Last weekend was my son’s seventh birthday. Instead of a cake, he wanted apple pie. So I found a recipe for mason jar hand pies and went to work.
They turned out so cute and were so great for a party! No plates or forks to deal with. So yummy. And with the leftovers, I crumbled a few into my homemade vanilla ice cream (coconut-milk based) and made apple pie ice cream. Dangerously good.
As I was making the apple pie filling, I thought, this would be so good as an endurance gel! I couldn’t find anything online to use as a base recipe, so I made my own. I think I have a new favorite!
Your body can only handle so much sugar during long distance running, but it has been shown that a 2:1 mix of glucose to fructose allows your body to absorb more than either source alone. Plain corn syrup (not high-fructose) is a cheap and easily available source. Agave syrup is anywhere from 50-90% fructose (it’s hard to pin that number down since processing varies), so I like to use a mix of those syrups in my gels. They both have a light texture that is easy to swallow on a run, rather than a thick, toothpasty feel that some commercial gels have.
Instead of chopping apples and boiling them down for syrup, I bought a can of frozen apple juice concentrate (55% fructose, 20% sucrose, 25% glucose) and it worked beautifully. With the addition some salt for sodium and some cinnamon and ginger for flavor and potential anti-cramp powers, I had some seriously tasty fuel for pennies. Because the apple juice concentrate has so much sugar, this gel has more calories than my usual recipe with the same volume, which I think is a good thing. Less to carry!
Serves 1 gel
5 minTotal Time
- 1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate
- 3 tablespoons pure corn syrup (Karo is a good brand)
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Mix all ingredients well and pour into a gel flask (silicone travel bottles work great!) or into homemade FoodSaver bags.
- Store in freezer until ready to use.
Each gel contains 147 calories, 34 carbohydrates, and 173mg of sodium.