crunchysquared

Where healthy meets thrifty, with just a splash of crazy


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Summertime Refreshment – Electrolyte/Detox Drink Recipe

’Tis the season for much sweating… Especially if you’re a fellow Floridian sweltering in the rapidly approaching summer heat. And when we sweat, we lose not just water, but minerals as well.

Whether we are outside sweating, or even just inside living day-to-day (even though I highly recommend more of the outside and sweating than being inside), we need hydration and minerals. We live in a mineral-depleted society due to poor diet and poor farming habits that leave the soil – and fruits of the soil – lower in minerals than in years past.

Adding minerals is important in any diet, but especially active people or those struggling with adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, or other endocrine-related health problems.
Most people realize they need some minerals. This is why the sports drink industry is thriving. What they don’t realize often, is that all sources are not created equal. When it comes to sports drinks, the health costs tend to outweigh the benefits.

Vitamin Water (Refresh Flavor): reverse osmosis water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), natural flavors, vegetable juice (color), gum acacia, magnesium lactate and calcium lactate and potassium phosphate (electrolyte sources), vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), glycerol ester of rosin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).

Okay, let’s break that laundry list of ingredients down! Basically water, sugar, natural flavors, gum acacia, and some vitamins/electrolytes. Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, except when you realize that one bottle of the stuff has 33 grams of sugar…about a soft drink’s worth! (If you’re not sure what’s so bad about sugar, click here). To make things worse, all of those vitamins are synthetic. Aka, man-made. Unfortunately, synthetic vitamins don’t function in your body like natural ones, and can actually be hard on your body to process. They tend to be more toxic than nutritive. Oh, and ‘natural flavors’ aren’t always so natural. They can be so processed and lab-extracted that they barely resemble their original forms.
YUCK!

Then there’s the classic… Gatorade!

Gatorade: Sugar, dextrose, citric acid, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, gum arabic, glycerol ester of rosin, natural flavor, yellow 5.

Although Gatorade has made recent moves to be ‘healthier’ by removing brominated vegetable oil from their drinks, they still have a long way to go. (Brominated vegetable oil, by the way, is a flame retardant and is banned for consumption in over 100 countries. So I’m not too impressed that they took it out…).
Anyway, we’re looking at the same issues as Vitamin Water with the high sugar content and synthetic vitamins, as well as not-so ‘natural flavors’. However, we have even more nasty to contend with. Glycerol ester of rosin has been declared unsafe by the European Food Safety Authority, and yellow 5 is a known carcinogen.

Honestly, it’s kind of a bummer that you can’t even trust something as widely-promoted as Gatorade or as healthy sounding as ‘Vitamin Water’. So what’s a poor, health-conscious dehydrated soul to do? MAKE YOUR OWN OF COURSE! : )
It’s easy peasy! Trust me! If you can turn on a blender or shake a bottle, you can make it! It’s yummy, COMPLETELY healthy, and fairly simple! It also serves as a gentle detox, with cleansing ingredients like ACV (apple cider vinegar) and lemon juice. Win-win!
Oh, and you can always customize it to your taste! Not sweet enough for you? Add more honey! Don’t like lime? replace it with lemon! You get the idea…

 

This drink mix is zingy with a hint of sweet, and perfect for quenching your thirst on those sweaty summer days!
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Enjoy and stay hydrated!

ELECTROLYTE/DETOX DRINK CONCENTRATE:

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups organic lemon juice
1 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar (we recommend Braggs brand)
1 cup raw local honey
¼ cup organic lime juice
1 tsp. Himalayan Salt or Real Salt
1 ½ tbl mineral drops (we recommend Concentrace brand) optional

Put all ingredients in the Vitamix or other blender and blend up. (Or, if you’re lazy and don’t want to clean the blender, you can just put them all in a jar and shake).
Then add to a gallon jug and finish with water for a ready-to-drink mixture.
Or, skip adding water and store in a quart jar for a concentrated mixture to add in water as you want it.

DRINK UP!

SOURCES:
http://www.vitaminwater.com
http://drbenkim.com/articles-vitamins.html
http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/14/health/feat-natural-flavors-explained/index.html
https://studiovhealth.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/toxic-chemicals-anyone-i-mean-gatorade/
Nina In New York: Gatorade Removes Potentially Toxic Ingredient Also Found In Flame Retardant. Yum!
http://www.pepsicobeveragefacts.com/Home/Product?formula=33877&form=RTD&size=20
http://www.foodchemadditives.com/side_effects_info/757
http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/Gum-rosin-not-safe-as-food-additive-says-EFSA
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx#!

 

*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.

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Easy Nut Butter

Nut butters, especially organic ones, can get pricey and sometimes the oils can go rancid. The solution? Make your own of course! It really isn’t that difficult and doesn’t take long. We have only tried this with walnuts or pecans

NUT BUTTER RECIPE:

Ingredients:
2 -2 1/2 cups whole nuts
1 tablespoon grass fed butter or coconut oil
1/2 tsp real sea salt
1 cup coconut oil (Wilderness Family Naturals brand)

Directions:

Melt 1 tablespoon butter or in a frying pan on low. Add nuts and stir often. Once they start to brown a little, turn the pan off.
Put 1 cup coconut oil in blender or food processor
Add salt and hot nuts in with oil and blend

If you are making fridge fudge, add other ingredients for it and blend and finish.

*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.


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Fridge Fudge (and a sugary story…)

IMG_8641Your afternoon pick-me-up treat could be killing you slowly. Ok, so that sounds a bit dramatic, but let me explain.

The average candy bar has 20+ grams of sugar – or 5 teaspoons. Sugar, as in, refined, white sugar. The stuff you buy at the grocery store in an unassuming paper sack.

Pretty harmless seeming stuff, huh? I mean, it isn’t the best for your health, but a little treat each day couldn’t hurt, right? Unfortunately, that’s pretty far from the truth.

Heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, cancer, organ disease, hormone imbalances and irritable bowl syndrome are just a few diseases caused by sugar consumption. Sugar also lowers immunities, making you more susceptible to getting sick.

First of all, let me explain that there are two types of sugar we are dealing with. Refined and natural.

Refined sugar comes from sugar beets or sugar cane that has been highly processed. It is heated, bleached, and processed until it hardly resembles the plant it came from – both in nutrition and appearance. It has none of the enzymes, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to digest it or use it as nourishment. It is considered ‘empty calories’. Calories without any nutritional value. Not to mention the chemicals used in processing it are toxic to your body.

Natural sugar is found in fruits, honey, and even raw sugar (beware your sourcing and do your research to be sure that it is indeed ‘raw’). The key to knowing the difference is that natural sugars are closer to, or even in, their natural state. An apple has natural sugar in it, but it is still an apple. Honey is mostly made up of natural sugars, but when eaten raw, is how it is found in nature. On the other hand, refined white sugar has been processed beyond recognition and isn’t even similar to the beets or cane it comes from.

So clearly the best bet is to seriously cut back on-or eliminate altogether-sugar from your diet. Easier said than done! Anyone’s who’s ever tried cutting sugar out knows it is ridiculously difficult and often ends with a guilt laden, sugar coma inducing, ice cream binge. This is because sugar has a drug-like effect on the body and can cause withdrawals for a period of time. When people joke about having a sugar addiction, they really are closer to the truth than they realize. Sugar cravings are real and they are strong.

The good news is that these physical cravings usually pass within 3 to 4 weeks of cutting out sugar. The bad news is that you have to survive until then. I could give you lots of great ideas about coping emotionally, such as removing all sugary temptations from your home and distracting yourself from the cravings.

But on a purely practical (and yummy) note, I’d like to offer some tasty help. A healthy substitute for your cravings! Obviously, this substitute still needs to be consumed in moderation… but it is completely healthy and totally delicious. This is a staple in our houses and we rarely let our fridge be barren of it! It’s great for a quick treat or snack!

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Here we go!

FRIDGE FUDGE:

(Makes an 8×8 pan)

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut oil (I use extra virgin or centrifuge from Wilderness Family Natural, but expeller pressed works as well)
1 cup or less (to taste) raw honey
1 cup cacao powder (from Wilderness Family Natural. Could use cocoa powder, but not as healthy)
1 cup nut butter (I make my own. Here is the recipe)
1 tsp real sea salt
1 cup coconut flakes (optional)
1 scoop grass fed gelatin (optional. This would need to be added to warmed or fresh-made nut butter first) This is the best brand we’ve found.

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, or use a stick blender and mix
Immediately pour in the pan and put in the freezer until set.
We then cut them and store lidded in the fridge. They keep for a couple weeks at least (if you can keep from eating them all before then!).

SOURCES:

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/health/refined-sugar-alert-dangers-you-need-to-know-1.1956258

http://www.livestrong.com/article/436871-sugar-in-candy-bars/

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-symptoms-of-sugar-withdrawal.htm

https://www.verywell.com/ibs-and-sugar-intolerance-1944973

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition/foods-to-boost-immunity/4-habits-weaken-immune-system

*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.

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Recipes on the Way!

We just straight up love cooking. And not just open-the-cookbook-and-follow-directions kind of cooking. Nooo… ware mad scientists in the kitchen. Our family jokes that we can never just cook from one recipe… we usually end up reading a bunch, referencing a few, and throwing our twist on them to create our own masterpiece. We also healthy-ize them – no processed foods, refined sugars and flours, or bad oils here!

Sooooo… this section of the blog is dedicated to sharing the results and successes of these adventures! Healthy, yummy recipes – tweaked so you don’t have to!

Subscribe and keeping watching for us to populate this section with many tasty delights very soon! Feel free to comments with requests or suggestions!