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Let’s talk Collagen Supplements

Confession: I’m not 20. I am, in fact, not even in my 30’s, and pretty soon, I won’t even  be in my 40’s. 

Aging is one of those things I’m beginning to think about, and how my body is changing, which includes how my skin is changing. 

I’m blessed with good genes (I think?), and I’ve been pretty religious about sunscreen ever since I was in my 20’s, so I don’t feel like my face is looking old. But I’m still thinking about ways to stave off wrinkles and sagging. 

I’ve been reading a lot lately about supplementing with collagen. 

First of all, collagen is one of those things that we as humans manufacture our selves. It’s a protein–not just a protein, but the most popular protein in our bodies. It has a variety of different uses, from helping to strengthen bones to lubricating our joints, and yes, there is some talk that collagen can help our skin to be more elastic and, well, younger. 

The problem is, as we age, we begin to manufacture less of it naturally, hence the reason people start to think about supplementing at some point. 

The problem with collagen supplements is this: there is no truly vegan or vegetarian collagen supplement. All collagen supplements are made from either animals or fish. 

You know how bone broth is so popular right now? Bone broth is made by essentially taking animal bones and boiling them down for a long time. The extraction of that broth is collagen, and then you drink it. 

Vegan and vegetarian collagen supplements 

Herbaland Gummies, a local company that I really like, has recently launched a vegan collagen supplement. It doesn’t contain any actual collagen (because, again, all collagen comes from animals) but it does contain Lysine and Vitamin A, which are collagen building blocks. 

Also, my friend Desiree Neilsen (who has a new cookbook coming, btw!) has written a whole blog post about plant-based foods to include in your diet that will help encourage collagen production. 

Non-vegetarian collagen supplements

If you’re okay with eating fish, then choose a marine collagen. 

Here are a couple I tried: 

Genuine Health Marine Clean Collagen: $26.99 for 210g

This version offers 10g of collagen per serving, and it basically comes a white powder, which you can stir into smoothies, your coffee, etc. The supplement is made from wild-caught fish (not farmed), and basically made from what would normally be waste, like fish skins. 

BenesseHealth Pure Marine Collagen: $41.99 for 150g

 

One thing I really like about this particular brand is that they are a local BC company. The collagen is single-sourced from wild-caught Atlantic cod skins, which is a sustainable product. 

I have to say, I was not a fan of the Genuine Health. It doesn’t dissolve readily. You almost need to put it into a blender it order for it to really work. The BenesseHealth dissolved amazingly well–I didn’t even have to stir it. There was no taste. 

Aura Elevated Collagen Creamer with MCT: $36.82 for 300g

Aura is also a local BC-based biz (yay local!), and what’s great about this particular supplement is that if you’re already on the paleo path, and doing things like bulletproof coffee, this one will likely be for you. It works as a coffee creamer (though I find I like my coffee lighter than it can make mine, so I would end up adding more milk), so all you have to do is add a scoop or two to your morning java. The supplement not only contains collagen, but it also contains MCT, which has been shown to help with brain function. It dissolves well in coffee. It’s important to note, however, that this collagen supplement is not a marine one, meaning it’s made from animals. This would be an appropriate choice if you are an omnivore. 

I would love to hear from you! Are you experimenting with collagen supplements? Please comment below! 

 

Blistered Tomato Soup #CookingInColor

Earlier in the week, I was raving about Food Gay’s new cookbook, Cooking in Color. It’s a book full of vibrant, creative recipes, and it includes some great tips and tricks for those of you who want to up your Instagram game.

I made a variety of recipes from the book, and I look forward to making many more, but my favourite of the ones I made was this Blistered Tomato Soup. I asked Jeremy and Adrian if I could share it with you.

Blistered tomato soup cooking in color

Mine versus theirs.

I should say, for the record, that I’m biased when it comes to tomato soup. It is probably my favourite of all my favourite comfort foods. For me, growing up, rainy days merited a can of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich made with those terrible fake cheese slices. Today, my grown-up equivalent of that meal exists at Burgoo.

This is a lovely recipe. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their sweetness, and while this recipe is vegetarian, it could easily be made vegan by using a vegan parmesan cheese to finish.

You will need a good blender, though, if you want a really creamy final result.

Blistered Tomato Soup Food Gays

Blistered Tomato Soup

(recipe courtesy of Cooking in Color by The Food Gays)

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 medium tomatoes on the vine
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigaiano-Reggiano cheese
  • crème fraîche or plain greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
  • fresh basil and sorrel leaves to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Slice and “X” into the bottom of each tomato and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme and rosemary. Toss tomatoes until well coated.
  3. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then broil for another 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly charred on top. Keep a close eye on them at this point–it is easy to burn them!
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the cooking oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Season with salt.
  5. Transfer the roasted tomatoes to the pot with the onion and garlic, and stir well. Add broth. Bring to a simmer. Add cheese, and stir until it melts.
  6. For a smooth soup, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. For a chunky soup, you can use an immersion blender right in the pot.
  7. Divide soup between two serving bowls. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and fresh basil and sorrel (if using).
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