Want to Crunch Up Your Life?

Dear all,

I am always on the lookout for new ideas to add a new twist to my recipes. Especially challenging are school lunches and snacks. If a food looks too “weird”, it won´t be eaten in public because of the fear of getting annoying comments. On the “weird” food list of our children you find quinoa, most warm lunches or couscous salad. Then there´s the “too difficult to eat” list, which includes all sorts of tacos or burritos, noodles with tomato sauce or sandwiches filled with plant- based coleslaw. Ok, I get their explanations and honestly understand them. But it makes MY life more complicated- why can´t I just simply send some leftovers from the previous day to school?? Anyway, that´s the reason why I am constantly trying to find new foods that make it on the “OK” list or at least spice up the foods that are already on that list. I firmly believe that a great snack and lunch can brighten up someone´s day and love to hear how much the kids had enjoyed their food at school and how much they appreciate it. Also, healthy food plays an essential role in staying focused and performing at your best at school or work.

On Ben´s and Vivian´s “hotlist” for school food is fruit salad, vanilla soy yogurt with fresh berries on the side (yes, on the side, NOT mixed in!), apple sauce and pancake bites with berry sauce on the side for dipping.

While flipping throw some older recipes of mine, I came upon a selection of recipes called “crumbles and cobblers”. These recipes sparked the idea of adding some sweet crunchiness to some of my recipes. The selection of the flavors was very easy- or son was asking me on the weekend to bake a pumpkin pie, his favorite pie- so pumpkin pie spice was going to be the spice mixture for the crunchies.

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The next part was to choose the cereal for the crunchies. Our daughter absolutely loves brown rice puffs (actually, she likes most of the puffed grains), so they had to be a major component of the crunchies. Also, you have to have some oats because of their amazing health benefits that come from their soluble fiber and antioxidants.

So I had the grains, the spices and needed to add some sweetness. I chose some maple syrup, but honey would work as well. Just a little to add some nice maple flavor.
To add some more “glue” to it, I added a bit of unsweetened home made apple sauce to it (in traditional toasted cereal a lot of oil is used, which I always swap for applesauce).

images (2)Let´s not forget to add some nuts to benefit from their amazing health benefits; plus, they add even more crunchiness to the cereal. I chose pumpkin seeds, pipettes, as they are called in Mexico. They contain many health-benefiting vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and essential amino-acids. Interestingly, Pumpkin seeds are the only seed that is alkaline forming; in this world of highly acidic diets, that is a very good thing.

In nutritional research, a line of thought divides foods into three groups: weak acid, alkalinizing and acidifying. The categories refer to how the food affects your body, not to whether it has a low, high or neutral pH.

Simply stated, acidifying foods produce acids during metabolism. They include sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Meat, dairy and legumes, for example, contain proteins, which lead to the formation of amino acids. Other acidifying foods include those made of whole and refined grains, nuts, seeds, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, sweets and white sugar. Coffee, cocoa, tea and wine also raise acidity in your body.

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When we eat acid-forming foods, our body works to bring our blood pH back into balance by releasing alkaline-rich minerals into our bloodstream (e.g. calcium, phosphorus and magnesium).

If we are not eating enough alkaline-forming foods, then our body has to pull these minerals from our bones, teeth and organs. This can compromise our immune system, cause fatigue and make us vulnerable to viruses and disease. Research suggests that the nutrient shuffling leads to health problems that include joint inflammation, osteoporosis and kidney stones.

Alkaline foods include fruits and vegetables. If you would like to see a detailed list that ranks foods from most alkaline to most acidic click on this link http://www.rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

Back to my recipe Brown Rice Oat Crunchies. If you can’t find pumpkin pie spice anywhere (so far, I haven’t found it in Australia), you can easily make your own:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves

Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Store the mixture in a small jar or spice container.

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Add the crunchies to plant-based yogurt, fruit salad, any type of pudding or eat it with a splash of plant milk for breakfast. Click here for the full recipe http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4717

Enjoy!

Cheers,

Ursula

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