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Anti-Inflammatory Tart Cherry Gels

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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. 

These juicy bites are 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. 

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Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

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 tart cherry juice 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 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. 



Health Benefits of Gelatin

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).


A Few Recipe Variations...

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 to tame the tartness of the tart cherry juice. Feel free to adjust the amount or omit the honey altogether. 



Anti-inflammatory Tart Cherry Gels

Anti-inflammatory Tart Cherry Gels

Yield: 12
Author: Ginny Mahar
Prep time: 15 MinTotal time: 15 Min
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo, AIP



  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 to taste.
  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!

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