Panna cotta is an Italian custard of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin often served with fruit sauce. To make a healthy version of this dish I use almond milk sweetened with honey. Since it is spring I made a strawberry and rhubarb compote as the fruit topping.
Since all gelatin is not created equally it is important to get one made from antibiotic free, grass fed cows made without any MSG or other chemicals. I like Great Lakes Gelatin and Vital Proteins Gelatin.
Gelatin is a powerful healing superfood that has been used for centuries. It is made of collagen the most abundant protein in the body and is a key constituent of all connective tissue.
Gelatin is a great alternative to protein powder. It contains between 11-17 grams of protein per tablespoon. It promotes youthful skin, shinny hair and strong nails. Gelatin is particularly helpful for reducing inflammation. It soothes the mucosal lining of your digestive system to heal or prevent leaky gut and keeps bones and joints healthy and strong. Read my full article on gelatin here.
Panna cotta is a delicious way to get more gelatin into your diet. Since it is easy to make this smooth and creamy dessert, it will become part of your regular menu. It can be served with berries too!
I made it with homemade almond milk because I love the fresh taste but organic, store bought almond milk will work fine.
The panna cotta takes only 15 minutes to prep and cook but it needs 4-5 hours to cool. The strawberry rhubarb compote need 20 minutes to cool down so plan accordingly.
- 3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 3 cups almond milk (I like homemade)
- ¼ cup raw honey
- pinch sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 4-6 stalks rhubarb about ¾ lb cut into 1“ pieces (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¾ lb organic strawberries cut in half or sliced if large, fresh or frozen (about 2 cups)
- Pour 1 cup almond milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle evenly with the gelatin. Let the milk sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften.
- Heat the milk and gelatin over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and milk begins to steam, but not boil.
- Stir the remaining almond milk and honey into the warm milk and whisk until all the ingredients are dissolved.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the almond and vanilla extract
- Let it to cool for a few minutes
- Divide the almond mixture evenly among 4 glasses or small bowls. Let sit 10 minutes and cover tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic does not touch the almond milk’s surface.
- Refrigerate 4-5 hours until cold and set.
- Prepare the strawberry rhubarb compote
- Put cut up rhubarb into a saucepan with the water.
- Add honey.
- Mix to combine.
- Turn on heat to medium low.
- Once it starts to simmer, cover and turn down to low for 3 minutes until rhubarb is beginning to soften.
- Remove cover, stir and simmer with the cover off for 2-3 minutes more until rhubarb is soft. Turn off the heat.
- Add strawberries and stir.
- Taste to adjust sweetness. If it is too tart add a little stevia or more honey.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, top each of the 4 panna cotta with strawberry rhubarb compote.