BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Monday, February 10, 2014

There's an arc that your feet will ride.

There is something wonderful about shaking up your life and your daily routine. It allows you to see the world through a different lens and you often come out all the better for it.  Trying a new diet, (like our grain free diet) even for a week or two, will require you to cook "outside the recipe box".  So we have tried a number of new recipes that are so good I wish I'd tried them sooner!

Here are a few things that are definitely off-the-beaten-path, and will probably solidify my status as a crazy-hippy-granola parent!  Why not join us in our land of sparkly unicorns?  

Nori Sheets
Fancy, expensive and garbage intensive nori snack packs are very cool at the moment around Victoria.  It is a lot of parents' go-to snack because it is generally seen as healthy and easy.  My issue is that they tend to be high in salt and wrapped up in wasteful packaging.  However the big sheets of nori (usually used for sushi) are just as fun and healthier!  The kids love ripping up the sheets, and I love giving it to them as a pre-dinner snack that will keep them busy without filling them up.

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are a bit pricy, but they are a nutritious way to add protein and thicken a smoothie.  They can also be used to thicken puddings.

Put 1/2 cup of chia seeds into a blender or food processor. Grind them as much as you can (if you don't grind them they will just be like little pearls of tapioca which is fine as well).  Add the following ingredients and blend to combine: 2 1/2 cups of milk, 3 tbsp sweetener, 1 tsp vanilla, 3 tbsp cocoa powder.

Pour into a jar and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Occasionally give the jar a shake (or stir) to keep the cocoa powder and the chia seeds from settling.  Eventually the chia seeds will have fully absorbed all the liquid and the pudding will be thick.

Berry Chia Seed Pudding

Bring two cups of berries and 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Mash the berries to the desired consistency and sweeten to taste (depending on the type of berry).  Stir in 1/4 cup chia seeds and leave to thicken just like the chocolate pudding.

Black Forest Chia Pudding

Layer chocolate pudding and cherry pudding in a serving dish, then top with whipped cream.

Cultured Porridge

Though Nikolai and I did not do well on sprouted quinoa nor sprouted rice, we have found that fermented cereals (oat, rye and spelt) are great!

I'd like to encourage everyone to try the recipe below. It is pretty easy, and makes a sourdough tasting porridge that is both pre and pro-biotic!  Now I'm not an expert in nutrition, but in world of healthy-traditional-foodists fermented grains are considered to be more digestible because a lot of the anti-nutrients have been broken down, along with the difficult to digest carbs and proteins (ie. gluten).  Whatever the case, a big bowl of soured oatmeal doesn't leave me feeling sluggish or bloated so I'm going to keep eating it!

In the recipe below everything is in proportion. It's written for 1 cup of oatmeal and you can scale up from there (as a family we eat 2.5 cups).

1. After dinner, take 1 cup of rolled grains and 1 cup of warm water (approx 40 C, 110 F) and stir in 1 Tbsp yogurt (cultured buttermilk or kefir would work as well).  Make sure the water isn't over 40 C or you will pasteurize all the bacteria out of your culture.

2. Then leave it overnight covered a tea towel in a warm location. To use the Irish expression, we leave ours in our hot press... (where our hot water heater is located), but you could also leave it on the top of your fridge or near a heater.

3. The next morning pour the soaked cereal into a pot and add 1 - 1.5 cups of boiling water and simmer until cooked.

4. Enjoy it anyway you normally like your porridge!

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