Sweets

Anti-Inflammatory Tart Cherry Gels

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, AIP

These Tart Cherry Gels utilize just three ingredients to create a yummy anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich treat. Gelatin gives them their jiggle, along with a dose of gut-nourishing, joint-loving goodness. But the tart cherry juice is where the anti-inflammatory magic happens. 

You may have seen my latest IGTV video where I talked about frozen shoulder syndrome, the link to thyroid issues, and what I’m doing to prepare for my frozen shoulder surgery and recovery. Along with things like positive mantras, and a gentler approach to exercise, I’m utilizing food as medicine to try and lower inflammation in the body both pre- and post-surgery. 

I had to share these juicy bites with you because they’re so easy to make. They’re also a great example of culinary medicine. You could use this recipe formula with other high-antioxidant juices like pomegranate, blueberry, or even green juice blends, but this particular combination is especially well-suited for pain relief. 

Here’s some info about the thyroid-healthy ingredients in this recipe:

The main ingredient is tart cherry juice, which regularly makes the Top 10 lists of most anti-inflammatory foods. You may have known someone with arthritis or gout who used it to prevent flare-ups. Athletes have used tart cherry juice and supplements to increase strength and prevent soreness. It supports brain health, immune health, and is rich in antioxidants. Surprisingly, tart cherry juice can even be helpful before bed as a natural source of melatonin. 

While other types of cherries have similar health benefits, tart cherries have been studied the most because their medicinal properties are significantly stronger. The antioxidant levels in tart cherries, for example, are up to five times higher than sweet cherries.

NOTE: Cherries, like most stone fruits, are on the list of “goitrogenic” foods. They’re also touted for thyroid patients because of their high anti-oxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory properties. If you are avoiding all goitrogens, or feel particularly sensitive to them, you may want to substitute another kind of juice. Unsweetened pomegranate would be an excellent option. To learn more about the great goitrogen debate, and whether these foods are a real concern for thyroid patients, read THIS ARTICLE.


The other key healing ingredient in this recipe is gelatin. Gelatin is primarily composed of amino acids/proteins, which are beneficial to skin, teeth, nails, hair, joints, bones, muscles, the liver, the adrenals, and, in particular, the intestinal walls. Glycine, the primary amino acid in bone broth, has been shown to be particularly beneficial to health, including mental health and brain function. Glutamine, another amino acid found in gelatin, has been shown to help repair fissures in the intestinal walls (aka leaky gut).

The texture of these is like an extra-firm Jell-O. You can play with the amount of gelatin to adjust the firmness, but I would recommend going with between 2 and 4 tablespoons. 2 tablespoons would be more jiggly, while 4 tablespoons would take these into “gummy” territory. 

Note: Gelatin is an animal product, so these are not vegan.

I lightly sweetened these with honey, just to tame the tartness of the tart cherry juice. Feel free to adjust the amount or omit the sugar altogether. 

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Anti-Inflammatory Tart Cherry Gels

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, AIP

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic tart cherry juiceunsweetened
  • 3 tbsp. Grass-fed gelatin
  • 2-3 tbsp. honey

Instructions

  1. Pour the cherry juice into a small saucepan, and sprinkle gelatin in an even layer over the surface of the juice. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the gelatin to “bloom”. It will look wrinkly and weird—that’s normal.
  2. Add honey, if using.

  3. Heat the mixture gently over medium-low heat, whisking until the gelatin has completely dissolved.
  4. Pour into candy molds or an 8x8 baking dish, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  5. Unmold or cut into squares and store refrigerated for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Nutritional Info Print
Nutrition Facts
Anti-Inflammatory Tart Cherry Gels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 41 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 67mg2%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 3g6%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.