Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In The Kitchen

I checked out this book from the library a few weeks ago. It has some good suggestions for getting more fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains into your family's diet.

I really liked it because the authors encouraged things I had already made up my mind on. For example, they don't push fat-free or low-fat versions of stuff. There are a few items where they recommend the reduced fat version, but they agree with my thinking (or the other way around) that when you take something out, something needs to go back in and it's usually artificial stuff.

I already use real butter, natural peanut butter (HATE the taste of the sugary stuff now), and one thing they mentioned that I never thought of is maple syrup. So next time I need pancake syrup I'll be looking for pure maple syrup.

The suggestions were based on keeping the flavor, and the ideas are made to fit your life. Such as a little bit of real butter and salt can add a lot of flavor, and if you need to cut back on sodium, home cooking contains such small amounts compared to fast food and packaged meals. And their recipes are intended to help busy moms, so a lot of them call for frozen or canned produce, but you can easily substitute fresh if you have the time.

I stuck sticky notes on all the recipes I thought would be good to try, and it would have been so much faster to mark the ones that I didn't.

I made an apple pear crisp out of the book the other day. The topping was very similar to my usual buttery one, but the ingredients were way different. Oatmeal, wheat germ, spices, an egg, and canola oil. I think it passed the hubby test, because he had some last night and didn't comment at all. (Along the lines of no news is good news...)

This morning I'm home with a sick little boy, so I tried a variant on my usual oatmeal for breakfast. I figured I often give him oatmeal with pumpkin, so I tried it myself and was pleased with the result (I allowed myself more spices and sugar than he gets).

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. oatmeal (for one serving)
1/4 c. pumpkin
a good sprinkle of cinnamon
a dash or two of cloves
a dash of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. of brown sugar since I need the sweetness

Cook oatmeal. Add pumpkin, spices, and sugar to taste. Enjoy.

The sugar is way down from how much I used to put in oatmeal how many years ago, but maybe you guys aren't the sugar addicts that I am. :)

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