Refresh yourself! …and eat Oatmeal Power Balls!
Hope your weekend has been going well so far!
Mine has been pretty busy actually!
I just wanted to take some time to give you some suggestions on how to refresh your water. Now that the warm weather is here, our craving for sugary, cold drinks have hit a sky high. Who doesn’t want to get a Tim Horton’s Ice Cappucino, or a slushee, or not to mention soft drinks or even natural fruit juice to satisfy that sweet craving on a hot summer day?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but when you’re reaching for these sugary drinks every day, we have a problem. As mentioned recently in the media and covered extensively on Robert H. Lustigs lecture Sugar: The Bitter Truth, we should actually only be consuming 25 grams of sugar (6 tsp) for women and 37.5 grams of sugar (9 tsp). That’s the amount of sugar you’ll find in a single serving of soda or fruit juice.
According to Dr Lustig, the harmful effects of sugar (or more specifically fructose) are the cause for our obesity epidemic. There are different kinds of sugars. Glucose, which is found naturally in fruit and vegetables and grains is the primary fuel for our body, and having a healthy level of glucose is what fuels our body, brain and muscles. Sucrose is also found in fruits and table sugar and is composed of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Lactose found in dairy products is made up of 50% galactose and 50% glucose.
Then there’s fructose. Fructose is the most common sugar used to sweeten beverages and is added to processed foods because it is so cheap! It is also found in natural foods too such as fruits. But it’s actually metabolize differently in the body than glucose; it is processed by the liver and kidneys whereas glucose can be processed anywhere in the body. Also in contrast to glucose, its metabolism produces many intermediates that are used to synthesize new fat cells. Also, the fact that your insulin can’t regulate fructose levels makes it easier to over consume fructose and can lead to many complications including diabetes.
Well do I have the solution for you!
I have for you 5 recipes to spruce up your water, so that you can have a unique beverage every day of the week and don’t require any added sugar. The most I would do is add a small amount of fruit to change the colour of the water or add a subtle flavour:
1) Vanilla Peach Water: Into a 500mL water bottle add 1/2 orange or 1 peach or nectarine sliced, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Add water and leave to infuse for a few hours in the fridge.
2) Sage Orange Water: Into a 500mL water bottle, add half an orange peel and a few fresh sage leaves. Leave to infuse for a few hours in the fridge.
3) Mint Raspberry Lemon Water: In a 500mL water bottle, add 1/4 cup fresh mint, 1.4 cup frozen raspberries and the juice of half a lemon. Leave to infuse for a few hours in the fridge. The water will change colour to a beautiful deep red colour.
4) Cucumber Honeydew Water: In a 500mL water bottle, add 1/4 cup sliced cucumber and 1/2 cup sliced honeydew melon. Leave to infuse for a few hours in the fridge.
5) Your favourite water: In a 500m L water bottle, take your favourite tea bag and add 1/2 sliced lemon. Add water and leave to infuse for a few hours.
And now onto something a little more sweet:
OATMEAL POWER BALLS
These balls are gluten free, vegan and contain good-for-you fats from nuts, good fibre from ground oatmeal and some sweetness from mushed banana, mango and honey.
-1.5 cups ground oats (oatmeal ground in a food processor or my Omega 8006 juicer to make a flour)
-1.5 cups puffed millet or puffed rice
-3/4 -1 cup crushed nuts (I would use a mixture of whatever you have almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts anything works) OR 1.2 cup peanut butter
-FRUITS I have many different fruits I can add into this recipes. I’ve tried
A) 1 banana, 1 apple crushed and grated
B) 1 lime, grated and juiced, 1/2 orange grated and juiced, 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 2 tbsp poppy seeds
C) 1 banana 1 mango, crushed
D) 1.5 cups frozen berries, crushed
-SWEETENER This depends on how your batter tastes upon adding fruits. Usually I add 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup or another banana to sweeten things up!
-1 cup toasted coconut (to toast coconut, simple add to a pan set to medium heat and toss until the coconut starts to turn golden)
Instructions: Into a bowl, add oatmeal flour, puffed millet or rice, crushed nuts or peanut butter, fruits, sweetener and shredded coconut. Form into balls and place on a baking tray into a 400 degrees oven. Bake for 5 minutes, turning once, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake until you can pick up balls with your hands and they feel like a soft cookie (10-20 minutes depending on how wet the batter is from the fruits and the sweetener).