Real Food Standby #5: Oatmeal

I’ve blogged about oatmeal before. It is cheap, sustaining, healthy and quite adaptable. Some days I want it for supper too! Our current oatmeal recipe that we eat every second day (alternating with cream of wheat) is an apple/cinnamon mix sweetened with a dab of honey. I also add an egg to boost protein and creaminess. I think I invented that 🙂

Soaked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

The night before, soak 2/3 cups oats in 1 1/2 cups water and a tablespoon of yogurt liquid or apple cider vinager

In the morning, bring to a boil and add 1 apple, grated, and a couple of shakes of cinnamon. Cook until done and take off heat.

Off heat, stir in 1/3 cup yogurt and 2 tbsp honey. Once that is combined, beat in one egg. It will be very glossy and “wet” looking at first, but after a couple of minutes it will very gently cook and combine with the oatmeal. You might see some streaks of white egg protein, or you might not.

Serves 1 hungry mom and 2 kids.

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Real Food Standby #3: Applesauce

While I’ve never been one to buy jars & jars of applesauce off the shelves, I’ve come to ADORE home made applesauce. There is something so delectable about the aroma of simmering apples, and the warm sauce freshly made just can’t be beat. I have no idea why, but it tastes so much sweeter than a raw apple, even though there’s no sweetener added. It’s fast, it’s easy, and if you preserve a bunch, it’s a great way to continue eating local apples all winter long.

Some of our favourite uses include:

– in oatmeal. Since going sugar free, this sweet sauce has been a major boon to us in the breakfast department.

– in yogurt. I’ve perfected the art of forming a cute pink applesauce heart in the middle of a tiny bowl of yogurt.

– just plain eating. Best while it’s still warm, but also a delicious snack when the kids are hungry NOW!

Next year I am definitely going apple picking with the kids, and will make jars and jars of applesauce to last us all year. For now, I’m getting them by the slightly bruised bagful from the Herb & Spice (I just discovered their cart of marked down produce–what deals!!).

Simple Applesauce

3 pounds organic apples

1 cup water

Core and roughly chop apples. Place in a saucepan with a cup of water. Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Once cooked pass them through your food mill to squash out all the good stuff and leave the skins behind. If you don’t have a food mill you can always peel the apples beforehand, or leave the skins on and blend it all together for a more fibre-rich mixture. If you use very red apples, the sauce will be a lovely pink colour. Refrigerate and enjoy, or process in a water bath according to up-to-date canning instructions.

Real Food Standby #2: Smoothies

We’re officially on day 4 of our Real Food Revolution, and things are going so well. My kid has been able to stay in the “green zone” pretty much 100% of the time, not counting normal reactions to having shiny pieces of red ribbon snatched away by her little brother and that sort of thing.

To be honest, I feel a little guilty and silly for not trying this earlier. Imagine trying to learn and figure out the world, all the while battling these monster reactions to stuff your mom keeps giving you!!

I think the biggest change has been with our breakfast. We used to have oatmeal with honey and blueberries, or cream of wheat with brown sugar. No more! We’re still having oatmeal, but I’m using a few drops of Stevia instead of the honey. And we’re also starting the day with a smoothie, which gives them some fruit, some pro-biotics in the form of yogurt, and some omega-3s from flax oil.

With organic blueberries and sustainable strawberries, this is certainly adding to our budget but hopefully next year I can stock up when they are in season. (I think I will need a bigger freezer!) The kids are loving their smoothies (as am I!), and I feel really good getting all that healthy stuff into them at the top of the day.

So here’s the recipe. You can adjust the quantities depending on your taste and budget. I just eyeball it, to be honest!

Breakfast Smoothie

yogurt

frozen blueberries

frozen strawberries

1 ripe banana

4-5 drops of Stevia

3-4 tsp flax oil (it’s pretty flavourless so I’ve been increasing it day by day)

water to cover

Toss everything into the blender. Blend on highest speed until smooth. Enjoy with a side of soaked oatmeal.