Thursday, May 15, 2014

Watermelon gummy treats

Time to get off the couch and head outdoors.
The great outdoors is beckoning me to start getting ready for hiking and backpacking season. I am an avid exerciser so that part is no problem. The hard part is planning what to eat for hiking, backpacking or even long bike rides.

Since last backpacking season, I have had to radically alter my diet, yet again. My leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth and resulting autoimmune problems have been a tough cookie to crack. I have tried many diets, such as paleo, SCD, AIP, FODMAPs, anti-candida and more. But none of these diets has been the key to solving my health problems but they did lead me to discovering that most carbohydrates are difficult for me to digest.

I have added digestive enzymes, HCL-pepsin capsules, Vitamin B and other supplements recommended by my health practitioner but the problems persist. Lifestyle changes, including daily meditation, have helped but not resolved my issues.

The past three months, I have been on the Fast Tract diet which seeks to limit carbohydrates that tend to be difficult to digest and ferment in the gut, resulting in bacterial overgrowth. The diet plan assigns an FP (fermentation potential) to all things carbohydrate. The ones with higher FP are avoided or eaten sparingly. One's total FP for the day should be 20-30. As an example, a serving of almonds (30 grams) has a FP of 5. Coconut water (8.8  ounces) has an FP of 9.

You get the problem. It wouldn't take long adding up the FP of traditional trail foods to reach 20-30. Most of the foods I've packed along in the past (low glycemic, high FP) have provoked my IBS symptoms. It usually takes days after a trip for my stomach to recover.

Watermelon gummies
Watermelon is an easily digestible food (FP of 2) that packs a lot of energy. In fact, many fitness enthusiasts rely on watermelon juice for energy. Of course, a watermelon, even the personal size, weighs a ton when it comes to hiking.

I have been experimenting with making watermelon gummies which I've found to be a refreshing snack that gives me quick energy. I took some on a recent charity bike ride (32 miles) and they gave me the energy I needed. My only concern is whether they will hold up in the hotter temp days of July and August. I have a small insulated bag I can put in my backpack so that will help.

Here's what you need for 12 gummies:

1 cup watermelon chunks
1/2 cup water
juice of 1 lime
stevia or other sweetener, to taste
4 T. grassfed gelatin
1 tsp. vanilla extract (no alcohol)

Here's what you do:

Puree the watermelon chunks with water and lime juice. Place the mixture in a saucepan. Sprinkle on the gelatin. Allow to soften for 2 minutes. Whisk in the gelatin as you heat the mixture until warm. Stir in the sweetener and vanilla. Pour the mixture into molds of your choice.

Recipe submitted to:

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