Beansandyoga

Practical, healthful eating and living.

Mix-ins for Oatmeal November 29, 2013

People tend to think oatmeal is a lot of trouble, but it can be made in big batches. Simply store your cooked oatmeal in the fridge and in the morning, scoop a serving into a bowl, top with milk, and heat it in the microwave.

Screen shot 2013-11-23 at 8.14.01 PMEven better, you can add your favorite toppings on the day you make the big batch, thus saving even more time in the morning. I prefer steel-cut oatmeal.

Here are some of my favorite mix-ins:

  • Cocoa nibs
  • Banana slices
  • Dehydrated strawberries (from Trader Joe’s)
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Ground flax seed
  • Grated or chopped fresh apple
  • Fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. If you add them while the oatmeal is still hot, they’ll steam and cook a little, which helps them last longer.
  • Chopped dried apricots, blueberries or any dried fruit
  • Walnuts, pecans, ground almonds. Sometimes I even use pistachios!

How to make a batch of steel-cut oatmeal:

1 cup steel-cut oats

2 1/2 cups of water

dash of salt

I like to rinse my oatmeal before cooking it. I’m a gluten-free person, and this way any dust from other grains gets washed away. (Note, I am VERY diligent about the rinsing. I put the dry cup of oats in a deep bowl, cover with cold water and swish it around, then slowly pour the water out. The oats are heavy enough so that they don’t fall out of the bowl if you empty the water out gently. I repeat this about 20 times in order to feel confident that any gluten contaminants have been washed away. If you’re not concerned about gluten, maybe rinse the oats 2-3 times just to wash away dust.)

Put the oats, water and dash of salt into a heavy pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, turn down the heat and simmer for about 40-60 minutes. Sometimes I just turn off the heat after about 20 minutes, keep the pot covered, and let the pot sit until all the water has been absorbed.

Option 2: Use a rice cooker! So easy and the clean-up is easier, too. (Follow your rice cooker’s instructions.)

 

Sites I’m Grateful For November 22, 2013

Going gluten free is the best thing I’ve ever done. A lot of people mistakenly assume that it’s a health tip that anyone can try. I’ve learned that people who don’t truly get sick from gluten may miss out on key nutrients if they go gluten free. But for me, it’s not a choice. My body completely rejects gluten, every bit as much as a a body allergic to shellfish, or peanuts would.

Living gluten free is a lot of work. I cook almost all my own food. Travel is limited unless I have confidence that I can truly steer clear of gluten on the road. I carry my own emergency food stash with me where ever I go, even if it’s just out for errands.

I don’t know what I’d do without the bloggers below. They provide me with delicious recipes that are safe for me, and easy to make. They provide me with variety, and expertise, and their online sharing is a generous gift.

1. Elana’s Pantry

http://www.elanaspantry.com

The simplest gluten free recipes for breads, cookies and desserts that I’ve found. Lots of good tips on Paleo cooking. Her recipes always turn out and I get lots of compliments especially when I take them to a potluck.

2. Angela’s Kitchen

http://angelaskitchen.com

Angela is a busy mom with a gluten-free household to feed. She is organized and a genius with pre-prep. One of my favorites from her site is a tip to buy a month’s worth of chicken, then make three or four different marinades, divide the chicken among the marinades and then freeze until ready to bake. Quick, easy, nutritious meals. Much more tasty than store-bought any day.

3. David Lebovitz

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/

David Lebovitz is a professional chef based in Paris. He travels a lot and takes amazing photos of food markets, restaurants, dishes and his own cooking. Not every recipe he posts is within my range of skill or gluten free, but his guidance is inspiring and visiting his site like taking a little trip without leaving home. Both last year and this year he’s happened to provide naturally gluten-free cookie recipes just in time for the holidays. Last year it was a hazelnut cookie. This year it was almond-flour based amaretti. Both recipes were delicious, elegant and perfect for winter celebrations. I also love his ice cream recipes (I have an ice cream maker), and yes, there’s a part of me that wants to be an American chef in Paris, too.

 

Calcium-Rich Molasses Latte November 16, 2013

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,Gluten free,Recipes — beansandyoga @ 10:22 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Most women know they’re supposed to get a LOT of calcium. The National Institute of Health recommends 1000 mgs of calcium per day. That translates into over three glasses of milk per day, or two and a half cups of yogurt, or four and a half cups of broccoli.

Screen shot 2013-11-16 at 10.13.33 PM

The trouble is, that is way more than I am inclined to eat in a day, even if I were to have a combination of milk, yogurt, and broccoli servings over the course of a few meals.

Personally, I haven’t found a calcium supplement I like. They’re too sugary, they leave a bad taste in my mouth. I’d rather eat real food. 

Therefore, I have invented a molasses latte. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 137 mg of calcium. If you combine that with milk, and other natural calcium sources throughout the day, you’ll get closer to that daily recommended amount. And given the average size of a latte today, you might even have two small, home-made ones, or perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a double-sized cup at home in which you can make a “tall” or “large” sized latte for yourself.

MOLASSES LATTE

1/4 cup milk

6 oz. hot coffee

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

pinch of dried ginger

Pour the milk into your coffee mug and warm it in the microwave. Top it off with fresh, hot coffee. Stir in the molasses. Add a pinch of ginger.

Molasses is also rich in iron, potassium and manganese, making it one of the more nutrient dense foods around. (That’s a good thing!)

 

Life Progress: Nutrition, Kohlrabi, Gluten Free Body November 8, 2013

KohlrabiI tried a new food today; kohlrabi. It was amazing. First, I sliced a tray full and roasted thin slices of kohlrabi in olive oil. But I still had a lot left. So then I made a cream of kohlrabi soup. Amazing.

Two things led up to this adventure.

The first is that I enrolled in a college nutrition course. This is THE best investment I have ever made in my health. After twenty-plus years of blank stares from doctors when I was first struggling with the symptoms of gluten sensitivity, not knowing the cause, and then another five years of blank stares after letting doctors know that I can’t handle gluten, I have made life-changing breakthroughs that solve a lot of mysteries.

Vitamin A for eyes? You need to eat things like carrots and butternut or acorn squash with a little fat, or else your body can’t absorb it. Noticed your eyesight deteriorating lately? You might want to try having a few extra carrots w/ olive-oil based salad dressing, or squash with a pat of butter on top.

One key variable I learned about is that if your body isn’t handling gluten, then the mechanisms that absorb all the other nutrients are essentially blocked, shut down, wilted, rendered useless with regard to absorbing other nutrients.

Had a few bloody noses lately? When you get a paper cut do you spout like a fountain? Vitamin K is essential to helping blood clot. It’s so essential that newborns get a shot of vitamin K right away when they’re born. If they didn’t get it, and got a minor cut, they could bleed to death. Go ahead, check it out.
That’s what my college nutrition book says, and I believe it. Why? Because unstoppable flowing blood has been around in my world for quite a while.

None of these things ever get connected when I talk to doctors. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s to be your own detective, and take charge of your own health.

So kohlrabi. The other motive behind kohlrabi is that I hear Lynn Rosetto Casper recommend it on a radio show this week. She gave some tips on how to use it: mashed with butter like potatoes, roasted, or in a cream based soup.

Finally, in my nutrition class, I learned that variety is key. I’m inclined to fall into ruts. I’ll eat the same thing everyday for months before I get sick of it. But my nutrition class encourages variety. Not just seasonally, but daily, too.

So I’ve started branching out. I’ve started taking risks. I’ve started bringing home one new fruit or vegetable from the store each week.

Since I’ve begun, I’ve discovered blackstrap molasses for calcium, cocoa nibs for antioxidants, increased my fish and flaxseed for omega-3s, and gone on a few adventures.

CREAM OF KOHLRABI SOUP

1 cup chopped onion
1-2 stalks of chopped celery
1 kohlrabi root, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch chunks
2-3 tablespoons butter*
4 cups broth of your choice
1/4 cup corn starch
milk
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Melt a little butter in a soup pot. (Butter is making a comeback, it’s not as bad for you as was once thought.)

Saute the onion and celery for a few minutes.
Add the cornstarch and stir to make a roux. ( A pasty sort of mix of the butter and cornstarch. Cornstarch is gluten free. Most traditional recipes use wheat flour.)

Add the kohlrabi chunks. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and stir well to mix the broth with the butter/corn starch mixture.

Cover and heat until boiling. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender. Please be careful with the hot liquids! You can let the soup cool a bit. It won’t hurt.

Once blended, return to the stove and add about 1-2 cups of milk or cream. (Remember, fat helps your body absorb the great nutrients in kohlrabi, which is a good source of Vitamin A. (That’s good for your eyesight!)

Heat until warm, but do not boil. Boiling ruins a cream-based soup, so I’m told by the “Joy of Cooking.”

Taste for seasonings. Maybe top with a little freshly ground pepper. Garnish with chopped green onion or parsely, if you like.

Hint: When you bring home fresh herbs, green onion or bunches of parsley, chop it all up right away and store it in a covered container in the fridge. It’s SO handy for adding to eggs, sauces, pizza, salad, you name it. Just do it. You’ll be glad.

*Butter — a lot of chefs will say that when making a milk based dish, butter enhances the flavor better than other options like olive oil. Suit yourself, but butter is making a comeback. It’s also a source of Vitamin D. Finally, stop and consider whether you feel full and more satisfied (thus eating less) when you eat something with a little normal, natural fat in it. I know I do.

That’s it!