Vital Proteins in ALL the Things!

Why Collagen on PaleoParents

If you’ve follow us in social media, you probably are aware that we are obsessed with Vital Proteins Collagen Proteins (gelatin) and Collagen Peptides. We put them in anything we can get them to dissolve in! Why do we love it so much? Well, because it’s so beneficial in your health!

What is Collagen?

What’s in collagen (when in a culinary form, we call it gelatin as well) that makes it so great? Let’s look at what it is, first. Collagen is the protein that forms the connective tissue in your body, so that means that anything you need healthy connective tissue for, consuming collagen is the prescription. The stuff that it will help you with includes:

  • helps tighten loose skin
  • helps improve cellulite
  • helps joint recovery
  • supports skin, hair and nail growth
  • improves digestion
  • promotes relaxation and a good night’s sleep
  • can help heal your gut

As a protein, collagen contains significant proportions of the amino acids proline and glycine, which are harder to find in other protein sources and are protective of your gut. It’s also particularly great in culinary uses as a binder and for its use in making things turn into a gel.

But how do I use it?!

I’m sure you’re interested in using it more, but wondering where exactly you can get collagen in your diet. Well, the natural way is to cook down bones and connective tissue to free up the proteins for consumption. That’s why in a very concentrated and long-cooked broth you may find that the liquid gels in the fridge. You can see our process for that here. But, considering how time consuming this process can be, you might be better served by using it as a supplement by adding powdered gelatin to your foods where you can. And the best brand we’ve found for that is Vital Proteins.

Other brands of gelatin just can’t compete. Here’s what we’ve found:

  • The cold soluble versions of the different brands are not equal in taste and texture. Vital Proteins is less grainy, blending it into cold beverages makes them creamy, frothy, and even a hint sweeter than nothing at all.
  • Vital Proteins seems denser per serving than other brands. You can feel the collagen on your lips and it will gel your tea as it cools. We’ve never had that experience with any other product, except for our homemade broth.
  • As we outlined in our original post, there is more protein per serving, and more amino acid density in a serving of Vital Proteins than from the other grass-fed brand. This includes more proline and glycine!
  • The Vital Proteins gelatin seems to gel quicker and firmer per serving than other brands.

Great! So you’ve chosen your brand of collagen proteins and peptides! Now you need to know what to use it in! And here is where I tell you that you can dissolve it in almost everything! Really!

What do I use it in?

First of all, you need to understand the difference between the two forms of collagen that are offered by Vital Proteins (and other collagen supplement brands will offer these options as well). There is the green lid Collagen Proteins or Beef Gelatin and the blue lid Collagen Peptides. The real difference is that the peptides are further denatured into the protein building blocks, meaning that they are cold soluble and will not gel; and the proteins are gelatin and will only dissolve hot and will gel when cooled.

What will you do with each of these? Well…

Vital Proteins

Green (proteins)

Remember from our original information post that the GREEN is the PROTEINS (or “gelatin”) version of Vital Proteins, which ultimately turns things solid (or to a solid-like jiggly state). All of the recipes in this epic round-up of 60 recipes are great for the green can; but these are some of our favorites:

Egg Replacement

Did you know that you can use the green collagen proteins as egg replacers in recipes? That’s right! I mean, don’t go making a quiche with gelatin eggs – but when a recipe calls for one or two try this:

To prepare 1 gelatin “egg” by adding one tablespoon of room temperature water to a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin over water and let sit for a minute. Then stir in two tablespoons of hot water, whisking until frothy. Add to recipe, blending immediately until smooth.

This Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Merit & Fork actually uses gelatin as the egg replacer for the recipe and we can tell you it is our favorite cookie recipe – which happens to also be nut-free and autoimmune paleo-friendly!

Blue (peptides)

But what about the cold-dissolve BLUE lid Collagen Peptides? You can put those in almost anything wet (hot or cold) and it hardly change the texture! We’ve put it in:

  • Drinks (flavored spa waters, chai Thai tea, egg nog, hot chocolate, pumpkin cider latte, and iced coffee)
  • Sauces, dressings, and spreads (hollandaise, mayonnaise, BBQ sauces, ketchup, apple & pumpkin butter)
  • Pudding (avocado and chia-based work best with peptides since they already have a natural thickener)
  • Cold smoothies (see below!)

Collagen-Peptides-Vital-Proteins-RLP-Image-PaleoParents2Pictured recipes can be found in Real Life Paleo, which everyone, everyone, EVERYONE NEEDS!*


Stacy has a protein smoothie several times a week (specifically, the Elvis Presley recipe below) instead of breakfast or before a work out if she is feeling like she needs fuel. For the kids, smoothies (like our Blueberry Coconut Milk smoothie) are a great way to get quick nutrients in; healthy fats will keep kids nourished with sustained energy while the Vital Proteins collagen provides protein to balance the antioxidant-rich fruit we use to sweeten them.

We find that the kids LOVE making and drinking smoothies. Considering that we always have this coconut milk on hand (subscribe & save FTW!), it’s also a great way to empower them to try new combinations and experiment themselves. Sometimes the result is less than stellar (one, in fact, I may have used the ol’ bartender spit back into the cup trick), but it never hurts to let children try! For us, Vital Proteins in the smoothies helps improve Finn’s and Stacy’s tremendously sensitive skin, too (bonus!).

In order for you and your family to have some go-to recipes for using this amazing superfood, today we’re going to share FOUR of our typical smoothies modified to include some Collagen Peptides!

Vital Proteins in All the Things FeaturePicture and original recipes can be found in Real Life Paleo

4 Smoothies with Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides



  1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and purée until smooth.
  2. Pro tips:
    (1) ---> when your bananas begin to freckle, chop them up into 1" thick slices and freeze them until you're ready for a smoothie!
    (2) ---> freeze leftover coffee into ice cube trays and add cubes of iced coffee to your morning smoothie for an extra jolt!
    (3) ---> if you have a high speed blender, try throwing in a couple of cups of greens (such as baby spinach or kale) to any smoothie - you will be hard pressed to even know it's there!
    (4) ---> play with the texture of a smoothie to find your desired preference, you may find (as we do) that 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk + 1 cup water is a good alternative to the high Omega 6 fatty acid ratio that 2 cups of almond milk adds.
    (5) ---> for added protein we highly recommend trying M&H Naturals HydroBEEF Paleo Protein Powder to your smoothies, the result will taste like a milkshake - especially to the Elvis Presley!

We hope this post gives you new ideas and new excuses to add some collagen to your diet!


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