Thursday, April 2, 2015

Homemade Vitamins


We are blessed with two children that really eat well. Without a doubt they get at least 8 servings of fruits and veggies/day and on some days much more than that.  
Typical Meals:
Despite their good eating habits we still give them supplements.  Typically vitamins are taken to bridge the gap between what people ate and what they should be eating.  Unfortunately, due to today's farming practices, I lack confidence in the amount of nutrients in our food (organic or otherwise). So, Archer and Lana start each day with Juice Plus gummies and a quality fish oil with high amounts of DHA/EPA. We sometimes supplement with other things based on their growth or health needs at given times. And at night, they don't want to miss their dose of spicy honey. (fresh chopped garlic on a teaspoon with raw honey) 

 I know. kind of .... different.  But they LOVE IT! Raw honey and fresh chopped garlic have many health benefits and we love to make goodnight kisses memorable. 

For us Juice Plus is a great supplement for kids and adults alike.  17 nutritiously dense fruits and veggies all packed together in convenient, naturally sweetened gummies and/or capsules.  For the price, you really can't go wrong.  Wholesale customers can get Juice Plus capsules for around $45/month (adults) and $25/month (kids).  For us, supplements are a no-brainer.  This is our health insurance. 

For others, the value of supplements, like buying organic food over conventional is not yet understood.  Sometimes it takes a health scare to see that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  This is okay.  Your health and your health choices are personal and when you gain enough knowledge you usually make the best choice for yourself. So, this got me to thinking, if someone won't invest in the supplements maybe they might consider making their own? This brought me to my homemade "vitamin" gummy recipes.

I decided to first start with a standard gummie loaded with antioxidants from fruits and a unique tea made from a flower.  Awhile back a practice member gave me a terrific gift.  It was a hardy collection of sorrel buds.  I had used sorrel before but only the greens in salad.  Never had I thought or even heard of using the flowers?  I had been told they are used in the islands for the purpose of making a tea type beverage.  Typically the buds are added to boiling water with ginger and left to steep.  Then sugar or honey and/or cinnamon is added.  Sometimes for a special treat rum.  For this purpose, I left out the rum.  ( Adult gummies to follow.  ha!) 
The sorrel buds are a beautiful deep red color and make a tea that is equally as vibrant.  Unflavored the tea tastes a little bitter similar to cranberry but with less pucker power.  Slightly sweetened and flavored it is deliciously refreshing! 
 Nutritionally, sorrel contains vitamin C, a variety of B vitamins and is loaded with antioxidants.  Research has shown sorrel to be beneficial for lowering elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels which help prevent heart disease.  It is also believed that the flavonoids found in sorrel may be a useful deterrent against certain types of cancer and can help to enhance the body’s immune system.

Making Sorrel Tea
A hardy handful of sorrel buds (about 1 cup)
4-5 cups filtered water
Add buds to water and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and allow to steep at least 1 hour.  
Vibrant Red Sorrel

Gorgeous Sorrel Buds
Boil the water with Sorrel buds

Strain tea.

Immuno-boosting Sorrel and Berry Gummies
3/4 cup sorrel tea ( can substitute for organic fruit juice or another variety of tea)
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 c gelatin powder ( I use Bernard Jensen)
2 Tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup (optional and to taste)

3/4 to 1 cup pureed berries ( I used blueberry and strawberry)  

Prepare your silicon or candy molds by greasing them with coconut oil.  If you do not have mold you can simply use a greased glass baking dish.  8x8" square works best for this amount.  
1. Puree fruit.  
2. Boil water
3. Mix honey and tea.  
4.  Add gelatin to 1/2 of the tea and stir until it forms a thick paste.
5.  Quickly add boiling water. Stir until well dissolved.
6.  Add remaining tea and pureed fruit. Continue stirring.
7. Pour into molds.
8. Place in fridge until set.
9. Remove from molds and store in refrigerator for upto 2 weeks. 
Mix part liquid with gelatin

Add other liquid and fruit puree

Pour in molds

Slicing set gummies with sharp knife.

Remove from mold

Orange Banana & Ginger Gummies

1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup gelatin
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup of orange & banana puree
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Fresh grated ginger

Orange Banana & Ginger gummies

Yep, they loved them.
Basically you can do any combination.  Just remember 1 cup of liquid to 1/4 cup of gelatin.  ( a minimum of 1/4 cup of that liquid needs to be boiling) Add 1/2-1 cup of fruit or veggie puree.  Sweetener and spices as desired.

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