Here are some of our favorite healthy recipes! We do love to eat well...by that I mean scrumptiously tasty. And we're always looking to eat healthy!! Sometimes a little indulgence is good for the soul, however~~see the bread recipe below. It's all part of the balancing act, right? But try these out~~more to come~~kid-friendly, healthy, scrumptious!
Lucky for us we have an almond tree and we grow basil. Even though it is fall I am going to plant basil seeds in pots and grow them on the window sill. You can never have too much pesto. I think!
|The Yummiest, Easiest Pesto Ever!|
|3 cups fresh basil leaves
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped almonds
|1 1/5 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/5 cup olive oil
|Toss all the ingredients into the blender, or better yet~~elegantly, reverently, graciously place them in the blender~~one at a time. Stop! Hold the basil to your nose, inhaling the aroma that is absolutely divine. You might want to utter a few heartfelt 'thank you, thank you's' at this time. Okay, back to being in a hurry~~place all the ingredients into your blender, stir a little so that the oil can make its all the way down to the blades. Turn on low speed, continue until consistency of creamed butter, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Start spooning it into your mouth...I mean...onto your pasta, your sandwich, or a tray of sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.|
The Best Sandwich Bread
I know, I know!! White bread healthy? Processed white flour, high glycemic index~~ blech! But, knead fulfillment?! My fourteen-year-old son asked me to ple-e-e-ease make a nice sandwich bread, one that was soft, not crumbly, no hard crust, etc. I usually make gluten-free bread as I am sensitive to wheat, but I decided to give it a try.
I make bread with a smallish bread maker, but this recipe produces 2 loaves. So, I thought I'll try it the old-fashioned way~~by hand and so I did with my modifications.
|Scrumptious Sandwich Bread|
|1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (about 105°)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
|3 tablespoons melted butter, plus
2 teaspoon melted butter, for bowl
Scant tablespoon salt
6 cups all-purpose flour, plus
|Sprinkle yeast over warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add honey, butter and salt; whisk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups flour; mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add 3 more cups of flour; mix until incorporated. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough, adding more flour as needed (not much); knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rise in a large buttered bowl, covered with plastic wrap in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two 4 ½ by 8 ½ inch loaf pans. Punch down the dough; transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Gently knead each piece until smooth. Shape each piece into a loaf, tucking sides underneath to form a seam down the middle. Place loaves, seam side down, in buttered pans. Let rise until dough reaches top of pans, 30 minutes. Brush top of loaves with butter. Bake until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on bottom (briefly turn out loaf to test), 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pans on wire racks; unmold. Let cool until just warm before slicing.|
After the first three cups of flour, my mixer complained and complained and then stubbornly stopped, so it was really and truly by hand. Anyways, it looked like I was having so much fun, my son asked if he could help. He got into it! Ended up with as much flour on him as I had on me! While he was kneading, his sister happened into the kitchen and begged to be included. They each took a half of the dough and kneaded a bit longer than the five minutes!
So here's the healthy part~~kneading the dough. Yes, fulfillment. Inhaling the aroma of the bread baking. Yes, nourishing (for the soul). Almost immediately upon removing from oven, slicing and savoring with or without butter and jam. Yes, healthy!!
It took me back to the Saturdays at my grandmother's while she baked the bread for Sunday's communion service. She always made extra, and she would make a junior-size loaf each for my siblings and me. A lovely memory of tender loving care, security, and safety.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) on everyday happiness: "One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." I would add: and every other day or so, or every other week or so, knead, bake, break bread! That's finding fulfillment, and that's healthy!
Looking for a cooking oil that's healthy, yet doesn't mean you have to compromise on taste? Consider Ghee~~the ayurvedic cooking medium that's been around for thousands of years. It has a rich, buttery taste and aroma, and comes with a ton of benefits that are described in the traditional ayurvedic texts. It is specifically good for the Pitta dosha, and in general for all the doshas, small amounts for Kapha. Preparing ghee is considered to be a very healing sadhana when performed with a calm mind. It will keep without refrigeration. Great on popcorn with nutritional yeast sprinkled in.
|1 pound of unsalted butter
|Melt the butter completely over low heat. Do not let it become brown or burned. Cook gently for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow the solids to settle and skim the foam from the surface. Strain the clear ghee into a container. The solids may be eaten~~for example, sprinkle a little on a bowl of rice and steamed vegetables with a little salt or gomashio and little of the ghee you just made.|
Hot Hearty Oatmeal
There are a multitude of health benefits gained from eating oatmeal. Then when you add some nuts, some coconut, ground flax seed, protein powder, the value of this breakfast appreciates! What makes it even more beneficial is the addition of an apple or two during the cooking process. (Cooking the apple makes it easier for your body to assimilate.)
And what's so good about apples? Well, it is well-known that apples are a good source of fiber. However, what is not so well-known is their powerful anti-cancer capability due to their mega ORAC value. And what's that you ask? Here goes: ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbence Capacity. Apples, with their high ORAC value because of the presence of a flavonoid called quercetin, have the ability to render ineffective the potentially cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Researchers have found that although apples have only about 12 mg. of Vitamin C, two-thirds of a medium apple can have as much affect on free radicals as 1500 mg. of Vitamin C.
If you are interested in reading more about this, I recommend getting the book, The Answer to Cancer is Never Giving It a Chance to Start by Hari Sharma, M.D. & Rama K. Mishra, G.A.M.S with James G. Meade, Ph.D.
|Healthy Breakfast Hot Oatmeal|
|2 and ½ cups of oatmeal
5 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
|1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 to 2 apples peeled, sliced and chopped
|Measure all ingredients into a large saucepan. Cook over medium temperature and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. Toppings to have prepared can include chopped almonds, ground flax seed, raisins, fresh fruit, e.g., sliced banana, protein powder, dates, coconut... (Brown sugar, honey or other sweetener is optional, but the cooked apple makes it really quite sweet enough for most of us.) Serve with milk.|
I have been going through boxes of Recipe Cards from my mother and grandmother...making revisions a little more health-conscious and giving them a try. Here is one of our favorites! Gluten-free, nice little crunch from the ground flax seed, heartiness from the buckwheat...yummmmm...!
|Grandma's Date Bread With 21st Century Revisions|
|1 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (yes, buckwheat is gluten-free)
1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts preferred
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
|1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick oats, uncooked
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup rice, soy, almond, or dairy milk
1 cup, chopped pitted dates
|Combine flours, salt, baking powder, soda, sugar, flax seed, and oats in a bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients; stir only to moisten dry ingredients. Pour into greased loaf pan (1-pound size) and bake in moderate (350-degree) oven about one hour. For easy slicing, cool bread, wrap and store one day before using. (We don't even manage to wait for it to cool, though!)|
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