My sister, Barb, is visiting with us for a whole week. 😁 I inherited several tubsful of photos and albums from my parents when they moved. My plan has always been to sort through them, scan all the pictures and put them on thumb drives, then bring those and all the pictures to the next family reunion to distribute. They’ve sat, collecting dust for several years.
Barb has been such a blessing! Together, we’ve been sorting and organizing and scanning. (The photo is from mid-progress in our project.) There’s been a considerable amount of sleuthing involved, as we try to figure who is who in many unlabeled pictures. [Note to those who have photos: LABEL while you can, so future generations don’t have to guess.] It’s been interesting to look through photos from the early 1900’s. One album, that my grandmother created, is 100 years old, given to her for Christmas by her father in 1921.
Thank you, Barb! I could never have done this without you!
One day Barb made pancakes for dinner. (I love breakfast for dinner, don’t you?) These were not only delicious, but free of gluten and sugar! The recipe makes a small batch (3-4 pancakes, depending on size), but it doubles (or triples, I suppose) well.
The only substitution when Barb made them was rice milk for the almond. We used quick oats, but they were still organic and gluten-free.
1/2 cup gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 medium banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large egg whites (or 1 egg)
1/4 cup fat free (or low-fat) cottage cheese
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Fresh berries, chocolate chips, peanut butter
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth, about 30 seconds.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium low heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Add desired toppings such as chocolate chips or blueberries. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside.
Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more cooking spray and remaining batter. Makes 3-4 pancakes.
This is the best recipe I’ve found for banana bread. It’s moist and tasty, and the rolled oats give it a delectable chewy texture. It’s flexible enough that you can add nuts if you like (I don’t like), you can go up or down on the spices, and you can add whatever kind of dried fruit you prefer (craisins, chopped dates, dried chopped apricots, etc.; I suppose you could even sub in chocolate chips); and I think you could change the butter to 1/3 cup, and add ¼ cup peanut butter, if that interests you.
Note the larger size loaf pan (9 5/8 x 5 1/2-inch): it really did use the whole pan.
1 cup sucanat (can also use coconut palm sugar, or a combination)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (anywhere from 3-5 bananas, depending on size)
1/4 cup milk (I used rice milk)
1/2 cup raisins (add a full cup if you like raisins)
Yield: a 9 5/8″ x 5 1/2″ loaf pan
Cream shortening, yogurt and sucanat. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Combine dry ingredients and add to first mixture alternately with bananas and milk. Mix well and fold in raisins.
Bake in greased 9 5/8 x 5 1/2-inch loaf pan 50-60 minutes in 350° oven.
Cover for 5 minutes after being removed from oven to keep the moisture in the bread.
When I want a little comfort food, I like it to be healthy, especially when there are unpleasant bugs going around. I want to be careful not to compromise my immune system with sugar; however, comfort often means sweet (at least, a little).
Enter a traditional favorite: oatmeal.
I go heavy on the spices because they’re so good for the immune system, and they also lend a bit of sweetness. And don’t be afraid to throw in the butter. Good food includes plenty of healthy fats: fats are not only good for the body’s systems and your brain, they also carry the flavor.
Kathy’s Comforting Oatmeal
Serves 3 – 4
4 or 5 hours before, or the night before:
2 cups oats (use whatever is on hand: rolled / old fashioned; quick; use only 1/2 cup if using steel cut oats)
2 Tbs kefir or yogurt
When you make it:
2 Tbs cinnamon
¼ tsp each of powdered spices: nutmeg, cloves, allspice
2 Tbs butter
Several dashes Himalayan or mineral salt
1 tsp vanilla
Fresh or dried fruit, such as raisins, chopped dates, or fresh or frozen peaches
Sweetener (you may not need this with the fruit), such as pure maple syrup, sucanat, stevia, or coconut palm sugar
Dairy or non-dairy milk
Peanut butter (I know – weird – but I tried it once and I like it)
Put the oats into a medium-size saucepan. Add enough water to cover the oats. (You’ll need extra water for steel cut oats: the ratio is 1:4, i.e., if you use ½ cup oats, then 2 cups water.) Add the kefir or yogurt, and stir. Allow to soak 4 or 5 hours, or overnight. (I discuss benefits of soaking grains here.)
When you are ready to prepare your oatmeal, put the oats on to a low simmer until cooked: 5 minutes for quick oats; 10 minutes for rolled / old fashioned oats; 15-20 minutes for steel cut oats.
Add the spices, butter, salt, and vanilla.
Add optional ingredients.
Stir together and heat it back up.
Sometimes I make “Apple Raisin Stuff:” I chop up apples, add a little water and some raisins, and simmer until the apples are soft. I throw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. I keep it in the ‘fridge or freezer to use in pies or to mix some into my oatmeal.