Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leftover Oatmeal Blackberry Bread

Yesterday we had oatmeal for breakfast. I had several cups leftover so I stuck them into the fridge to save. This morning I ate a bowl of leftover oatmeal which tasted just as good as yesterday when heated on the stove with a little bit of milk and butter. Still, I had two cups of oats leftover. 

Thus, the invention of Leftover Oatmeal Blackberry Bread! I did a little internet research and found a great blog with an leftover oatmeal muffin recipe.  I tweeked this recipe a bit to match what we had in our pantry and to use my sourdough starter. You could follow the recipe below without using sourdough, but if you do have a sourdough monster at home this worked nicely as a way to discard today's starter without wasting it.

2 Cups of Leftover Oatmeal 
3/4 cup milk or buttermilk 
1 Egg
2 TBS melted butter or coconut oil 
2 TBS warmed honey or maple syrup 
1/2 cup sourdough starter 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 cup blackberries (frozen from summer!) 

Mix all the above together and bake in a shallow dish or make muffins too!

I did not soak this sough. I believe, however, that it could be soaked easily by letting the flour and sourdough soak together for 7-24 hours before adding in the remaining ingredients and baking. I will be giving this a try. None the less, it was a very tasty morning snack for our family. My four year old asked if it could be his birthday cake. Little sweetie. He will quickly forget this bread the next time he sees a shiny red Lighting McQueen cake!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Step: High Fructose Corn Syrup

It all began with high fructose corn syrup. One day the Lord spoke to my heart about food. I was feeling physically run down, unhealthy, guilty, and sluggish. I read the words:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14

And, it dawned on me that if God indeed made our bodies with such great care (and I believe he did!) then he would also have made food to support those very bodies. God did not intend for us to be sluggish and sickly. God made us to be vibrant and alive!

I looked in my pantry. The foods that I was eating and feeding my family were far from foods that spoke to me the words VIBRANT and ALIVE! Now, do not get me wrong my pantry was full of foods that I liked to eat, things I even thought were healthy options. But, if I was eating correctly then why did my body feel so old?

At this point I had no knowledge of whole foods. I simply had heard a lot of negative things about high fructose corn syrup and decided to do a little research myself.
After reading I came to the decision that my first step towards having a kitchen that perhaps could help my body feel vibrant and alive would be to eliminate high fructose corn syrup.

This was not as easy as I thought. I became a label reader, not for calories, but for corn syrup. I found that almost everything we were eating had HFCS in it! And, something about that scared me a bit. We were consuming this very processed ingredient in things we never thought would contain it. But, I stuck to my guns and did my best to get the HFCS out of our diet.

This first baby step did the following:
~ Made me very aware that we were eating things I did not even know I was serving. And, strengthened a resolve in me to be an informed consumer. 
~ Created a desire in me to learn about the ingredients in the food I was consuming and question if that ingredient was really necessary in our diet. 
~ Opened my eyes to already available alternative foods that my family would like a lot. 
~ With success in getting the HFCS out of the kitchen I felt encouraged to take the next baby step in getting our family off of processed foods and eating a nourishing diet of whole foods.

Choosing one things to avoid, such as HFCS, can be a great way to take a baby step toward a whole foods kitchen. Even it that is not your ultimate goal, eliminating one ingredient that you believe is unhealthy for your family is an empowering first step towards being an informed eater.

So, to my sister, and anyone else that is interested in transforming their kitchen one step at a time beginning with eliminating one ingredient such as HFCS is a manageable place to start!

Baby Step Number One: Eliminate HFCS from your diet. You can choose to do it this very week or more slowly depending on how your family will respond best. Remember, you want to make a commitment that you can keep so that you are encouraged and can press on to your goal!