Jeannie is a fellow nature-loving, healthy-ish eating Colorado Monkee. We "met" through Glennon's blog, Momastery, and learned that we used to live just blocks apart from one another in my old Denver 'hood before we moved up to Steamboat. I like her a lot and I think you will too. I also think she looks a lot like my sister-in-law Becky. Beck ... don't you think you two could be sisters??
Anyway, Jeannie has two kid-friendly, oaty-delicious recipes to share with us today. Everyone ... meet Jeannie!
Hi Full.AtLasters and fellow Monkees. I'm excited to be able to share with you a couple recipes that are a regular part of the Cimino/Brisson household. I've always considered myself a health-conscious, physically active person. Although, the "conscious" hasn't always translated to "action" if you know what I mean. I mean, I know that a banana is healthier for you then a Peppermint Patty, but dammit, sometimes I just want the Peppermint Patty! And if I've spent the whole day snowboarding, doesn't that mean I deserve a burger and fries?!
I became more active about my family's health when my son, Henry was born. I became more careful about what I ate because I realized that if I wasn't getting sleep, the only thing I had left to give me energy and some sense of sanity was the right food. Oh, and I REALLY wanted to lose that baby weight too! I also became intrigued by the idea that I could make Henry's food from scratch, and had a lot of fun learning about that. It had never occurred to me before that I could make baby food AND that being in the kitchen could be fun and not feel like a chore.
Seven months later, I became pregnant again with my daugher, Olive. (No, this was not planned, people!) And while preparing for a homebirth, I learned a heck of a lot about how nutrition has an impact on labor and delivery, something I didn't learn as much about when I was pregnant with Henry.
I made a completely crazy decision this past summer to try and become a vegan. I was in Cape Cod with a great group of friends and it just so happened that the book, "The China Study" was on the nightstand in my room. I was astounded by the research between animal protein and long-term health conditions. This was the same time that I learned more about a very special friend's experience with rheumatoid arthritis. It turns out that after trying several medications, none of which were working well for her, she switched to a plant-based diet. Almost two years later she is symptom free and takes no medication.
Both the book and hearing more about Michele's story was compelling enough for me to make a change. It's taken me a long time to adjust, but I would say that now 80-90% (depending on the day) of mine and my children's diet is vegan and I noticed the change in how I felt pretty quickly. (Husband is more 50/50 because he makes his own breakfast and lunch! Too bad for him that I make dinner.)
So, are you hating me right now?! Well, don't! Because I still crave (and can be found giving into eating) Twizzler bites, M&Ms, Raisinets, Peppermint Patties, of course, oh, and I love Toblerones!, flank steak, and being the good Italian that I am, chicken parmigiana, really cheesy lasagna, baked ziti, manicotti...and the list goes on and on. I just take it one meal or snack at a time.
Thanks to Erin, I say to myself everyday, "Progress, not perfection." And that is an important piece of being healthy for me.
Banana Oat Cookies (courtesy of my friend, Julie N. Hi Julie!)
This is an easy and quick recipe that is a great healthy snack for little ones. I make it weekly and my son (and now 10 month old daughter!) loves them. I'm become a bit addicted also. It also doubles as a toddler activity; Henry helps me make them everytime. So, if you're snowed in and have run out of ideas, this will kill about a 30-45 minutes including bake time.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two baking sheets with cooking spray.
3 mashed ripe medium bananas
2 cups of old fashioned oats
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
A dash of cinnamon (I usually make it a couple heavy dashs)
A dash of salt
Optional to add any of the following:
A tbsp or two of agave nectar (to make it sweeter)
1/4-1/2 cup of any one of the following (dried cranberries, raisins, dates, or walnuts).
Spoon tbsp-sized drops onto the baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen. (For you high altitude ladies and gents, bake about about 21-22 minutes.)
Good to know: Your older kids may not like these! I recently offered them to some of the neighborhood kids and they about gagged. Ha! So, if giving them to kids, they're probably best for the little ones who haven't tasted much sugar yet. But, who knows, maybe someone will prove me wrong. You could always try putting some fruit spread on the top. I put apple butter on one this morning and it was tasty.
(This is a recipe I adapted from the Joy of Cooking. I make these weekly as well and we can't eat them fast enough! NO ONE will know they don't contain dairy products.)
Combine in large bowl:
1 cup of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
Whisk in small bowl:
3 tbsp ground flaxseed with 9 tbsp lukewarm water and let sit while you combine the following in a medium bowl:
1 3/4 cups plant milk (soy, almond or rice milk)
4 tbsp butter substitute, melted (I use Earth Balance sticks)
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
Add flaxseed/water mix to this bowl.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and you are ready to make the pancakes!
Optional: If you have fresh blueberries on hand, add a cup to the batter. You will not be disappointed.
Finally, I drizzle them with agave nectar instead of syrup. Yum! Enjoy!
And, don't forget that oats are a significant source of dietary fiber and have been proven to reduce blood cholesterol. They also help stabilize blood sugar, help prevent heart disease and contain important phytochemicals that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Those are some pretty compelling reasons to try these recipes, don't you think?