Before gluten-free and soaked grains became common words in our household, we ate the typical American breakfast:
Dad – a bowl or two of Fruity Pebbles; his favorite
Mom – nothing; what is breakfast?
kids – Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran (the ‘healthy’ cereals), and on special occasions (read: the weekends) a disgusting conglomeration of sugared cereal.
This one example is the reason the SAD (Standard American Diet) is so sad. Little did I realize the harm we were doing to ourselves. I’d bought into the whole commercialized idea that boxed/bagged cereal was healthy and the big smile Junior gave me over his bowl of nutrient-deficient, calcium-robbing, brain-disrupting cereal was the reason I got up each morning.
Okay, I apologize. My sister warned me that once I latch onto an idea I come across as a very opinionated, crazy woman.
I’m not crazy.
I am only slightly opinionated.
But, I will admit that I have latched onto an idea.
The idea that ‘we are what we eat’ really does have merit. I was quite naive in thinking that what was advertised as ‘good for you’ really was. I didn’t look beyond the label to find out what exactly we were eating or what the ingredients really were.
In truth, I didn’t want to. I was lazy. I liked convenience. I knew that if I started researching and found startling evidence that contradicted my way of thinking, I’d HAVE to change.
I’d have to change because I’m a mom. Because deep down I wanted our family to be healthy. And because I knew God didn’t give us our earthly bodies to see how fast we could destroy them.
It was a gradual change though, this traditional way of thinking and preparing food. (Read our story.) One of the startling experiences that convinced me to reconsider our breakfast menu was an experiment done at Ann Arbor University on rats.
The rats were split into three groups:
Group #1 ate only cornflakes and water.
Group #2 ate the cardboard box the cornflakes came in and water.
Group #3 ate rat chow and water.
How did they fare? The rats in Group #3 (rat chow and water) remained healthy. The rats in Group #2 (cardboard box and water) eventually died of malnutrition. But it is Group #1 (cornflakes and water) that startled me most. Every one of those rats died before the rats in Group #2, the ones who died of malnutrition, did. They developed schizophrenic behavior, bit each other, and went into convulsions. The conclusion, then, is that a cardboard box is healthier than the “vitamin-fortified” cereals we feed our children.
Is there something wrong with this picture or is it just me?
Thus the arrival of my new favorite cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, a lifestyle of healthier eating, and the creation of muesli porridge.
Muesli Porridge (casein-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, yeast-free)
3 c. warm water
1/2 c. homemade yogurt (you can substitute kefir, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar if you need to be casein-free)
1 1/2 c. GF oat groats, rolled (or old-fashioned oatmeal)
1/2 c. millet
1/2 c. buckwheat
1/2 c. raisins (dates or other dried fruits)
1/2 c. soaked and dried nuts, chopped
3 c. warm water (this is in addition to the water listed above)
milk, or safe substitute like coconut milk
unsweetened, flaked coconut
1. Before you go to bed, roll your oats. We use the Marga oat roller. Rolling your oats is very easy. Simply fill the hopper with whole oat groats . . .and with a few turns you have nutritious, chewy oat flakes.
2. Combine 3 c. warm water, homemade yogurt, rolled oats, millet, and buckwheat in a glass bowl. Cover with a lid and let sit out overnight at room temperature. (The dark black grains are buckwheat. We sometimes buy them unhulled so we can sprout them. They’re safe to eat with the hulls on them.) This needs to soak at least 7 hours and can be as long as 24 hours. If you are a night owl like me, prepare this a few hours before you go to bed
3. In the morning, pour the mixture into a large, heavy pan. I use cast iron – and if your pans are in desperate need of a good seasoning like mine are in this photo, you can read the instructions here. Add the dried fruit, nuts – if you’re using them, and the additional 3 c. warm water.
4. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat and stir occasionally until thick and creamy. You may add any optional ingredients to your taste. We usually add coconut and cinnamon with a sprinkling of stevia. YUMMY!
Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.