I get asked all the time for tips on eating healthier (and just overall the best ways to live a healthier, happier life), and while I LOVE making new recipes, I’m a huge fan of taking foods I’m already eating and trying to make them a little bit healthier. One of my favorite ways to do that? Adding collagen. There are so many reasons to add collagen to your daily routine—and so many ways to use collagen!—but before I get into that, let me talk a bit about how to choose one (because I know that can be one of the biggest barriers to starting).
It’s super important to look for a high-quality collagen—more specifically, one that’s well-sourced and grass-fed. There aren’t many protein powders that I love—they often taste frankly terrible, or have a lot of strange additives that don’t serve my health or my stomach comfort. After trying so many options, one of my personal faves (which I’ve literally been using for YEARS at this point) is Garden of Life. In addition to regularly testing for heavy metals and all of the other bad stuff, they actually source their collagen from cattle herds that are much smaller and more traceable. While you can’t really buy organic collagen, Garden of Life is the closest I’ve found. The cows are raised to strict standards, and aren’t fed grass that contains any form of herbicides, pesticides, or glyphosate.
Beyond all that, it’s one of the most affordable collagens on the market, with a much more reasonable price point than other leading brands, and the Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides is actually blended with probiotics, making it an extra strong supporter for gut health. Oh, and those are the only two ingredients in it: collagen and probiotics. That’s it!
Besides the proven gut benefits, collagen’s also been shown to support skin and nail health—and because it’s flavorless, you can use it in so many different recipes. One scoop of the Garden of Life Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides has a whole 18 grams of protein, which is why I LOVE adding it to my baked goods, smoothies, and…well, let’s get into it!
OK, obviously I have to start with my go-to use for collagen: blended into my smoothies. Even if one of my smoothie recipes doesn’t call for protein, I love adding collagen to my smoothie whenever I feel like I need a protein boost. Because it’s flavorless and textureless, it gives really clean results, especially with tropical smoothies, ones without chocolate, or ones you just want to really celebrate the ingredients, like with fresh herbs. It lets the other ingredients’ flavor shines, yet does so much work behind the scenes.
Cookie Dough Balls
I love adding protein, fat, and fiber to deI love adding protein, fat, and fiber to desserts to help elongate the blood sugar curve and mitigate a lot of the negative impacts of sugar, and collagen is a great way to add that protein. It’s my secret weapon in my famous cookie dough balls, like these Gut-Healing, Protein-Packed Monster Cookie Dough Bites, which use two tablespoons of Garden of Life Grass-Fed Collagen Peptides. They’re so, so good for when you need something sweet or just want a quick snack. You’ll know you’re getting a protein boost, but your taste buds won’t.
Same thing for baked goods, I love adding collagen to baked goods because it can be used hot or cold and you can usually get away with not changing the recipe at all besides just adding a scoop or two of collagen. If you have a recipe that’s being more finicky or you’re wanting to add a lot, I usually just play around with omitting some of whatever type of flour I’m using.
Coffee or Tea
I love adding collagen to tea, especially on days where I don’t feel like I’m eating that much protein otherwise. Stirring it into coffee is actually the main way my mother-in-law consumes collagen, and she swears it’s made a huge difference in her skin (which I agree!). You can stir it into tea (again, it’s fine hot or cold) or coffee and it dissolves completely and is pretty much undetectable. For coffee drinkers, this is one of the easiest ways to take a habit and make it healthier, with super minimal effort!
While I don’t drink coffee, I love my caffeine-free lattes. I’ve made everything from Lemon Meringue to Peanut Butter Cup, and even if they don’t call for collagen in my original recipe, I’ll often add it in, especially when I’m hungry because collagen helps make the lattes way more satiating. And when blended with healthy fat, collagen adds body and helps make my famous #LMlattes super foamy and delicious, which is just as important as the health benefits if you ask me!
What’s your favorite way to use collagen? Let me know on Insta or in the comments below!
Thanks to Garden of Life for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.