Raw Milk Vending Machines in France
Because I skipped the Back to Basics post yesterday (Sorry! Busy lately)…here’s an article (by NaturalNews) that I’ve read recently…it’s quite interesting, and I’m quite jealous:
"While California persecutes raw milk farmers, France unveils raw milk vending machines for happy, healthy consumers"
Back to Basics: Homemade Banana “Ice Cream”
Craving ice cream but want to eat healthy and stay away from sugar? Making this one-ingredient “ice cream” is easier than you can imagine, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker!
That’s right, all you need are bananas! The process is easy:
Gather 2-3 bananas (or more, depending on how much you are making)
Peel & slice the bananas and freeze them in a container or sandwich bag.
When the bananas are frozen, take them out and whip them in a food processor or with a hand mixer. (If using a hand mixer, make sure the bananas are thawed slightly).
You will have a delicious and nutritious ice cream substitute! No need to worry about additives, artificial flavors, or sweeteners. This banana ice cream is creamy, rich, and full of flavor.
You can even make this banana ice cream turn into “banana chocolate chip ice cream” by adding high quality dark chocolate or carob chips, as we did for an extra special treat.
This batch of banana “ice cream” came out as a soft-serve due to thawing the bananas slightly first (not completely, just enough to break them in half with a fork). For a firmer “ice cream” simply freeze the banana ice cream for a few minutes, until it firms up to your desired ice cream texture.
And that’s it! It really is that simple to have a healthy snack that tastes just as good as ice cream.
PS: You’ll never have to waste over-ripe bananas again, since banana ice cream puts over-ripe bananas to great use!
Back to Basics: Homemade Granola Bar Recipe
Store bought granola bars may seem like a healthy snack, but after taking a closer look at the ingredients list, you realize how awful these things actually are. They are no better than any other processed, prepackaged snack. Store bought granola bars are filled with sugar, preservatives, MSG (often disguised as “natural and artificial flavors”), and rancid vegetable oils (canola and soy). Aside from that, these store bought snacks are not properly prepared. As I described in my previous post, it is extremely important to properly soak grains and seeds (including the oats, Grape Nuts cereal and seeds used in this recipe). The grains used in store bought granola bars are not soaked, and therefore, are filled with phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. In order for your body to properly digest and absorb the vitamins and nutrients offered in these potentially nutritious snacks, the grains and seeds must be properly soaked, rinsed, and dried before use. In order to get the best out of what should be a healthy granola bar, go Back to Basics and make these bars yourself so you know exactly what is in them and to ensure they are prepared for maximum digestibility.
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (soaked, rinsed, and dried** -see below)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (soaked, rinsed, and dried**)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (soaked, rinsed, and dried**)
- 1/2 cup rice puffed cereal (I used Nature’s Path Organic Koala Crisps - chocolate flavored rice puffs, from Whole Foods)
- 1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal (soaked, rinsed, and dried**)
- 1 cup raisins (or dried fruit of choice: blueberries, cranberries, cherries)
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar or cane sugar
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
2. Mix oats, Grape Nuts, puffed rice, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
3. Combine peanut butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, stir frequently until the mixture slightly bubbles, this will take just a few minutes.
4. While the mixture is still warm, quickly pour the sticky mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until all of the dry ingredients are covered (this may take a little while, just keep mixing and folding over ingredients).
5. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Using a large spoon and/or your hands, press the mixture down firmly to make an even layer (wait until the mixture cools slightly if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes; cut into bars. It may be easier to cut if you wait a little while after you remove them from the refrigerator. After cutting, keep individual bars refrigerated.
** Two days before I planned on making my granola bars I began to soak my oats, Grape Nuts (wheat), and seeds. I did this around 7pm that night. I soaked the oats and wheat as follows: 3 cups of each (in separate bowls) in 3 cups of warm water, with two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar per cup of water. That’s 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for each grain to soak in (oats and wheat separately). *Note: you do not need to use raw apple cider vinegar, that is just what I use because to me, it’s better than regular apple cider vinegar.*
In 2 additional bowls, I added about 2 cups of pumpkin seeds (in one bowl), and 2 cups of sunflower seeds (in another bowl) - I added 3 cups of water to each of these, plus two teaspoons of sea salt to each. Stir salt, water, and seeds. Cover all of the soaking bowls with lid or plastic wrap. I let these soak overnight. Then, in the morning around 7am, I began the next part of the process. Starting with the seeds (since they need less soaking time), I strained all of the water out and rinsed both batches of seeds thoroughly. Then, I used three cookie sheets to spread out seeds evenly to dry in the oven. (It’s probably easier to use a dehydrator for this if you have one, but I do not). After patting the seeds dry with paper towels, it’s important to put the seeds in the oven at the lowest temperature you can (mine was at 170 degrees, but 150 degrees would be ideal). This will take hours to dry out the seeds completely (taste them to feel the insides — they shouldn’t be mushy on the inside), and every so often you should make sure you are checking on the seeds and taking them out, mixing them up, and rotating them in the oven.
Meanwhile, I emptied the water and rinsed the oats and wheat, but refilled the bowls with those grains and added fresh water and fresh apple cider vinegar. I knew that the seeds would pretty much take all day to dry in the oven, so I wanted the oats and wheat to be able to soak until the oven was freed up from the seeds. After the seeds were dried out completely, I then drained and rinsed the oats and wheat thoroughly. The oats and wheat take a little longer to completely rinse. After rinsing, I squeezed them (in large handfuls) to allow excess water to drain out, and then laid them out on the three cookie sheets. Then, I dried them in the oven the same way I dried the nuts (at 170 degrees, mixing and rotating the oats and wheat every so often). Drying the oats and wheat takes less time than the seeds, but require more mixing and rotating. The oats ended up being stuck together when they dried out, so I threw them into a blender to pulse a few times in order to break them up a bit.
Since I did my soaking in a larger batch than I needed to use for this recipe, these ingredients will be prepared and ready to use for future batches of granola whenever I need them. Of course, you do not have to soak and dry all of the ingredients at once (as I did), you can soak and dry whenever you want and spread it out to different days, and make your granola bars whenever you have all of the ingredients ready.
Back to Basics: Healthy (and Easy!) School Lunch Alternatives
Unfortunately, last Friday I was extremely busy and was unable to post a Back to Basics post — so I will pick up on that now.
With this school year now in full swing, I think now would be a good time to dedicate a post to healthy school lunches. As I said in a few posts a couple of months ago, school lunches are not necessarily the most healthy foods. Oftentimes, school meals are prepackaged & highly processed foods that lack nutrients. In Philadelphia alone, 26 full-service school kitchens were closed and replaced with food that arrives in pouches to be microwaved for children to eat. Jamie Oliver (I posted about his views and his Food Revolution here, and a moving video of him speaking here) is attempting to revolutionize the way we eat, and more specifically, the way children are eating at their schools.
Since school lunches are often sugar-filled and lack the nutrients children need, it’s better to pack a healthy & nutritious lunch for children that is filled with lots of fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, and protein — (at least until schools come around to serving healthier foods). Stay away from packing prepackaged & processed foods such as Lunchables and others like it, as that would defeat the purpose of packing a lunch in order to serve your child more healthy foods.
Here is a link by Jamie’s Food Revolution team that showcases some healthy packed lunches (these lunches were part of a “cook-off” to showcase healthy alternatives to school-bought lunches). These are great alternatives to the mystery food served at schools. Packing a lunch allows you to know exactly what your child will be eating that day, and you will know for a fact it’s a healthy meal.
Back to Basics: Preventing and Healing Cavities (naturally)
Most people believe (after being told by their dentists) that sugar is the main culprit behind tooth decay…as it turns out, it seems that most of us have been misinformed. We’ve also been told that once a cavity is formed, the only solution is to drill it and fill it. Apparently, however, our teeth are able to completely heal themselves! That’s right — our teeth are alive and decay/cavities can be healed as long as we change our diets to provide the proper nutrients for our teeth to do so.
If you take a look at traditional cultures of the past, tooth decay was a rare find. It wasn’t until these traditional cultures adapted a Western diet, filled with processed foods lacking many beneficial nutrients, that tooth decay became prevalent. So what kind of diet is needed in order to maintain healthy teeth & prevent or heal tooth decay?
A diet that is high minerals (specifically calcium and phosphorus) and high in fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D, especially), and a diet containing little to no phytic acid (phytic acid prevents your body from absorbing minerals and is found in grains). So although too much sugar is never a good thing (especially processed/highly refined sugars), it seems that grains are the foods we should be most concerned with. Grains such as rice, pasta, seeds, and nuts, contain large amounts of phytic acid, and ultimately prevent mineral absorption. That means, if your eating a diet high in grains, your body will not be able to heal itself as well or even maintain proper nutrient levels.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s, specifically, Dr. Mellanby and Dr. Price separately conducted studies regarding diet vs. tooth decay and both ended up with similar results: diets high in grains caused cavities, diets high in vitamin D (and other fat-soluble vitamins) and low in grains prevented tooth decay and healed already forming cavities. Interesting, huh?
Dr. Weston A. Price (a dentist) who conducted this early research and studied traditional cultures of the past recorded many situations through out 1920’s and 1930’s where tooth decay was healed within his practice without filling cavities. Dr. Price found that vitamin D (found in eggs, butterfat, organ meats, and fish oil), along with vitamin K (found in butter oil, egg yolks, and leafy greens), worked wonders for the immune system and were the main fat-soluble vitamins that helped to heal the teeth, when taken together. These vitamins are found naturally in traditional foods, and should be consumed this way as well. Synthetic vitamins often cause a slew of “side effects”, so vitamins are best obtained naturally. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends taking fermented cod liver oil along with high quality butter oil (these both come in capsules or liquids) each day to obtain proper amounts of these fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D and vitamin K2).
Click here for Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend (to get both in one dose) - this brand is the recommended brand from the Weston A. Price Foundation
Click here for last week’s Back to Basics post, which gave an overview of curing teeth of cavities, naturally.
Visit the following links for some more information:
How I Healed My Child’s Cavity - The Healthy Home Economist (one of my favorite blogs)
Preventing Tooth Decay - Whole Health Source
Reversing Tooth Decay - Whole Health Source
Banana Almond Smoothie Recipe:
3 Tbs Organic Vanilla Yogurt (I use Seven Stars brand)
1 Small Cup of Ice (or approx 8-10 ice cubes)
1 Handful of Almonds
2 Tbs Flax Seeds (optional)
Milk (I didn’t measure the milk out, sorry!)
1. Break up 1 banana and combine in blender with the vanilla yogurt, half of the cup of ice, and a little bit of milk (since I never measure the milk, I just pour, I can only tell ya that it filled the bottom of the blender about 1/2 inch).
2. Blend until smooth
3. Add 1 banana (I break them up into 3 pieces), flax seed, almonds, and other half of ice
4. Blend until smooth - enjoy :)
"The Vitamin Water Deception - exposes truth behind this non-healthy beverage"
Check out this short (5 minute) video, especially if you’re a consumer of Vitamin Water.
Smoothies are delicious and nutritious! They are the perfect all natural snack to replace ice cream or any other unhealthy sweet snack since smoothies are naturally sweet from the fruit used to make the smoothie. Aside from that, it is a great way to get your fruit and/or vegetable serving for the day (which ever you choose to put in your smoothie).
I just made a delicious smoothie tonight (pictured above) and here’s how:
5-6 organic strawberries
2 handfuls of organic blueberries
2 organic bananas
2 tbs of organic vanilla yogurt
-blend until smooth-
a cup of ice (add more to the blender last if needed)
add 2 tbs of organic flax seed and
approx 1/4 - 1/2 cup of organic grass-fed milk (as much as you prefer)
-blend again until flax seeds are crushed and mixed well-
This made me 32oz of smoothie or approx 4 cups.
So go back to basics, skip the unhealthy, processed junk, and satisfy your sweet-tooth with something healthy and delicious!