As tired, weary shift workers it’s not surprising that we’re lured in by the lollie jar at work, as a source of energy for our sleep-deprived brains.
But have you ever taken the time to read the ingredients label of some of these packaged lollies?
Let me share an example to help prove my point:
Ingredients: Glucose Syrup ( Wheat Or Corn), Cane Sugar, Thickener (Dextrin Roasted Starch, Acid Treated Starch Or Starch Acetate)( Wheat ), Gelatine, Food Acids (Citric, Lactic), Invert Syrup, Flavours, Colours (Carminic Acid, Turmeric, Vegetable Carbon, Paprika Oleoresin, Copper Chlorophyllin, Black Carrot). Contains Wheat. May Contain Milk.
As you can see, there are lots of extra “bonuses” included in that packet, besides the glucose itself.
It’s what makes these 3-ingredient jellies or “lollies” a much healthier alternative.
What’s great about them?
- Agar agar is a gel-like substance derived from algae that is a vegan alternative to gelatin. It’s high in fibre so can assist in improving bowel function and regularity.
- The fibre also helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels and improve satiety or that “feeling of fullness” which means you’re less likely to want to eat an entire packet (or jar)!
- Agar agar is high in micronutrients such as manganese, magnesium, folate and iron.
- Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin which can become quite depleted during times of stress.
- 1 cup of fresh orange juice (2-3 oranges)
- 1 tablespoon of Agar Agar powder
- 2 tablespoons of 100% Maple Syrup
How to make it?
- Place jelly moulds in the freezer to cool.
- Squeeze oranges to make juice then pour into a saucepan. Add agar agar powder and maple syrup to the juice, then stir until dissolved.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
- Pour into moulds, then return to freezer.
- Remove after 10 minutes or until set, then store in fridge until ready to take into work the next day!
Note: replace with any juice that you like (pineapple, watermelon etc), but ideally juice made from whole fruits to avoid all of the hidden nasties of packaged juices!
Sanaka, M, Yamamoto, T, Anjiki, H, Nagasawa, K & Kuyama Y 2007, ‘Effects of agar and pectin on gastric emptying and post-prandial glycaemic profiles in healthy human volunteers’, Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, vol. 34, no. 11, pp. 1151-1155.