Both Agar Agar powder and Gelatin are used as a prolific ingredient in recipes ranging from fine dining desserts to hearty, homemade meals and snacks. Both substances are jelly-like in texture and offer amazing health benefits no matter how they’re served. A pair of undercover health agents if you will, Gelatin and it’s vegan alternative Agar Agar will bring amazing structure or texture to anyone’s kitchen.
What is Agar Agar powder, and how is it different from Gelatin?
Agar Agar powder is made from the cell walls of red algae and was discovered in Japan where it is commonly known as Kanten. The substance itself is sold in flakes, powder, bars, or strips and is highly gelatinous when dissolved in boiling water and left to set at room temperature.
The same is true for Gelatin, except its origins are very different. Gelatin is made from collagen from animal hide or bones which also presents as a colourless, odourless, dry substance until dissolved. When added to water or exposed to moisture it turns into agar agar jelly. Gelatin is used as a base for countless desserts, jellies, meals, and even has industrial applications as well. Agar Agar, on the contrary, lends itself to the kitchen and laboratory where chemists use it as a growth medium due to its ability to resist being eaten by bacteria. When set, both Agar Agar and Gelatin will remain translucent and odourless, while the Agar Agar will feel slightly firmer.
Health benefits of organic Gelatin Powder
The benefits of Gelatin are enormous due to its simplicity and flexibility as a cooking agent. While you can find detailed nutrition information on the product label, below are the basics:
- 100% free from additives, unnatural fillers, or texture enhancers.
- Sugar free
- Dairy free
- Low in cholesterol
- Unique combination of healthy amino acids
- High in protein
- Great for gut health
- Enhances skin and hair health
- Easy to incorporate into any meal or diet
- Eco-friendly packaging
Health benefits of Agar Agar Powder
Agar-Agar powder is a plant derivative, so it’s vegan and vegetarian friendly. It serves the same function as Gelatin in that it creates a Agar Agar jelly when brought to the boil and left at room temperature to set. It’s a great building block for any superfood mix, a vegan cake or fancy dessert. Check out these amazing health benefits of Agar Agar:
- 100% vegetarian and vegan, free from animal products, additives, or preservatives.
- No carbohydrates
- Excellent egg white substitute
- Loaded with fibre
- Low cholesterol
- Paleo friendly
- Halal and Kosher
- No saturated fats
- High in iron and calcium
- Flexible and easy to use as an ingredient
- Eco-friendly packaging
How these products can enhance the variety in your diet?
Whether opting for the vegan Agar Agar or the organic Gelatin powder, there is so much scope for variety within any diet. Think of these products as a building block for fun desserts, or action-packed paleo breakfasts. Both work as a highly effective egg substitute, being gelatinous it binds and creates structure in cakes, cookies, and pizza doughs flatbread and other baked goods.
Research has demonstrated that the healthiest diets include a large range of foods, many of which are plant-based. Including organic Agar Agar powder as a binding agent not just in desserts but as part of your daily diet can greatly enhance your brain function, skin health, and overall mental wellbeing.
What are the advantages of organic Gelatin?
Using Organic Gelatin is far more sustainable for the environment. Being an animal product, its sustainability depends on how the collagen is harvested. If not sourced ethically or sustainably Gelatin be detrimental to the animal and the climate. Buying organic ensures strict standards are enforced around animal welfare and environmental protection. Our organic Gelatin is made in Australia from high-quality German ingredients that are subject to strictly enforced European Union environmental guidelines.
Use your creative licence
Getting creative is part of the fun with Agar Agar and Gelatin. Even a simple coloured bowl of jelly can bring hours of fun for kids of all ages. Experimenting with different colours and flavours is just the beginning. Think about shape and size; moulding and sculpting. With a bit of creative licence, this can become a beautiful, fun-filled family activity.
Remember when using colouring agents to source natural and organic options wherever possible. Artificial food colourings have been found to exacerbate certain allergies in children and potentially increase hyperactivity. Choosing natural food dyes is always a safer and healthier option when making coloured jelly. Making a homemade, natural colouring by using saffron, or blended blueberries or strawberries is a tasty alternative. Depending on your recipe, this could add loads of flavour and even bring out certain textures.
The perfect building blocks
Gelatin and Agar-Agar can be used as a thickener in doughs, custards, or mousses. Picking a agar agar recipe that includes either Agar Agar or Gelatin is easy because of their versatility as ingredients. Being flourless and odourless, they present a clean slate on which to build or embellish some of your favourite flavours. But being flavourless doesn’t mean they aren’t packed with healthy fibres and proteins. Adding plenty of flavour through other natural ingredients such as fruit or berries is important when working with either of these products. Being a flavourless substance, a poorly balanced flavour profile could leave even the most beautiful cake blander than expected. Remember to season and taste as you go.
Which is right for me?
Depending on your diet or cooking preference, your choice of jelly might differ. You may prefer the vegan-friendly option, or simply find that one brings out a better structure in a particular recipe. Because Gelatin is slightly softer and more supple, you may think about picking Agar Agar powder for something that requires a more robust and tighter bind such as a supporting layer on a cake.