Luicano’s favorite SCD treats….Peanut Butter Caramels

1f569ecb8a3cda105b1cc89df542b9f3These are gluten free and oh, so yummy! I used to make this recipe all the time. These caramels keep well in the fridge, and they’d last until we gobbled them up. It was an easy way for me to provide a healthy and yummy treat for my son. Plus, I love that I knew what the ingredients were and that I could choose them. Luciano told me (as an adult ) that he even tried to recreate the recipe, because he had watched me make it so many times, he knew all the ingredients. We couldn’t find the real recipe though and the other day while looking online I found it! http://www.scdrecipe.com/recipes/print/409

Excited to share it here! I added some extra pointers.

Ingredients

  • 1 C of peanut butter (SCD Legal….It can’t have sugar in the ingredients)
  • 4 T of butter
  • 1 C of honey
  • 4 TSP of Vanilla (has to be pure vanilla)
  • 1/2 TSP of Himalayan Salt

Instructions

  • Bring butter, honey, vanilla and salt to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes while stirring
  • Add the peanut butter and bring back to a simmer for 5 more minutes
  • Butter a 8×8 pan and pour into pan. Put pan in the freezer for an hour to help solidify.
  • Cut them into squares and wrap them in wax paper. Store in the refrigerator.
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Table Sugar verses Honey: What happens in the digestive process.

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Understanding the difference between table sugar (sugar extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets) and honey and how it is digested is beneficial in helping us make educated food choices. Twelve years ago I found Elaine Gottshall’s book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” and put my son on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Not only did my son’s Ulcerative Colitis go into remission, but I learned many valuable lessons. I hope this one about table sugar and honey fascinates you or at least teaches you something you may not know.

First off both table sugar and honey would be defined as “sugars” which are chemical compounds of varying sweetness which include fructose, glucose, and sucrose. The difference between honey and table sugar is that honey is a monosaccharide and table sugar is a disaccharide.

Monosaccharides are single sugars which include fructose and glucose. They’re found in honey and fruits. Fructose and glucose require no further digestion in order to be absorbed in the bloodstream. They are predigested sugars and much easier on the gut for consumption.

Disaccharides are sugars composed of two parts (two molecules) which are chemically linked. Table sugar is sucrose and it is a disaccharide sugar formed by chemically linking one part glucose to one part fructose. Sucrose sugars require digestion before they can be absorbed into the blood stream

According to the theory behind the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, people with digestive disorders have trouble digesting and absorbing the carbohydrates in disaccharide sugars, because they are much harder to digest and absorb into the digestive system. Thus, the need for strict compliance and avoidance of these carbohydrates while on the diet.

Fortunately, honey is wonderful and provided us with a healthy sweetener that we rely on exclusively, to adhere to the SCD diet.  We have also gained a real appreciation for fruit as a dessert choice instead of cupcakes, cookies or other desserts that use sucrose sugars. Continuing on with our food journey, a year ago we became backyard bee keepers and we now enjoy our own honey. Future blogs about the value of honey and the amazingness of bees are soon to be in the works!

In the meantime, I hope I helped you become better educated about the difference between table sugar (disaccharide) and honey (monosaccharide).

 

Why you should read the labels of anything you buy in the grocery store.

014We can all agree that the incidence of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases are on the rise and we can probably all agree it has a lot to do with what we are eating. Many of us are choosing to stay away from gluten and wheat, but how many people actually take the time to read the ingredients in the many products they buy? And do you know what ingredients are in the more expensive “organic” alternative?

My son, as a young boy, suffered from Ulcerative Colitis. It is said to be a chronic autoimmune disease that there is no cure for. I found a diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (www.scdlifestyle.com) and after two months on this diet he was no longer anemic and no longer experiencing symptoms. The theory of the diet is that by not eating certain foods we stop feeding the bacteria that is causing the ulcerations. The difficult part was that we had to be “fanatical” about eating only the foods on the diet. Thankfully, there was a list of legal and illegal foods and some basic guidelines like no sugar, starch, lactose, soy or grains. Also, no canned or processed foods are allowed.

We were on the diet “fanatically” for five years and as a result of this, my son was never sick. When I say never sick, I mean that. He’d actually ask if he could take a sick day, and once in a blue moon, I would grant that. No colds, no infections, no chronic illness. Today my son is an adult and doesn’t live with me, but I can assure you while we may not be “fanatical” about this diet, we have taken what we learned and truly subscribe by eating whole foods.  We understand how important it is to only put real food in our bodies.

I trained myself to read the ingredient list of any product I was considering purchasing in the grocery store, and out of habit I still do this today. The other day I was going to buy cream cheese after reading the ingredient list I couldn’t buy it. I wouldn’t have known that there’s corn syrup and starch in just about everything including sausage. Packed shredded cheese is coated with starch as a preservative. Yogurts are now being filled with gelatins, tapiocas and starches, mustard (one of the easiest things to make) has all kinds of strange ingredients in it now. High Fructose corn syrup, Guar Gum and Xanthan Gum are in just about everything including almond milk and soy milk and they’re illegal on the diet and bad for us. Here’s one for you, Dole pineapple juice used to be 100% juice, but since 2010 they added vitamins A, C and E. The Vitamin A is bound with cornstarch.

While we can’t control everything in the food supply chain, we can read ingredients and we can educate ourselves. If you really want to start being an advocate for your own health, my advice is read the labels of the food you purchase and take ownership of eating for your health.