Those who know us well know that over the past year or two we have made MAJOR changes in how we eat. We are constantly learning more and adjusting our food choices to make sure we are putting only the best quality and most natural foods in our bodies. We firmly believe that health and well being are directly linked to the food we consume. It's no mystery why so many Americans are sick and feel less than optimal when you begin to investigate what is actually in (nearly) all processed foods. If you're interested in learning more, I have posted links at the bottom to the resources we found most helpful and the ones that opened our eyes the most to the atrocities being committed in the American food systems.
Lately, we've become incredibly aware of additives and preservatives in everything, even "healthy" cereals (check your box for BHA, then look up what it and and what it does to your body)! I was shocked by how many packaged foods and breads have Azodicarbonamide - an additive that prolongs the shelf life and is known to exasperate asthma. Awesome. I was feeding my asthmatic child foods that were contributing to his breathing difficulties. I don't mind if my bread gets stale a little quicker, I'll stick to making it myself.
Needless to say, I have no trust in the FDA or the USDA. It's sickening what preservatives, additives, and hormones are considered "safe" in this country. I'll stick to doing my own research and making/growing/processing as much of our own foods as we possibly can. I can't wait for the days when we can have a garden so large that we can freeze/can enough foods to last us through most of the winter.
I say all that to reach my point...we have decided to go cereal free in our house (other than homemade granola). Cheerios, rice krispies, and chex were our go to breakfasts. We were eating cereal five times a week and I thought I was making the best choice because I stuck to the low sugar varieties. We have begun to search for quick, easy, and tasty breakfast options.
The kids love helping in the kitchen so we regularly whip up a batch of muffins for breakfast once or twice a week. Side note - I know there is a whole world of knowledge out there about preparing grains in certain ways to maximize their health benefits and to minimize negatives effects of gluten (and other things people are concerned about). Honestly, right now, I'm just not at the point that I can pay attention to that information. All the changes we have made in our diet have been slow and steady. Our primary concern right now is cutting out preservatives, additives, and hormones and using the best sources of oil/fat. Maybe in several months or years I'll reach a place where I can spend time researching more about the best grains and ways to prepare them. Until then, we've played around with several recipes and then essentially made up our own. This is our favorite thus far:
1 cp unbleached flour
1/2 cp oat flour
1/4 cp whole wheat flour
1/3 cp rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Combine these dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Set aside.
2-3 extra ripe bananas
1/2 cp whole milk
1/3 cp sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
Mash bananas in a medium bowl. Add other wet ingredients and stir well.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, careful not to over mix. Optional - stir in 1/2 cp fresh berries or 1/4 cp chocolate chips.
Grease muffin pan with butter (do not use paper liners, muffins will stick). Pour batter into pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes.
Banned Ingredients Still Legal in the US
Differences in Food Packings/Ingredients in US
Best fat sources
Book - In Defense of Food
If you feel that any of my information or sources are faulty, please let me know! Also, if you have more info on healthy/natural eating to share, please do so in the comments. I know I have other friends and family that would also be interested!
I have started several boards on Pintrest with articles on better eating and recipes, please follow me on there to find those also!