Tag Archives: nutrition

Recipe: Nut & Seed Granola

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

I love me some granola.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

This batch is a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition with lots of nuts and seeds, coconut and coconut butter, tahini and sweetened only with honey. On top of that, it’s very easy to make, so you have no excuses not to be in the kitchen, right now, baking up a batch of pure delight. Except that you’re reading this right now.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

So I’m not gonna hold you captive here any more with lots of fluff. Let’s get to it.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

NUT & SEED GRANOLA

Makes approx. 7 cups (fits nicely on one standard size rimmed baking sheet)

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups flaked coconut, raw and unsweetened
2 cups mixed nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, etc.)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp vanilla, almond or coconut extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300F. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients until combined well.  Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until all dry ingredients are coated evenly.

Spread granola mixture onto a lined baking sheet (parchment or Silpat mat) into an even layer, avoiding direct contact with the sides of the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and toss, then return to oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Remove, toss and repeat process twice more, for a total baking time of 80 minutes, or until granola turns golden and toasted. Remove granola from oven and allow to cool completely as granola will harden as it cools. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.

Nut and Seed Granola | Tiffany Lane

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Food + Recipes

What’s In Your Food?

I’ve been very interested in agriculture for quite some time, but I’m really diving in now.  I’ve been following the 100 Days of Real Food blog (I talked about before) and Lisa highly recommends author Michael Pollan from whom she has gathered a lot of her information.  Pollan has written quite a few books on the subject, including: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food and Food Rules (not to mention a few others).

I zipped through Food Rules (very quick read) and it was reassuring that some of the “rules” I live by aren’t crazy, they’re just going back to the basics of real food.  I recommend grabbing a copy; it could be pretty eye opening for some of you, and even just reassuring to others who may already adopt this way of living.  And yes, I say living, because so much of our lives revolve around food, right? When, where and what we’re going to eat seems to take up a lot of our time.  Or at least it does for my family.  It’s a lifestyle to choose to eat a certain way.  And eating a certain way may help healthy habits form in other parts of your life.

Right now I’m reading In Defense of Food and it’s really informative.  The beginning talks about how nutritionism started, the difference between nutrition and nutritionism and how it may not be as helpful as it seems.  That to the industrial food system the added nutrients in processed foods somehow seem to make those foods better than the real thing.   Pollan digs deep in this book and it’s exciting to know that others feel like I do about food and what we put into our bodies.

Tiffany, it seems like you’re just talking about food and nutrition, so what does this have to do specifically with agriculture?  Glad you asked.

I’ve really been interested in finding sources for our food that are: local, organic and sustainable.  It’s pretty tough to always get the three to sync, but one or two is better than none.  We plan to visit farmer’s markets more to get our produce, meat and eggs.  And our family has also signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program through Tanaka Farms.  Every other week, I’ll pick up a box of fresh, organic produce from the nearby farm.  And the kicker, it’s really not much more expensive than what we usually spend on produce at the grocery store and it’s better.  The conventionally grown produce at the grocery store is usually mediocre at best, full of pesticides and grown with fertilizers; and the organic produce at the grocery store is quite limited and very expensive, even more so than direct from the farm.

I’ve also been looking into opportunities to get involved in supporting sustainable agriculture, so if you’ve got an idea let me know!

To conclude the discussion today, I encourage you to check out both sites, 100 Days of Real Food (if you haven’t already) and also see what Michael Pollan is up to.  Do your own research about organic and sustainable produce to see what enlightens you.

Would you consider signing up for a CSA program, or have you already?  Check out Local Harvest to locate some farms near you!

6 Comments

Filed under Food + Recipes

Food: Do You Really Know What You’re Eating?

I recently discovered the website, 100 Days of Real Food, and am so thankful! I have been transitioning to healthier eating for the past handful of years and it’s refreshing to find a community that feels the same way.  I’ve been interested in nutrition and food for a few years now and am slowly learning more about the truth in what we’re actually eating.

When I read food labels, I first look at the ingredients list, because that’s the only way to find out what’s really in our food. And even then it’s hard when most processed foods contain way too many ingredients, and ingredients that we cannot even pronounce.  A rule I follow is if I don’t know what the ingredients are, I generally don’t buy it. Then, if it passes the first test, if there are more than a few (read: 5) ingredients, then I take greater consideration of whether it’s healthy or not, even if all the ingredients seem healthy. Of course, this takes a little research on your end to learn what foods are actually nutritious and what ingredients we are told are “good” for us, but really aren’t.

So back to 100 Days of Real Food. For starters, here are their reasons to cut out processed foods and some guidelines (or rules as they call them) for a healthier lifestyle.  The site is very helpful in figuring out what foods are really nutritious and they also have outlined pledges like the original, mini, and budget that can help you get started.

I also recently watched Food, Inc. and it was very enlightening. I urge anyone interested in knowing where your food comes from and how it gets to your table to watch this documentary.  Then do your own research to find out for yourself. Really, we should all want to know what’s in our food, how it’s made, where it comes from and how it gets to us. And we all have the right to know, so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.

Some ‘food’ for thought that I absorbed from the film. Did you know:

  • Many of our fruits and vegetables are not naturally harvested year round? Much of what is offered at regular supermarkets has been altered to grow year round, then picked before they are ripe and colored to look like ‘natural’ food.
  • Most foods offered in supermarkets travel an average of 1500 miles from farm to table? That’s a lot of fuel consumed and is one of the reasons our fruits and vegetables are picked before they’re ripe.
  • Only a handful of companies control most of the food offered in our supermarkets?
  • The workers, farmers and animals owned by these companies are treated unjustly and many animals are physical abused?
  • The chemicals and antibiotics used to treat  and prevent foodborne illness by these companies has in turn created super-viruses that need even stronger chemicals? These chemicals are in the food and are ingested by you when you eat them.
  • As a result of the “efficiency” of the mass production processes used by these companies, increasing numbers of e. coli and salmonella outbreaks have occurred in the last 10-15 years? Since there are too many animals confined to too small spaces, feces buildup is out of control. The animals are shipped to the processing plants, their hides are never cleaned and since the workers are working so quickly much of the bacteria and feces from the animals’ fur gets into our food.

Based upon all of this, they suggest buying locally, buying organic and making sure what you eat doesn’t contain chemicals, pesticides, GMOs or antibiotics. Need a little help with what all this means and how to avoid them? Check out Going Home to Roost here, here, here and here to find out about GMOs, buying organic foods, and food labels.

There is so much more to get out of the film and I urge everyone to have an open mind about all sides of the issues surrounding food safety and our health.  For more information, see the About the Issues page from the Food, Inc. website.  Also be sure to check out the food section of the TakePart blog for daily inspiration, motivation, news and tips.

Plus, if you’re on a tight budget, eating healthy may not always be easy. So when in doubt and when the bank account requires, refer to this list by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) which outlines the foods highest and lowest in pesticides.  The EWG recommends avoiding the dirty dozen and instead eating only those fruits and veggies that are lowest in pesticides. I don’t live to this extreme, but I do try to buy organic foods from the dirty dozen and I will compromise by sometimes buying non-organics of the ones lowest in pesticides.

The Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention provides lots of resources about America’s food supply, foodborne illness, how to get involved in the fight for our health and so much more.

If you live in the U.S. or Canada, Eat Well Guide can help you find healthy options near you. When I searched for my area, it returned a very large list of bakeries, caterers, farmer’s markets, farms and markets. Try it for yourself and you may be surprised at how many healthy options are out there that you may not know about yet.

Want to take action now? Here are 9 ways you can help fix our food system.

I know this is a lot and I just gave you so many things to think about. But can we at least agree that they are worth thinking about?

2 Comments

Filed under Food + Recipes