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.
Standard American Diet
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.
The idea that ‘we are what we eat’ really does have merit. I was 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 and I liked the convenience. I knew if I started researching and found startling evidence that contradicted my way of thinking, I’d HAVE to change.
And so yes, eventually I did research it because that’s just what moms do. 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 (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 cereal experiment
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.
Something is wrong with the picture
Is there something wrong with this picture or is it just me? Thus the arrival of my now most dog-eared, note-written, tattered cookbooks: Nourishing Traditions. Along with healthier eating and the creation of muesli porridge.
This Overnight Muesli Porridge is thick and creamy - perfect for a hearty breakfast.
- 3 cups water warm
- 1/2 cup homemade yogurt (you can substitute kefir, whey, buttermilk, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 1/2 cup oatmeal (or rolled oat groats)
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/2 cup raisins (dates or other dried fruit)
- 1/2 cup soaked and dried nuts chopped
- 3 cups water (warm; this is in addition to the water listed above)
Combine 3 c. warm water, yogurt, oatmeal, millet, and buckwheat in a glass bowl. Cover with a lid and let sit out overnight at room temperature. This needs to soak at least 7 hours and can be as long as 24 hours. If you're a night owl like me, you can prepare this a few hours before you go to bed.
In the morning, pour the mixture into a large, heavy pan. Add the dried fruit, nuts – if you’re using them, and the additional 3 c. warm water.
Heat to a boil. Reduce heat and stir occasionally until thick and creamy.
We like to add coconut and cinnamon with a sprinkling of stevia - but have fun experimenting and making your own versions!