What a girl wants

Earlier this year I mentioned that I want to be more aware of what I am eating.  Where did it come from?  What has gone into it?  How was it made?  What little extras are in there that I don’t really know about or need?

It’s about provenance and it’s about health.  It’s about whole foods and it’s about sustainability.

My first foray into this happened a bit by accident.  We ran out of breakfast cereal.  So I went to the supermarket to get more and stood in the cereal aisle for simply ages.  I think I may have read the packets of 75% of the products on offer.  And I didn’t like any of them.  Apart from the ones that had way too much sugar and over processed ingredients, I couldn’t seem to find one that had what I like to eat.

So I decided to make my own.  My wish list looked something like this:

wholegrains
whole foods
organic
tasty
low glycaemic index

So the ingredients started to accumulate

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organic rolled oats
puffed quinoa
puffed spelt
rice bran
slivered almonds
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
dates
raisins
dried cranberries

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Not everything met all of the criteria, but most did.  It took more than one attempt to get the blend the way I wanted, but after adding a bit more of this, and using a bit less of that, I finally ended up with two huge Tupperware containers of cereal.

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What I like about it, apart from the taste, is that it uses some lesser known ingredients and ones that are genuinely good for you.  Here is just a little taste of what I have learned:

Why Organic?

Visit the Biological Farmers of Australia website for 20 good reasons to buy organic

Why Whole Foods?

We eat plenty but we are still starving. The foods we eat generally don’t provide our bodies with the nutrition needed to survive and be healthy.  We are starving our bodies and we are sick because we eat poor-quality foods that have been stripped of nutrients.  We suffer from diabetes, heart attacks, obesity. The list goes on and on.
Given proper nutrition, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself.  If properly fed and given the right nutrients, the human body is designed to repair itself.  To do so, we need to eat a healthier diet, exercise, and take high-quality supplements made from whole foods.  Whole foods supply our bodies with nutrients we are not getting from our diet, all the vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients that foods possess in a way that nature intended, in a whole food form.

Quinoa

A recently rediscovered ancient “grain” native to South America, quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas,” who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors.   It is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like chard and spinach.  Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids.  Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this “grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches.  Good for me as I get them frequently.
Cooked quinoa seeds are fluffy and creamy, yet slightly crunchy. They have a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor. The most popular type of quinoa is a transparent yellow color, other varieties feature colors such as orange, pink, red, purple or black.  I used organic puffed quinoa for this.

Spelt

Spelt is an ancient grain that traces its heritage back long before many wheat hybrids. Many of its benefits come from the fact that it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its more inbred cousins in the wheat family. It can be used in many of the same ways as wheat including bread and pasta making. It has a deep nutlike flavour.  Puffed spelt is one of the main ingredients of the cereal.

Cranberries

Cranberries have long been valued for their ability to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Now, recent studies suggest that this little berry packed with Vitamin C may also promote gastrointestinal and oral health, prevent the formation of kidney stones, lower LDL and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, aid in recovery from stroke, and even help prevent cancer. They are also called ‘bounceberries’ because, wait for it, they bounce when ripe!  Dried cranberries (sometimes called craisins) are readily available and what I chose.

Sunflower seeds

A handful of sunflower seeds will take care of your hunger, while also enhancing your health by supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.  Vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant, travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol. By protecting these cellular and molecular components, vitamin E has significant anti-inflammatory effects that result in the reduction of symptoms in asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, conditions where free radicals and inflammation play a big role.

I could rave on, but I will spare you that.  The outcome is that I will make this again.  The taste surpasses anything that I could buy and I get to handpick what’s in it so that I know its good for us.

What more could a girl want?

Oh, that’s right.  Breakfast!

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6 Comments

  • Looks amazing!!! almost too good for you to be so tasty 🙂 when do we all get to try some?? I know of a certain person who loves this type of food for breaky, maybe it is time for a brunch meeting?

  • Niiice. I flove breakfast – some nights I actually look forward to the next morning’s meal.

    I go through quite an elaborate cereal-making ritual at work every day — oats cooked in stages in the microwave, then I add puffed amaranth (like quinoa – a complete, high-protein grain; it has a nutty flavour), some soy milk, fresh yellow peach (banana or pear in winter), cook a little more, then stir in LSA mix (ground linseed and sunflower seeds and almond meal), whole sunflower seeds, pepitas and slivered almonds.

    I’m like you — hate all the crap they stick in packaged cereals, especially how sweet it usually is. Making a cereal customised to your tastes is very much worth the effort. Cheaper too.

    • Hi Ruth – that is quite a ritual and sounds great! I looked at amaranth too. It might make it into the next batch I think.

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