Monday, August 24, 2009

Apple Honey Oatmeal Cake

I just made this and wanted to share with you. This is so moist and delicious. It is such a loose take off of a recipe I found on the internet (using neither honey, pecans or apples) that I feel comfortable calling this my own. I had some apples I bought at retail natural foods store that went mealy really fast. Not wanting to waste, I peeled, chopped them up and cooked them for something yummy. This recipe is more like a muffin batter, but I cooked it in a 9X13 pan for the ease of cleaning.

Apple Honey Oatmeal Cake
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
11/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup butter - melted and cooled
1/2 cup honey
11/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups (can vary of course) of cooked apples
1/2 cup chopped pecans

I baked mine at 375 / adjusted down to 350 about 20 minutes into cooking. I think the total time in the oven was 30 to 40 minutes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Off the fence - agave, friend or foe?

Okay, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it does seem to be that agave is not the super sweetener that it claims to be. It is super though - super concentrated fructose. Agave contains a much higher percentage of fructose even than the evil High Fructose Corn Syrup (boo, hiss)...."junk."

So although it does taste great, it is a not something you really want to consume in quantity. Dr. Mercola and the Weston Price Foundation have weighed in. The low glycemic index (which I thought was good) is apparently something we want triggered to tell us that we are consuming enough food.

Aside ; you'll never guess - bees are being forced to make honey year round and fed high fructose corn syrup. So that's another reason to buy your honey from a local source (nice amish folks have bees and sell honey at the Greensboro Curb Farmers Market). Oh bother (yes that was a reference made to Winnie the Pooh within the discussion of honey :-)

So in light of the research - what will our little family be doing?

Continuing to limit sweeteners. It's amazing how much less sweetener (honey this week) that it takes to make a blueberry muffin taste good. We're not throwing away the bit of agave we still have, we'll use it along with honey in recipes. Don't think we'll be buying more in quantity (i.e. by the gallon - ack!). The truth is I need to eat less sugar. This is hard because sugar - be it agave, honey, maple syrup or a big chocolate bar - is delicious. Personal discipline with sugars - another opportunity to rely on God for strength - I certainly can"t make it on my own. Have a great day!

Invest in your local Farm

This spring we joined a CSA. (Yes I'm from South Carolina, but no - this CSA is not the Confederate States of America, LOL). A CSA is Community Support Agriculture. It is a really awesome, really fair way for those of us who are not in a position to grow all our own veggies to partake in the farming world.

So we joined a new CSA with Faucette Farms in Greensboro. If you're in the area - I highly recommend them. Basically, I pay quarterly (equals about $23 a week) and receive whatever vegetables they have in season. Here's the veggies I got one week in May. Don't they look yummy?

In a CSA the risk of a hard year is spread across many people. By investing in the farm - I get really fresh vegetables, local and organic. I think my favorite part is feeling less like a "consumer" and more like a part of the farm. Now it's summer we're getting fresh corn, cantaloupe and blueberries! I am so grateful that God has blessed us with the Faucette's organic food.

If you are interested in joining a CSA, check out Local Harvest or Slow Food. They have searchable databases you can hopefully find a CSA in your area. Happy healthy day!