Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Watermelon and Watermelon-Lime Sports Drink Recipes - homemade, healthy, natural and taste great too!

Maintaining good hydration during vigorous work or fitness training activities is easier if you are drinking something that you like.

Eating more watermelon is part of a colorful healthy diet. Learning about the nutritional value of watermelon has made this a "watermelon summer" for me. I've been eating lots of fresh watermelon and drying watermelon jerky chips to eat in the future.

Watermelon Sports Drinks are another way to enjoy this favorite fruit. Watermelon contains 10 g sugars per 154 g of fruit, so there are 16 g of sugar in a 1 cup serving (240 g) of watermelon juice. Diluting this watermelon juice with an equal volume of water will produce the isotonic sugar concentration desired in a sports drink. It is critical to replace the fluids that are lost to sweat during intense, prolonged sports and work activities. Experiments show that isotonic drinks are absorbed into our bodies faster than plain water.

Watermelon Sports Drink Recipe

I liquified some watermelon in my blender. This produced a pulpy juice that one could drink from a wide-mouth bottle, but not through the narrow opening of a squirt bottle. Filtering through a fine cloth produced a clear liquid juice, but much of the red color and nutritional value remained with the pulp so I don't recommend filtering. Anybody who has a juicer machine could probably extract more from the pulp to make a clear liquid watermelon juice that retains more of the nutritional value, but my simple juice made in a blender worked fine for me.

Full strength watermelon juice tasted great, but based on my calculations (see above) it contains too much sugar to use it as a sports drink. Diluting the watermelon juice with an equal volume of water produced a great tasting isotonic watermelon sports drink. Adding a little stevia natural flavor enhancer and no-calorie sweetener made it taste even better.

Electrolytes serve 3 critical roles in a sports drink. Analysis shows that watermelon contains potassium but very little sodium electrolyte. To ensure maximum speed of absorption approximately 1/4 tsp of salt should be added per half-gallon of watermelon sports drink. This amount should be adjusted to your individual taste. Add enough salt so that its taste is just barely detectable. Salty sports drinks are intended to prevent the drink from quenching your thirst so you will be stimulated to continue drinking more of the drink. Beware of adding too much salt and making the drink taste bad. The goal is to have a slightly salty drink that still tastes good so you will want to drink lots of it to maintain good hydration during vigorous activities.

Watermelon-Lime Sweet and Sour Sports Drink Recipe

Adding 4 oz of lime or lemon juice to a half-gallon of watermelon sports drink gave it a nice tangy flavor and contributes more vitamin C to the nutritional value of the drink without altering the isotonic sugar concentration.

More about:
Apple Juice Hydration Sports Drink homemade recipe - BRT Insights.
Grape juice sports drink recipe for hydration and reducing muscle soreness - BRT Insights.
Pomegranate, blueberry & cherry sports drinks may help decrease muscle soreness - BRT Insights.
Sports Drinks for Hydration During Work or Play Activities - BRT Insights.

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Monday, August 20, 2012


Pickle-Flavored Zucchini Squash Chips and Dried Pickle Recipes Made in a Food Dehydrator

Its that time of year again when gardeners are desperately seeking ways to make use of their excess harvests of zucchini.

I marinaded some zucchini slices in the pickle juice that we usually throw away when all of the pickles in the jar have been eaten. I made one batch with dill pickle juice and one batch with sweet pickle juice. Then I dried the slices in my food dehydrator. The vinegar evaporates in the dehydrator, so most of the sour taste is lost. The dried raw zucchini squash snack chips were crunchy with interesting subtle pickle flavors.

marinaded zucchini slices
Marinaded zucchini slices.

dehydrated raw zucchini chips
Dehydrated raw zucchini chips.

Dehydrated Pickles also make an interesting homemade snack food.

I also dried some pickle slices in the food dehydrator. The dried dill pickle slices came out with a good strong dill flavor. Dried sweet pickle slices were slightly sweet with a mild pickle flavor.

dill pickles and sweet pickles
Dill pickles and sweet pickles.

pickle slices
Pickle slices.

dehydrated dill pickle and sweet pickle slices
Dehydrated dill pickle and sweet pickle slices.

Conclusion: we can make healthy, crunchy snack foods at home. We don't need to buy the big bags of greasy, salty junkfoods at the store!! Although I sometimes still do.

Dried pickles and dehydrated raw vegan zucchini chips are healthy, homemade snacks that are low calorie, low fat, low salt, low carb and gluten free, making them suitable for many diet plans. These novel recipes seem to quickly satisfy my urges for crunching and snacking. No doubt I consume fewer calories from these dried veggie chips than I would from many types of junky store-bought snack foods. These homemade snacks make neat and tidy hors d'oeuvres or appetizers for TV or computer time, parties, etc. They are also excellent light weight foods for camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, canoeing and rafting trips.

More about:
Hot and Sour Zucchini Squash Chips - Raw Dehydrated and Tasty - BRT Insights.
Spicy Hot Zucchini Veggie Chips - healthy snack food recipes made in a food dehydrator.
Food & Drink for Indoor Snacks and Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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Saturday, August 04, 2012


Sweet & Sour Watermelon Chip Jerky is a tasty healthy homemade snack food

Dried watermelon chip jerky made in my food dehydrator tastes great. Concentrating the sugar content of a watermelon or cantaloupe into a dried chip makes a convenient healthy snack food with the nutrients from the melon. These chips are as sweet as candy, but that sweetness may sometimes be overwhelming.

Sour, acidic marinades provide some tangy flavor complexity when watermelon slices are dried to make jerky chips

Soaking the watermelon slices in sour marinade recipes (i.e. acidic, tangy) balances out the overwhelming sweetness of plain watermelon chips and adds some flavor complexity. Sweet and sour watermelon flavors are commonly used in candy and mixed drinks. For pretreatment of watermelon slices before drying I have tried a variety of sour marinades including apple cider vinegar, lime/lemon juice, red wine, and beer. All of these marinades add a bit of tangy sourness to the watermelon chips. A little sugar and watermelon flavor comes out of the watermelon slices into the marinade. Thus, it is important to keep the marinade volume low relative to the volume of the watermelon slices. I do my marinading in re-sealable plastic bags. This allows a minimum marinade volume to remain in good contact with the watermelon slices. The bag can be shaken and inverted to redistribute the marinade solution.

marinading watermelon slices in red wine
Watermelon slices marinading in red wine.

watermelon slices prepared for drying
Watermelon slices prepared for drying.

watermelon chip jerky after drying is completed
Watermelon chip jerky after drying is completed.

Watermelon-lime and watermelon-wine flavors make excellent sweet and sour jerky chips

Radiant Health Inner Wealth blog promotes lime juice-marinaded watermelon jerky chips. And I agree! Red wine-marinaded watermelon chips are also quite excellent! These sweet & sour watermelon chips are great as low fat snacks, hors d'oeuvres, and appetizers.

sweet and sour dried watermelon chip jerky
Lime-marinaded chips are red and wine-marinaded chips are purple.

More about:
Food Dehydrator used to make healthy homemade snack foods - BRT Insights.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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