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Whoever said you couldn't eat dessert for breakfast was wrong. Oh so wrong. Breakfast happens to be my favourite meal of the day and clearly I am a big fan of dessert. So it was only natural that I combine these forces of awesome and create a dessert for breakfast. I shall coin it bressert. Or dreakfast. You know what, lets just forget about that and call it dessert for breakfast. Enter my Breakfast Panna Cotta with Spiced Orange Segments. This bressert (nope, it's still not working) is gut healing and is grain, gluten and dairy free. The gut healing properties are due to the gelatin as well as the fibre and pith from the oranges.
Health Benefits of Gelatin
Gelatin is derived from collagen and is made up of amino acids. It is commonly used in cooking to make foods set. For all you jelly and panna cotta lovers out there, you're going to love hearing this. Gelatin is great for gut health because it contains amino acids that are necessary precursors for the production of collagen. Increased collagen production promotes a strong and healthy intestinal wall, helping to treat and prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome. [for those who don't know, leaky gut syndrome is where the intestinal wall is permeable leading to food, bacteria and yeast particles entering the blood stream and causing much inflammation]. Not only this but the glycine present in gelatin promotes healing and increases gastric acid secretions. These secretions help to break down the food and allow the body to absorb more nutrients from it.
Glycine has many benefits including promoting more restful, quality sleep, improving moods and reducing bloating. Gelatin has been shown to improve heart health and protect the heart while also helping you to feel full (leading to less overeating). Bones and joints also benefit from gelatin as it promotes the production of collagen, which is necessary for the connective tissues and cartilage that protect the joints.
As you can see, gelatin has many health benefits and is worthwhile adding into the diet. Buying quality gelatin is essential though. As with any food, the better the quality the more nutritional benefits you gain from it. Beware of gelatin from supermarkets as many products contain preservatives. I recommend you buy an organic, grass fed and preservative free gelatin.
FYI: Gelatin is made from animal products and is not vegetarian. A vegan version of this recipe could be made using agar agar. I haven't tested this out yet so am not sure of quantities.
Making a Baby Friendly Version
If you're wanting to make this recipe baby friendly, you could omit the maple syrup and cut the orange segments up into very small pieces. If the baby is not up to more textured foods and is still on purees, you could leave out the orange all together or just mix some of the juices (minus the maple syrup) through before spoon feeding. I have personally been feeding this to Frankie with the maple syrup as it is only a small amount but I would recommend omitting the maple syrup for a baby under one year old. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or not but Frankie (my 14 month old) slept through the night two nights in a row and had eaten this for dessert both nights. I think those sleep enhancing benefits of the glycine worked a treat!