With right around five gallons of breastmilk lingering in the deep freeze, it’s time to get creative. (I should note: I have donated over four gallons of breastmilk to date. The remainder is the result of having a child who did not drink any expressed milk for the first six months of daycare. The remaining milk has either been in the freezer for more than a year, or was expressed after M turned one–i.e. it would not be accepted by a milk bank.)
I’m no stranger to cooking with breastmilk. There have been mornings when we wanted scrambled eggs, but were out of cows milk, or needed creamer for coffee. On those occasions I hand expressed some milk fresh from the source to save us a trip to the store. But this stock of milk requires a new level of experimental cooking. And this week’s adventure: Breastmilk Gummies.
When I was growing up every Christmas when we went to see my grandparents in Colorado, my grandma would have my favorite dessert prepped–a jello applesauce concoction similar to this. So, when I saw this recipe call for fruit juice, but I didn’t have any, applesauce stepped in as a natural alternative. It gave it a bit more texture and a nice color. I imagine my grandma reflecting on this particular substitution, and adjacent recipe, with a mixture of pride and a hint of skepticism.
As the recipe calls for, I started off by heating up the water and applesauce on the stove. I took it to a simmer, then removed it from the heat and stirred in the gelatin. Check your gelatin when you purchase–there are some brands that are heaped with protein. This gives you the option of transforming a jello jiggler dessert into a protein bomb.
After the gelatin dissolved, I opted out of adding any additional sweetener, and poured in 1/4 cup breastmilk, mixing thoroughly.
Once thoroughly mixed, I poured my solution into a pyrex dish, rather than molds. It was quite thick, and set up quickly, ready for action about 20 minutes after putting it in the fridge. You could probably use less gelatin, and end up with a more traditional jello consistency, rather than the jello0 jiggler approach.
Once cut, it was time to test out…Everyone gave this new creation a try.
M seemed more interested in the texture, but she was a good sport and gave it a try herself before insisting that J consume her remaining share.
J and I had a similar review: the breastmilk gummies initially lacked flavor–additional sweetener probably would have helped matters. Texture was similar to jello jigglers, so if nothing else this recipe would make a great, safe-sensory play for a blossoming scientist. Within a few moments of taking the first bite though, there was the distinct taste of breastmilk–a little tangy, with a hint of something akin to a dairy product that was perhaps on the verge of sour. Not bad, but more complex than one would anticipate from a jello jiggler.
All in all, probably not a recipe I would jump through hoops to make again, but definitely a recipe that might be worth tinkering with.