Gel Kit recipe

The kits are labeled by “part” and description, please follow as it works best for you.  There are four parts, plus water.  Water is measured three times. First is for the soaker and food (parts 1 & 2), second for moistening the loose leaf/flower (part 3) and last, boiled water for part 4 (agar agar).

I have used glass loaf dishes, silicon candy molds, and plastic ice cube trays for a mold.  I have found it best to try and find the size that will work for the ‘as fed’ size.  The fiber content of the loose leaf/flower (part 3) greatly effects the ability to cut smaller pieces from a larger mold.  Cutting up the loose leaf/flowers before making the gel can make cutting the molded pieces easier, but then you will loose some of the ‘fiber effect’ of larger bits of leaf/flower.  The total fiber content is not changed, but by ‘effect’ I mean the poop/stool formation in the gut.

I’d suggest reading through the steps before beginning to make the gel.

Stovetop:

1) Mix part 1 and 2, the Food and the Soaker, with 1-1/2 cups of cold water, let stand for several hours to over night.  If your food is a pellet, break the pellets up into small pieces after soaking.  Place the food (part 1) at the bottom so it will soak more, and the soaker (part 2) on top.

2) Mix part 3, the loose leaf/flower with 1 cup of water, mix until all the water is absorbed. It’s is okay if all the water is not absorbed, keep it with the loose leaf/flower for mixing. This step can be done while step one is sitting and well before step three.

AFTER the food soaker combination is well soaked…

3) Bring 1 cup of water to a rapid boil, ad the the agar agar (part 4), into the water, stir until well mixed (about 1/2 minute of boiling) and turn off heat / remove from stove top.

4) Immediately add the soaker/food mix (parts 1 & 2), and the loose leaf/flower mix (part3) into the hot agar agar water (part 4), stir for a uniform mix.

5) Spoon or pour into a mold of your choice.  Set in your refrigerator for a few hours to harden.

Depending on what mold you use, most anything will work, as long as it can take boiling liquids into the refrigerator, make sizes that will be appropriate for your tortoise.

Microwave:

1) Mix part 1 and 2, the Food and the Soaker, with 1-1/2 cups of cold water, let stand for several hours to over night.  If your food is a pellet, break the pellets up into small pieces after soaking.  Place the food (part 1) at the bottom so it will soak more, and the soaker (part 2) on top.

2) Mix part 3, the loose leaf/flower with 1 cup of water, mix until all the water is absorbed. It’s okay if some of the water is not absorbed, keep it with the loose leaf/flower for mixing.  This step can be done while step one is sitting and well before step three.

AFTER the food soaker combination is well soaked…

3) Ad the agar agar (part 4) to 1 cup of water in at least a six cup capacity microwave safe dish, stir until the agar agar is well dissolved in the water.

5) Heat to a boil in the microwave, then remove the bowl with the hot agar agar/water mix from the microwave and immediately stir in all other ingredients, the food/soaker (parts 1 & 2) mix and the loose leaf/flower mix (part 3).

6) Spoon or pour into a mold of your choice. Set in your refrigerator for a few hours to harden.

Depending on what mold you use, most anything will work, as long as it can take boiling liquids into the refrigerator, make sizes that will be several bites size for your tortoise.

I have found the completed gels will last in a refrigerator at least two weeks, frozen will last more or less indefinitely, but can desiccate (freezer burn) if not well wrapped in freezer type storage bags or plastic boxes.  Don’t forget them in storage!

Some ingredient choice making suggestion.

 

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