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Hunter-Gatherer Breakfast

The Paleo diet is getting substantial attention recently.  Not a weight-loss plan,  the Paleo (as in Paleolithic) diet is a choice of foods that harks back to simpler fare eaten up to 2 million years ago.  It is based on what was available then–meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds (no grains, simple carbs or processed foods)–well before farming and industry. Paleo followers and many nutritionists believe our bodies are better off when we eat like our Paleo ancestors did.  For more info on why, see below.  Here, adapted from the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook (see http://www.marksdailyapple.com for this cookbook and more on Primal eating), are the easiest pancakes I’ve ever made…and they taste amazing.  They are grainless and flourless.  While the lemon souffle pancakes I shared in my previous post, “Coconut Oil–A New Staple in My Pantry,” are great too, these almond banana pancakes are simple, fast, delicious and paleo-healthful.

Makes 8-9 small pancakes

Banana Almond Pancakes

2 ripe bananas

1 egg, beaten

1 heaping T of almond butter

1/2 t cinnamon

1 T coconut oil

Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well.  This is your batter.  Melt half of the coconut oil in a heated pan or pancake skillet over medium heat.  Spoon a tablespoon of batter per pancake.  Cook two to three minutes per side until golden brown.  Sliding the spatula quickly under each pancake  helps keep its round shape.  Repeat process for second half of batter.

Benefits of a Hunter-Gatherer Diet   Since 99.99% of our current genes existed before agriculture did, our bodies are almost identical to our hunter-gatherer ancestors.  For more than 2 million years the human diet consisted of lean game meat,  fruits and vegetables.  Humans haven’t had much time, evolutionarily speaking, to adapt to our current fatty, processed, high carb diet. It wasn’t until the invention of the agricultural industry that humans began ingesting large amounts of sugar and starch in the form of grains and potatoes.  We all know the complications that can ensue from eating processed foods and too many fats and sugars through carbs and sweets  including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  Believe it or not, according to Robb Wolf, author of  The Paleo Solution, current research also shows a link between Neolithic foods including grains, legumes and dairy and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and many other conditions.  He adds that people have found significant improvements in autoimmune diseases by eliminating the Neolithic foods and adopting nutritious Paleo options.

According to Joseph Mercola, D.O, “while the human shift to agriculture produced indisputable gains for man — modern civilization is based on this epoch — societies where the transition from a primarily meat/vegetation diet to one high in cereals show a reduced lifespan and stature, increases in infant mortality and infectious disease, and higher nutritional deficiencies. We all need a certain amount of carbohydrates, of course, but, through our addiction to grains, potatoes, sweets and other starchy and sugary foods, we are consuming far too many. The body’s storage capacity for carbohydrates is quite limited, though, so here’s what happens to all the excess: they are converted, via insulin, into fat and stored in the adipose, or fatty, tissue.”

What to do?  There’s lots of info out there on the Paleo Diet if you are interested to learn more.  That way you can choose what you feel is best for you.  To start, check out several websites I have been following:  http://www.mercola.com; http://www.marksdailyapple.com; and http://robbwolf.com.

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In Time for a GF Passover

In time for Passover, I am re-posting my alternative, gluten-free “matzoh” balls made from quinoa flakes.  Not only are they a light, fluffy take on the old classic, but they are higher in protein using quinoa rather than wheat flour.  Even if you aren’t gluten free, these could become your new favorite balls.  Enjoy and happy Passover!

Xoxoxo
Nan

Quinoa Souffle “Matzoh” Balls–This recipe is a gluten-free, updated twist on a fabulous gourmet matzoh ball recipe from Chef Jeff Nathan.

Makes approximately 12 balls

3 eggs separated

1/4 c canola oil

1 t Himalayan salt

1 t freshly ground pepper

1 t parsley, chopped

1 c quinoa flakes (These come in a box; available at Whole Foods and other specialty markets.)

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t xantham gum

1 t onion flakes, optional

Fill large pot with water and put over high heat to boil.  Meanwhile, mix yolks with oil, salt, pepper and parsley.  In a second bowl, whip egg  whites to soft peaks (not stiff, dry peaks). In third bowl, combine last four dry ingredients.  Stir yolks into dry ingredients.  Next, fold egg whites into “dough”.  Let dough sit 20 minutes.  Using a teaspoon, scoop dough and form into small balls about 1 1/2″ wide; they will expand as they boil.  Drop into boiling water.  Turn balls after a few minutes to be sure both sides are evenly cooked.  Boil for 20-25 minutes.  Add to your chicken soup.  Voila!

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