There was a time when I thought kale was just a decoration for salad bars. Who knew it was such a nutritious green (is there any other kind?) with so much versatility. The challege, of course, is getting kale to appeal to wee ones, or anyone else with greenophobia. What follows is a delicious, low-carb, nourishing snack reminiscent of potato chips! Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to Donna Gates’ Body Ecology Diet I have been inspired to use more seaweed in our family’s diet. Without totally repeating Donna’s Chapter on sea vegetables, I will share some quick snacks that have been a huge hit with my picky 3 year old.
From Body Ecology:
“Ocean vegetables are important to restoring your body ecology because they naturally control the growth of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses. A body ecology imbalance or immune system disorder causes a severe mineral deficiency, plus we have been eating foods grown in mineral-deficient soil for most of our lives. Ocean vegetables are rich in minerals and trace elements lacking in our diets today, and are organized in such a way that the body can assimilate them easily.”
My daughter had a severely imbalaced Body Ecology resulting from a whole year of prophylactic antibiotic use due to a kidney reflux disorder. Add to that my own ignorance about proper nutrition at the time. I was giving her a diet rich in grains that her body couldn’t digest; which only fed the yeast! This resulted in an inability of her to absorb minerals. Rebuilding her body ecology was essential. Beneficial microflora in our intestines are the key to mineral absorbtion.
Now that her gut has had time to heal and rebuild its microflora, her little body is starving for mineral-rich foods. Seaweed has been an amazing solution. These crunchy, salty snacks are low in carbs (if any) and high in a broad spectrum of trace minerals such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, iron and many others.
One delicous favorite has been Dulse Chips.
Dulse is salty and very tasty. It’s high in all the minerals mentioned above, along with vitamin B6. Sea Vegetables purchased from Eden Foods or Maine Coast Sea Vegetables are additive-free and carefully processed to retain enzymes and to be free of any pollutants. These nutrient-dense foods keep well for long periods of time, and would be ideal “rations” to have on hand in the event that times get tough with food.
If your local food store does not carry Maine Coast, you can order through the link below (this is for a bulk order, not just one package!):
Eden brand is also very highly recommended. You can purchase in bulk through Amazon. The cost looks hefty, but a little goes a long way when reconstituted (you can’t tell from the picture, but that’s for a pack of six, and it only takes about 2 T for a serving:
For a more economical seaweed (that is extremely high in trace minerals and nutrients also) is kelp:
1st way my kids love seaweed: Dulse Chips
How to make dulse (or kelp) chips:
1. Put about 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (or bacon grease) in a skillet (when melted, oil should cover the entire skillet at least 1/8 of an inch or so). Melt over medium-high heat. Place dulse (or kelp strips) inside skillet.
2) When dulse turns a light green, which will happen quickly, turn over. When both sides are light green, remove and drain on paper towel. Kelp will also turn lighter. Be careful not to burn!
2nd way my kids love seaweed: Nori strips (plain)
Nori strips are those which are commonly found in sushi restaurants. They are long and flat, and can be eaten plain or rolled up to make sushi. Nori isn’t the most nutrient-dense, but it certainly isn’t bad . It contains some iron and calcium. It’s great toasted (simply put over a burner for a minute or two until crisp).
3rd way my kids love seaweed: Arame Saute
Arame is an extremely easy to use seaweed, and it’s very kid-friendly. I like to saute chopped kale and scallions with the arame (it takes about 5 minutes for it to soak and reconstitute) and toss with toasted sesame oil and nama shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce). My kids devour this! You can use any veggies you like, but this one is a personal favorite.
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy seaweed? Please share!
We interrupt the regularly scheduled weight loss Wednesday for Kimi’s (the Nourishing Gourmet) challenge: nourishing portable foods. Here are some tips and a newly-discovered recipe!
Kid-friendly Standard Carbohydrate Diet snack and lunch ideas can be hard to come by, but here are some of our mainstays. Most of these are actually hearty enough to be lunches.
*Homemade yogurt with fresh or frozen blueberries, a dash of stevia and pure vanilla extract ( I put this in small mason jars!)
*Crispy nuts, raw cheese, and lacto-fermeted pickles. This is a complete meal in itself!
*Iced herbal tea (fruity kinds sweetened with a little stevia or honey). Rooibos tea is actually good for children’s digestive systems, and my kids love this!
*Kombucha blended with frozen strawberries. Yum!
*Green popcorn (Oops, this is actually not SCD-friendly, but we still like it occasionally!)
*Yogurt/kefir cream cheese dip (strained yogurt or kefir; your choice of additions; savory or sweet. I like garlic and herbs or cinnamon and applesauce added) with raw veggies to dip.
*Smoked salmon (no additives) with yogurt cream cheese on homemade sunflower seed crackers (recipe below!)
Sunflower Seed Graham Crackers
1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup goat milk yogurt (or other)
1/3 cup raw honey
1/3 cup melted ghee or coconut oil
1/2 T vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1) Soak seeds in 2 cups of water.
2)12 hours later, drain seeds. Place in food processor with other ingredients.
3) Process until light and fluffy.
4) Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
5) Remove from oven and using a pizza cutter, cut into squares.
6) Place squares into a food dehyrator (or back in oven on warm temp) and allow them to get dry and cripsy (about 6-8 hours).
Serve with ghee and a touch of raw honey or nut butter for a nourishing, kid-approved snack!
Also, try adding parmesan cheese and herbs for a savory cracker!
Have you ever wondered how to make your own Lara Bar? Here’s my recipe!
Since becoming serious about cooking traditionally, I have had to give up an awesome convenience food / “on the go snack”: the “bar”. My favorite for a while was the Odwalla Bar; $.88 at Winco, I could load up on these babies and my kiddo loved them for her snack. Ironically, it was the Odwalla Bar that lead me to believe that my daughter was sensitive to wheat/gluten. I’ll spare you the delicious details, but suffice to say that it was the Odwalla Bar, in a way, that lead me on this journey!
Fast forward two years into the future. Lara bars come on the scene. What could be better? A whole food, gluten free snack bar! These have like 3 ingredients! But they are also expensive. And rightly so; I mean, the ingredients are good quality and good quality comes with a price.
I don’t know if the recipe below really comes out that much cheaper than a box of Lara Bars at Costco (~$18 for 18 bars). This recipe made about 18 bars and I’m pretty sure the ingredients, altogether would total a lot less than $18. It also takes very little time. Here’s the basic idea of the recipe. It’s not an exact science, so forgive the “Italian” style of recipe writing:
Better than Lara Bars
10-12 pitted dates
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (more may be necessary)
handful of raisins
1 cup of shredded coconut (plus more for coating)
1 TBS Raw Honey (or other liquid sweetener)]
Liquid Stevia to taste
handful of chopped crispy nuts (macadamia nuts or almonds are great)
1/3 cup of coconut oil or butter
2 scoops of Rainbow Light’s Chocolate Rice Protein Powder (optional, but really good!)
1) Place dates into food processor and process until you have a paste.
2) Add raisins, peanut butter, honey, and coconut and process until mixture forms a big mass.
3) Add your coconut oil now, as well as the protein powder, if using. Mixture may seem a bit “wet” from the coconut oil. This is okay,but if it seems too runny, add more shredded coconut. Taste for sweetness, and add a few drops of stevia (or more honey) to acheive desired sweetness.
4) At this point, add the chopped nuts.
5) Form pastey mass into balls or bars and roll in shredded coconut (or rapadura or cocoa).
6) Place bars on parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in freezer for about 10 minutes.
Notes: This is a pretty forgiving and versatile recipe. Try subbing raisins for any dried fruit (apricots or cherries would be great!) The coconut oil is not absolutely essential to the texture, either. You can get by without it, but it adds some good nutritional properties! You also don’t need nuts, the peanut butter is enough!
These are amazing! They are full of healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein! Enjoy for breakfast on the run or for dessert with a glass of milk!
“Ideally, we would eat all of our meals sitting down….”
So begins Sally Fallon’s chapter on “snacks” in her life-changing cookbook, _Nourishing Traditions_. Since reading this book and thus changing the way our family eats, I have found that snacks are less needed then they were before. Some of the reasons why I think we don’t eat as many “snacks” (I give my 3 year old 1 snack around 4:00, but that’s all!):
- Traditional food diets emphasize more healthy fats, including saturated fats like butter and coconut oil, which when eaten with meals make us feel satiated until the next meal.
- Drinking lacto-fermented beveraged throughout the day, like beet kvass, kombucha, and kefir really satisfy a desire to “snack” because they are filling and nutrient-rich. I will devote a whole post on how to cheaply make these at home!
- Raw, whole milk from grassfed cow, when consumed with each meal adds fat and many bioavailable nutrients that satiate the body.
Why do we want snacks? If you are feeling hungry all day, you’re probably not consuming enough fat. Eating a “carby” breakfast such as boxed cereal or a muffin is a surefire way to be starving at 10 am. A breakfast of eggs & bacon, soaked oatmeal, or a power smoothie, along with a glass of milk, keeps me going all morning long. I’m rarely hungry for lunch, but I make and eat it out of duty because if I don’t my blood sugar will go crazy and I’ll just crave “snacky carbs” all day long!
A great way to sneak in extra fat is to use coconut oil. One of our favorites is coconut bark such as is explained on this website. It’s very satisfying, and when I eat a little bit first thing in the morning, it really helps me wake up and feel immediate energy. It’s very versatile,too. Add whatever you have on hand!
If you must snack, here are a few tisps to make them healthy and thrifty!
- Green Popcorn: (Tastes remarkably like Veggie Booty)
Pop some organic popcorn. Smother liberally with melted virgin coconut oil and Kerrygold Butter
(available at Trader Joe’s for the best price!) Sprinkle the popcorn with about 1 tsp.of spirulina powder and 1 Tbs of Gaylord Hauser’s Vegetable Broth Powder. Add Sea Salt to taste, and enjoy a delicious and healthy snack!
- Crispy Waffles/Pancakes:
We always freeze leftover waffles/pancakes. They make delicious snacks,just toast and add lots of butter and sugarless jam, honey, or nut butter. I will be soon posting about my newfound favorite waffle recipe!
- Crispy nuts & Cheese:
Soak almonds or walnuts (this activates their enzymes) in water with 1 TBS salt for 12 hours. Drain and dehydrate on a baking sheet in a warm oven until crispy (about 12 hours). Serve with slices of cheddar cheese and enjoy! Note: I realize that nuts are not cheap, but because they are so nutrient-dense, you don’t gorge on them and they last a while. Costco is where I buy my walnuts and almonds, but I’m hoping to begin ordering them from a farm directly.
Bottom line: The rule for thrifty eating is getting the most nutrition for your dollar. If your meals consist of enough fat and nutrients, you will likely not need much in the way of snacks, which means less impulse purchases, less carb eating, which means a slimmer waistline!