Health Notes #31

Menu Planning Tips (continued)

When planning any meal, the general rule is to use vegetables generously, fruits freely, grains moderately and nuts and seeds sparingly.

Since raw foods digest faster, they should be eaten at the beginning of the meal. Two servings of raw fruit at the starting of breakfast will help curb the appetite and prevent overeating of grains. The same is true of raw at your lunch meal.

Because most people do not have time to make a breakfast recipe each day, whole grains in the crockpot (see Note #2) are the easiest and actually the most nutritious way to eat grains. Grains should be cooked well, and the crockpot does that for you while you sleep.

It is important to vary the grains from day to day. Food allergies often originate from foods eaten too often. Grains can be varied in so many different ways. Waffles, granola, pancakes, toast, crisps, cobblers, muffins, fritters, biscuits and the list goes on.

If you're as busy as I am, and want to make the best use of your time, may I suggest planning good menus, preferable a week at a time. Keep your meals simple, colorful, and tasty.

Daily we need: (1) a vitamin C food, and (2) some dark green vegetable. These provide a rich source of fat-free quality protein, and B Vitamins and are especially beneficial to mental tranquillity and building a good nervous system. (3) A minimum of 2 raw fruits, (4) a minimum of two raw vegetables, (5) grain(s), and (6) nuts/seeds. (These aren't required daily.)

Weekly we need one or two servings of a legume. This makes an easy main dish. (See Notes #27).

If you have trouble digesting legumes, be assured that they are not necessary for balanced nutrition. Their food value can be supplied by the use of whole grains, potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables.

For the last suggestion, I want to share with you an important part of nutrition. An aunt of mine told me that mealtime was always a time to share special joys from the days activities. They never allowed any negative thoughts to be expressed. This included food criticism.

Do you think this would help digest the food better and make it more palatable?

Winter Squash Fluff

3 c. cooked winter squash (Acorn, Butternut, Hubbard, or any other dark yellow squash or sweet potato)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. honey (or less for taste)

Place 1 cup portions of squash in blender at one time and add just enough water to allow blending action. Blend each portion 2-3 minutes to make it light and fluffy. In one portion add salt and honey. Mix all portions together thoroughly, and pour into a baking dish. Bake 20 minutes at 350o F. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 cups.

Simple Fruit Cake

3 c. walnuts
2 c. quartered dates
1 c. dried pineapple or papaya

Mix into the above:

3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend below well and add to the above mixture:

1/3 c. cashews or sunflower seeds
2/3 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix thoroughly. Press into a medium sized loaf pan. Bake 300o F for 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you use small pans bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Apricot/Date Jam

2/3 c. dried apricots
2/3 c. soft dates
1-1/2 c. apple or pineapple juice

Soak fruit overnight in the juice. Blend until desired texture. Store in refrigerator. Delicious!

Pumpkin Bread or Rolls

Stir in a large bowl:

2 c. hot soy/nut milk
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. honey

Mix in:

1 T. dry yeast

Let sit for 20 minutes. Stir in:

1 c. cooked pumpkin, yellow winter squash, etc.
2 c. oat flour
1/2 c. oil or applesauce
2 tsp. salt
1 T. lecithin

Add whole wheat and oat flour until you can knead. Knead and add flour right in the bowl until it is elastic, about 7 minutes. Let the dough rise until double, then make into rolls or 2 large loaves. Put into sprayed pans. Cover and let rise. Bake at 350o F for 35-40 minutes for the loaves and less for rolls.

For the best health, foods baked with yeast should not be eaten until the next day.

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