pour 1/4 cup cold water into a medium size mixing bowl (in needs to hold at least 1 quart). Sprinkle gelatin slowly across the top of the water, then stir the gelatin in, making sure to squish any lumps.

In another bowl, dissolve sugar or honey in boiling water. Add tea. Steep the tea for 5 minutes while the gelatin ‘blooms’.

Pour the tea mixture (through a mesh strainer if using loose leaf tea–I use this one and love it)(affiliate link) into the bowl with the gelatin. Whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved.

Refrigerate for two hours, or until the gelatin is soft set. It should still move and threaten to spill when the bowl is tipped, but more as one big blob than as liquid would.

Pour the gelatin into a blender and blend on low or medium speed until the whole mixture is frothy and roughly doubled in volume. (This only took a few seconds with my blender.)

Return the gelatin mixture to the bowl, or pour into individual serving containers. Refrigerate for at least two more hours, or overnight.

Serve without mentioning that your elegant whipped peppermint gelatin dessert took you less than ten minutes of work to make.

Possible Variations:

Chai: Instead of peppermint tea, use chai tea and add 1/2 cup of milk when you froth it in the blender.

Fruit: Instead of tea, boil fruit juice of choice and proceed with the recipe. Cut sweetener in half, or leave it out altogether.

Lemon/Lime: Instead of tea use 1 1/2 cups boiling water and 1/2 cup lemon or lime juice, or a mixture of the two.

(Added 7/4/14)

Chocolate (inspired by this recipe): Instead of boiling water, use hot (not boiling) milk. Whisk in 1/4 cup cocoa powder. Leave out the tea.

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