The Why: Food Edition

I’ve been thinking a lot about why we do the things we do. Why do we eat a certain way? Why do we homeschool? Why do we spend our time the way we do?

Some of this stems from comments made by others implying that they don’t approve of the way I spend my time and energy. Other times friends and family give us confused looks about our eating choices. I’m definitely not what you’d call a people pleaser. Like most people, however, I want people to think I’m making wise choices. I mean, if they have a valid reason I should do something differently, it would be silly to ignore their advice, right?

So, being an over thinker (my friends in high school used to say I was overanalyticalizationing, just to make me twitch), it’s helpful for me to have gone through all of the reasons I believe I’ve made the best Biblical and healthy choice. This way, when someone makes a comment or gives a look I don’t feel tossed to and fro. It’s easier to evaluate whether their differing opinion is helpful or not if I know exactly why I made mine.

Issue number one: Food.

We eat mostly organic (or foods produces in a similar manner). The goal is basically not to eat it unless it grows. Out of the ground, walking, swimming: grows. Not something that did grow but has been put in a box or a bag or a can. Not something modified to grow kind of like a super hero food. Because a super hero is really mutant (except batman of course!) And mutant food doesn’t really sound appetizing to me!

Of course this isn’t always how it works out. For instance, I don’t have the resources, time or energy to make all my own tomato sauce. Another one for us is tortilla chips, and tortillas for that matter. I have made our own tortillas, but I have a hard time getting a corn shell right and with two glutards in the house that’s an absolute must. We eat quesadillas, nachos, chips and salsa, tacos (you get the idea) almost daily. They’re all so easy that they make perfect go-to quick lunches! Obviously there are good things that don’t fall into the “grow”category such as minerals, but it’s been a helpful way to explain it to people.

I try to bake all of our own gluten free bread, but my husband likes to buy a good sprouted loaf for himself. We also prefer raw dairy products to pasteurized, homogenized “milk” that half of my family can barely drink (hence the dairy cow).

So the why: I didn’t jump on the organic fad when it started. It actually began with my celiac diagnosis. When I started paying very close attention to what I ate, I began to notice exactly what made me feel well and not-so-well. It obviously began with glutenful items as well as dairy while I was still healing. Then, because it takes a good chunk of time to figure out how to eat out when you have Celiac disease, I noticed when I returned to restaurants that I didn’t feel so well. Add a move that put us a 20 minute drive to the nearest restaurant and 30 to the nearest fast-food joint and let’s just say my menu planning skills got a work-out.

By this time, it wasn’t just me. The rest of my family had aching tummies, weird gas and let’s not mention the cranky kiddos. That’s when I became fixed on the issue: Our bodies were not made to process all of this “stuff” in our food. Stuff that’s not food. Stuff we can barely pronounce. Stuff that the FDA has deemed “safe”. Our digestive system has the amazing ability to break down organic (living) material and other things that God has given to keep us healthy and moving. But I believe that it doesn’t have the ability to break down pesticides, preservatives and other things that takes a laboratory to get into our food without negative repercussions on the body. Also by the time many great foods get to the shelf, much of the nutrient content has been either destroyed or made unavailable for our bodies to absorb.

Cranberry Granola

Homemade Cereal

I started with this one because it’s easy for me. We eat “naturally” (as if that word has much meaning anymore) because we’ve experienced both sides of that fence. The grass is totally greener over here. :) I also think that the long term benefits will be great as well. I recognize that maybe everyone doesn’t agree with me or think it’s worth the effort. I don’t expect to convince any one of anything. (Although sometimes it does get difficult to listen to other people’s list of maladies while they slather margarine on their bread. I just pray for grace while they talk and ask God to help by brain-mouth filter to work properly.)

Anyways, I’ll leave you with one last video my husband found on hydrogenized oil. Whenever we wonder about something, I try to say, “look it up”. This one comes to mind every time I look at an ingredient and wonder what it is. I think about this video and just figure that it might have been engineered to taste good but I’m sure it won’t slide down my arteries nice and smooth. I’ll pass!

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Mummum Elli’s Nursing (or breakfast) Cookies (Gluten, dairy, egg and soy free)

For whatever reason, I struggle to keep my milk supply up. In my search for nursing or lactation cookies, I found myself frustrated with my options. I have Celiac disease (so grains are out the window) and my baby is sensitive to dairy and soy (bye-bye chocolate chips). The only one I found was VERY coconutty, not m fave. So, here’s my own recipe! These are much like one of my local bakeries “breakfast cookies” except they are heaped full of galactagogues. They turned out delicious. In fact, I ate quite a bit more than the recommended 1-2 per day. I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c gluten free flour of your choice
  • 1 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 T brewer’s yeast
  • 1 tsp crushed anise or fennel seed
  • 1/2 cup flax seed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 1 c raw sugar
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 T natural peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs (or egg replacer if needed)
  • 1 1/4 c warm water

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Combine all dry ingredients and stir well
  • Add coconut oil, vanilla, peanut butter and eggs
  • Mix on med-low speed for 1-2 minutes
  • Continuing on low speed, slowly add water. Batter should be wet: not crumbly but not really gooey either
  • Line a baking sheet with tinfoil
  • Scoop one heaping tablespoon per cookie and squish down with a fork
  • Bake for 12 minutes, remove and let cool
  • Enjoy! This are a great treat or a quick breakfast, whether or not you have a milk supply to increase!

Homemade Soaked Granola Cereal

I love cereal! Unfortunately, even cereal “made from whole grains” that you can buy in the store have very little nutritional value. The grains have been SO processed; there’s barely anything left of them by the time they get to the cereal! I’ve been trying to replicate Cascade Organics granola cereals for some time and I finally got a product that I like. This is a highly customizable recipe, as you will see!

Cranberry Granola

Cranberry Granola

I tend to just “wing it”, but this should be a pretty accurate estimate of the ingredients for a small batch:

  • 5 Cups granola
  • 1-2 Cups Dried fruit/berries
  • 1 Cup of your choice of nut, crushed.
  • Kefir (or other cultured milk product) to cover (I am currently nursing a baby who just can’t tolerate dairy, so I used almond milk)

To make:Place oatmeal in a small roasting pan, cake pan or casserole and spread out evenly.
Pour enough kefir in to cover and let sit for 6-8 hours. I let mine sit overnight.
After soaking, preheat oven to 325 and stir in berries and nuts and then spread out evenly over the pan again. Bake until golden brown: anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on how many goodies you added.
Take out and let cool for 15-20 minutes and then store and enjoy!

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