Fruit Gummies Recipe

Blueberry and Coconut Water GummiesGelatin not only makes for some fun gummy treats, it’s excellent as a daily dietary supplement. The collagen in gelatin is great for tightening loose skin when ingested (the collagen proteins in gelatin are too large to be absorbed by the skin, so external collagen creams are useless) and some people claim it helps with cellulite. While I’m not sure about the cellulite, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Gelatin supports healthy hair, skin, and nail growth. It also supports a healthy digestive system and it’s great for your joints and can help ease recovery post workout. Gelatin does contain protein, but it is not a good source of pre or post workout protein. Although the amino acids in gelatin do help support better sources of protein, such as meat, in helping to build muscle.

In other words, fruit gummies are not only a great daily treat for yourself or your children, they are good for you too!

I prefer to use Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin (with the green lid) when making gummies. Why Vital Proteins? Vital Proteins gelatin gives the most consistent results for making gummies. Other gelatins do not set up as well as Vital Proteins, which is why it is my first choice for gelatin to make gummies. My second choice is Great Lakes Gelatin in the red or orange cans. Great Lakes gelatin works well, but does not always set firmly making it hard to use in silicone molds. It also has a tendency to clump into hard nearly impossible to remove chunks which can be a hassle or it can work perfectly. You never know. Store brand and name brand gelatins located in the grocery store come from unknown sources, often from animals that are not healthy or raised in commercial feedlots not pastures. This results in collagen and gelatin that is not as healthy as what comes from Vital Proteins or Great Lakes. Vital Proteins gelatin is sourced from pasture raised cows resulting in gelatin that is great for the health of your hair, skin, nails, and gut.

There are other ways to get your daily gelatin intake other than tasty gummies. Vital Proteins also has collagen peptides (with the blue lid), which do not gel up in warm or cold liquid. This makes it perfect for adding to coffee or a smoothie. I add mine to my post workout protein powder in addition to having a scoop in my morning green vegetable juice. Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate, in the green can does not gel in cold liquids just like the Vital Proteins collagen peptides, making it another option to get your daily intake of gelatin.

Lego Silicone MoldsOkay, back to the gummies. I used silicone molds, from Michaels, to make the batch of blueberry and coconut gummies in the photos. But I’ve also used Lego man and Lego brick molds and dinosaur molds. Check out the Gelatin Gummies section of my Amazon store to find links to purchase the molds I’ve used (they also have Hello Kitty, Star Wars, Robots, Dr. Who, and yes even bear molds!). You can also make gummies in a glass baking dish and just cut them into squares to enjoy. The silicone molds are 100% optional fun.

The basic fruit gummies recipe below can be altered in many ways depending on what fruit and liquid you want to use. The basic gummies recipe requires approximately 2 to 2 ½ cups of liquid, not including the 1 cup of cold water the gelatin blooms in and the lemon juice. This means you can mix up the recipe to make any number of flavor combinations. I’ve made gummies with alcohol before for adult party treats as well as gummies with fruit for the kids. The possibilities are endless. To get you started, here are some suggestions for flavor combinations for the fruit and liquid portion of the recipe below:

  • 2 cups blueberries, ¾ cup coconut water
  • 2 cups raspberries, ¾ cup water, 1 Tablespoon Raspberry Honey
  • 2 cups mango, ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups of Red Roobios tea
  • 1 ½ cups champagne, ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 cups kombucha, any flavor

Fruit Gummies Recipe

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold Water
  • 6 Tablespoons Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin/Collagen Protein (Green lid)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen Berries or Fruit, measure before blending into a puree (Optional to strain if using berries to remove seeds)
  • ¾ cup Liquid (water, no sugar fruit juice, champagne, coconut water, etc.)
  • Juice of two Lemons
  • Optional: 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup or Honey
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, add collagen protein to cold water. Stir and set aside to bloom while preparing fruit mixture. The collagen will start to set in the water as it blooms, this is expected.
  2. Puree chosen berries or fruit in a blender with liquid of your choice and lemon juice.
  3. Pour pureed fruit mixture and optional Maple Syrup or Honey into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until warm, about 3-5 minutes. Do not boil.
  4. Use a spatula to loosen collagen protein from bowl and break into four smaller portions. Add bloomed collagen protein to fruit mixture in sauce pan carefully to prevent splashing.
  5. Stir mixture slowly until all collagen protein has melted into the fruit mixture.
  6. There are two options on how collagen protein can set, in a glass baking dish (Step 7) or silicone molds (Step 8)
  7. Glass baking dish- Pour gummy mixture into an 8x8 glass baking dish and allow to set in the refrigerator for 60 to 90 minutes or until firm. Cut into small squares and enjoy.
  8. Silicone molds- Place molds on a cookie sheet or cutting board for easy transfer to refrigerator, mixture will make 3 to 4 dozen gummies based on the size and depth of silicone molds used. Transfer half of mixture into a measuring cup with a pouring spout, such as a Pyrex measuring cup. Pour slowly into the molds. Repeat with remaining half of mixture. Place cookie sheets or cutting boards with molds in the refrigerator and allow to set for 60 to 90 minutes until firm. Remove gummies from molds and enjoy.
  9. Gummies can be stored in the refrigerator for one week.

For more on the benefits of gummies and collagen:


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Balance and Rhythm

San Juan Islands Trees
Relaxation here I come! Trees in the San Juan Islands.

Balance and rhythm is not something that comes easily to me. I struggle with maintaining a balance between work and school, personal and professional pursuits, working out and rest days, family time and me time. It doesn’t help that I push myself to always do my best, even at the expense of my sanity. I’ve always been a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I can be very hard on myself when I do not give everything 100%. Having as full of a plate as I do means at some point something has to give and I need stress relief.

It’s become more apparent that my balance and rhythm is out of whack. I chipped a tooth and cracked another because my nightly teeth grinding habit since I was a little girl has migrated to the day time. I was asked what that weird noise was recently and I realized it was me grinding my teeth. In the middle of the day, without realizing I was doing it. The classes I’m taking for my degree are more mentally challenging than any classes I’ve ever taken before, and writing technical papers in the third person is not something I excel at apparently.

So I gave in here and there. I let a little more dust and cat hair settle around the house. I’m changing to posting here every other week until I finish my degree (for more regular posts and updates you can always follow me on Instagram at Nourishtofuel). I got my cracked tooth fixed and I’m getting Invisalign to correct and prevent further teeth grinding mishaps. I’m making rest days as important as lifting days. I’m letting everything I have to do for school go while I’m at work, because there is nothing I can do about it then. And most importantly I’m focusing on my family when we have time together.

Having a super long 23 day vacation from work starting this Friday helps too! Especially since part of the time I will be home with my girls while they are on winter break and part of the time I will be in the San Juan Islands with my husband.

The lesson to be learned here is we don’t always have everything worked out and flowing the way we think we do or the way we want it to. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or not doing your best. Sometimes life and stress catches up with us in sneaky ways, such as grinding your teeth unknowingly during the day. The important thing is to recognize this. Step back and evaluate what can be changed, what can be let go, and move on from there.

Monthly Inspiration:

Recently HumanX Gear posted my story in the first of a blog series about eXtraordinary people. I was approached in September with a request to tell my story in more detail about transformation, what CrossFit means to me, what it’s done for me, and more tidbits after I had entered a contest to win tickets to the 2014 CrossFit games by stating briefly what CrossFit has done for me. I did not win tickets to the games, but I did get the opportunity to share my story with a wider audience. For that I’m thankful, and I hope my transformation can help to inspire others.

The second story in the series was just released and it’s pretty amazing.

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe Round-Up

NTFThanksgiving

We don’t brine a turkey, roast or deep fry one either for Thanksgiving. We don’t do turkey on turkey day. We’re a roasted chicken family, due to multiple family members being allergic to turkey. Which is okay with me, I was never a big fan of turkey anyway (gasp!).  I’ve always been in it for the side dishes and the dessert. And the football!!! Okay okay, and time with family between forkfuls of food and shouts to the football refs.

Our Thanksgiving table includes the green bean casserole my sister perfectly makes even though she doesn’t eat green beans, my Mom’s amazing moist and a little crusty homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes with extra butter, sweet potato casserole (which is not something I eat as it’s way to sweet for me), another vegetable dish usually honeyed carrots, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls for those that don’t eat gluten free, and at least 3 kinds of pie. Usually apple, pumpkin, and berry! Every once in awhile I want to mix it up a bit and add something new at the last minute. The side dish recipe round-up below is for those close to last minute additions or maybe a substitute for the too sweet to eat sweet potato casserole. These recipes also work year-round for non holiday dinners too!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipe Round-Up

About those leftovers…

 

Stop and Smell the Roses

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller

photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc
photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc

I do my best in the morning to get out the door at exactly the right time to avoid the worst of the traffic. Recently, it doesn’t matter what time I leave as I’ll be sitting in my car fully stopped on the freeway for most if not some of my commute. I’ve accepted this begrudgingly, and subscribed to at least 5 podcasts to occupy my mind.

This morning was one of those mostly parked then move a little bit mornings. I arrived in the city where I work and noticed a couple jaywalking across the street with an elderly woman. The couple had a hold of her jacket and were pulling her across the street faster than her legs were comfortable moving. You could clearly see it all over her face. She was scared and uncomfortable moving at that pace. It made me mad. I called my Mom and told her when her legs don’t move that fast anymore, I promise to never drag her across the street. I’ll hold her hand, we’ll go to a crosswalk, and take our time through the intersection.

Even running late to work it’s not going to make that much of a difference in my schedule to stop and wait for someone who doesn’t move that quickly to walk across the street. It doesn’t make that much of a difference to any of us. You’ll get there when you get there. Your time may be valuable and scarce to you, but if you don’t slow it down every now and again you will miss so much.

I have my girls to thank for learning this. When they were younger their little legs didn’t cover as much ground as my stride would. Plus there are all kinds of interesting things to look at. Rocks, flowers, weeds, bugs, animals, clouds, people, and everything and anything in between. They are learning through experiences and are interested in the world around them. The only way to make good time with a toddler is to carry one, and that doesn’t always go over so well because they have kid stuff to do. I stopped trying to get my girls to move as fast as I did.  I’d hold their soft little hands and look at the rocks with them. I’d limit the number of flowers they could pick at a given time to less than 5 before we had to move on. But I slowed down. To this day I stop what I’m doing and put off cleaning the house, which is hard for someone who is OCD such as myself, to just be with them in the moment.

Before my Grandma passed away I would hold her hand when we went shopping. Usually looking for the perfect grey purse. She was never satisfied with the grey purse she just bought. There was always one out there that would be better than the ones she had found before it. Most of them were never purchased because they just weren’t right (Side note: I know where I got my never ending search for the perfect black purse from). But I would hang back and walk with her. If I had moved ahead, I might have missed a purse or two but more importantly I’d have missed that connection with her. I still notice grey purses to this day and wonder if that might be the one she would have wanted.

Working in western healthcare, before I was fortunate enough to move into naturopathic medicine, you are always pushed to keep going faster. You are never fast enough or quick enough. When our elderly patient’s with cold hands needed a finger stick, I could have had them put their hands under hot water, given them a warming hand pack, or filled a glove with hot water for them to hold (my least favorite of the bunch) in order to warm up their cold hands. This is needed so the blood will flow well enough to complete the finger stick successfully. Instead, I’d sit there and hold their hands in my frequently hot hands and we’d talk. We’d chat about the weather, about their lives, about my girls, or anything in general. It was a personal connection that is so often missing in western medicine and probably one of the many reasons I didn’t fit in that area of medicine well. After all, holding hands with a patient and chatting about what was on their minds or something to distract them from whatever brought them in to the doctor, wasn’t quick or fast enough.

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Young children and elderly people are obviously at different stages in their lives. We can learn something from both of them for those of us in the many years in the middle though. The lesson is to slow down. With young children, explore together and learn about all the amazing things this world has to offer. From elderly people, reflect and observe the world as it’s changed and grown. Hold hands no matter the age and walk slowly to take it all in. Take breaks to just sit and be or inspect what’s under that rock. Don’t push those little legs or those older legs that just don’t move the same as they used to, to rush across the street and through life. We get so little time with children before they grow up quickly and so little time with those around us who are closer to the end of this chapter in their lives, that we really need to just stop, lift our heads up from our lives, and look around a little every now and again before we realize that life just passed us by.