Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hiding variety

Yesterday I was singing the praises of variety but I thought last night about how hard it can be to get that variety into a diet. Last year, we watched the movie Food Inc. Which was terrifying. The thing I found really hard to take, as a person who eats what doctors call a 'limited diet', was the lack of variety in a lot of the foods on supermarket shelves. The film included a shot of a supermarket aisle which was full of different products but when you looked closely all these distinct products were made from the same two ingredients: soy and corn.

So I was thinking about how our family spend a lot of time hiding ingredients in food. Especially for Toki but also for ourselves because I find it hard to eat a whole plate of sunflower seeds or almonds or to face a pot of quinoa or amaranth. As I mentioned before, Saturday at our house is pancake day, but what I failed to mention is that what we actually have, usually, are hotcakes made from a recipe from May All be Feed. The recipe includes: wholemeal flour, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, orange rind, rolled oats and no sugar (so I don't waste the orange I also replace the water needed for this recipe with orange juice). I love this recipe because it hides so much stuff in a small thing which tastes great with maple syrup. On the mornings we don't have hotcakes I make the Banana pancakes from How it All Vegan (the first vegan cookbook I bought on the recommendation of my good friend Sarah) or we make blueberry pancakes or buckwheat. So yeah, I thought I would take some of the things I listed yesterday and talk about where we hide them.

Almonds - I smash these up and put them in almost anything - baha. Muffins, stir-fries. When Toki was first eating we used to soak almonds over night and make them into milk the next morning. They are really nice soaked.

Amaranth - I put this in bread a lot and nobody notices

Bran flakes - Brent makes some really nice bran muffins

Buckwheat groats - I grind these up and make flour. Then - Buckwheat pancakes!

Bulk Olive oil - we use a lot of oil in our baking.

Cashews - Again stir-fries, muffin, muesli - YUM!

Chai seeds - I replace poppy seeds with these often.

Coconut - Sambal! Also, coconut is the trickiest sweetener I know. Toki has a mean sweet tooth but she really loves chopped up banana with lemon juice squeezed on it and coconut sprinkled over the top. Coconut and cinnamon also make it possible for me to miss out processed sugars in a lot of other things she likes like pancakes, muffins and muesli.

Linseeds - I worship at the feet of linseeds, they are such a great source of those EPAs and Omega oils that we don't get from fish. I grind these suckers up with sunflower seeds and almonds and sprinkle them on just about everything - Marmite, LSA and lettuce sandwich anyone? Smoothie with LSA? The oils are always best fresh so having whole linseeds suits me cause I can grind as I need (can you tell how much I love the small bullt-type food processor we have on our bench?) Linseeds make an excellent egg replacer for cooking so they can be hidden in all sorts of cakes and biscuits. One of my favourite recipes is chili and onion cornbread which I use linseeds in as an egg replacer. All hail the mighty linseed!

Quinoa - I've also put quinoa in bread. I've never tried putting ancient grains in other baking but it would probably be great.

Rice milk - Toki really like soy milk and she really doesn't like rice milk. I kept buying it she kept not drinking it. Then my friend said, why don't I do half and half soy milk? She said with her daughter she started with more like 3/4 to 1/4 and then she slowly pushed up the amount of rice milk. It worked really well. It's a bit of a faff having too boxes open at the same time but yeah, it really works.

Rolled oats - I often grind rolled oats into flour and replace some of the wheat flour in recipes. I also have a great recipe for biscuits which have rolled oats as there sticky ingredient. Also, Helen Lehndorf's amazing slice! Look dried dates AND rolled oats!

Sunflower seeds - Again these are awesome in just about anything. I was just remembering how we used to make a lot of scroggin-type snacks for Toki when she was young and she used to sit for ages picking out the things she wanted to eat in order - scroggin as hand-eye co-ordinator.

Sushi Nori - I love this stuff. I often throw it into soups at the last minute and it goes yum. We also make sushi with it. Sushi and summer rolls are a great way to hide things.

So yeah, happy hiding! Oh and Helen Heath put up a delicious curry recipe yesterday - oh yum! I tell you there is a poets do vegan food book waiting to be written. Thank you Helens!

1 comment :

  1. Your blog is very inspiring, Pip, and is making me want to do better with how I feed my kids. xx Helen