Monday, December 31, 2007

Simply Natural Homemade Granola

All natural, quick & easy to prepare...And good for you!

All you need is:
-1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil or almond oil
-2 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey or agave syrup (whatever your preferences are, you might also want to consider and herb infused honey)

Remember that for optimum nutrition & health benefits, it's important to choose ingredients that are either organic, ethically wildcrafted, grown without pesticide or fair trade (they're usually natural).

Preheat your oven at 375F.
In a bowl, mix the oats with the oil and the natural sweetener.
Pour the mixture in a greased baking pan (I usually choose the same oil than the one I use in the recipe) and press it down with a fork.
Place the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Once ready, let it cool down before breaking the granola into chunks (with a fork).
Enjoy!

Most commercial brands use canola oil in the making of their granolas.
I recommend you stay away from canola oil:
A/Canola oil is made with GMOs
B/Canola oil goes rancid quickly
C/Canola is a refined oil that has a tendency to clog arteries

I really like La Tourangelle Artisan Oils. They're a little more pricey than other brands but the quality & variety of their oils make them worth having.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Homemade Muesli with Berries

Muesli is a natural and nutritious alternative to the overly popular granola, which is packed with lots of sugar and oil (not the best quality ones either).
You can enjoy muesli any time of the day: breakfast, afternoon or even late night snack. And it's very easy to blend. Some purist like it plain with just a few nuts, other people enjoy it with exotic fruits...I like mine with berries.
Dried fruits and berries are convenient and easy to find all year long but if you can use fresh and seasonal fruits in your muesli, it's even better.
I got the following ingredients from Bob's Red Mill, Whole Foods and/or Sprouts.
Remember that it's better to use organic and/or pesticide free ingredients.

You'll need:
-1 cup of rolled oats
-1 cup of rolled barley flakes (but you can also use wheat, spelt or rye flakes)
-1/4 cup dried diced apples
-1/4 cup sliced almonds
-1/8 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds (you can slightly toast seeds and nuts if you prefer)
-1/8 cup raisins
-1/8 cup dried currants
-1/8 cup dried cranberries
-1/8 cup dried blueberries

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a jar, sealable container or a ziploc bag.
You can enjoy your muesli with milk, yogurt (plain or with fruits) or fruit juice (my favorites being apple and pear juices...mango works too. I suppose peach and apricot might also work).
If you don't use juice, you may need to sweeten your muesli a little. Besides sugar, try a drizzle of honey, agave syrup, maple syrup...Or any natural/fruity syrup.

Enjoy and Be Well ;)!

P-S: If you do no wish to make your own muesli but still would like to try some, I can recommend the following ones...Most of them are organic:
http://www.germandeli.com/kocege.html

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Pagan Roman Prayer to the Earth Goddess

"Hear, I beseech thee, and be favourable to my prayer.
Whatsoever herb thy power dost produce, give, I pray, with goodwill to all nations to save them and grant me this my medicine. Come to me with thy powers, and howsoever I may use them may they have good success and to whomsoever I may give them.
Whatever thou dost grant it may prosper. To thee all things return.
Those who rightly receive these herbs from me, do thou make whole.
Goddess, I beseech thee; I pray thee as a suppliant that by thy majesty thou grant this to me.
Now I make intercession to you all ye powers and herbs and to your majesty, ye whom Earth parent of all hath produced and given as a medicine of health to all nations and hath put majesty upon you, be, I pray you, the greatest help to the human race."

From a 12th century herbal.
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