Thursday, April 30, 2009

Healthy Living

I am sure that, just like me, the health and nutrition of your family is important. In my family health, nutrition and active living is something that I am constantly striving to teach my children daily. Encouraging them in picking healthy choices whenever possible, such as whole wheat bread over white, or keeping the fridge stocked with lots of fruits and veggies for them to munch on and to grab when they are on the go, preparing foods ourselves instead of buying pre-packaged and take-out whenever possible, setting an example in maintaining an active lifestyle daily are just a few things I try to do.

Another thing that I try and do is take our favorite foods, the ones that are not necessarily very good for us, and try to alter the recipe to come up with “healthy alternatives”. Some of my recipes are flops (but often my kids are too kind to say so), but some are really great (and easy). For example, whenever I make meatloaf, meatballs, or hamburgers I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs. I will also throw in a handful of lentils or natural bran flakes, uping the fibre content significantly. My kids and husband can’t even tell the difference!

Breakfast is a big challenge in my home. None of us really like cold cereal, and none of us really want anything to heavy either. One of our favorite breakfast foods is pancakes. I have to admit I am the biggest culprit – pancakes are one of my all-time favorite foods! So in hopes of making this breakfast food pack a bit more of a healthy punch I made up an oatmeal bran pancake recipe (see recipe below), and instead of having a ton of syrup on them we use applesauce, bananas and homemade fruit sauce. If we need a bit of added sweetness, a touch of maple syrup or honey goes a long way.

If you have any tips, tricks or great recipes for healthy living I would love to hear them!

Oatmeal Bran Pancakes

1 cup Oatmeal
2 tbsp Natural Bran
1 cup Milk

2 cups Whole wheat flour
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt

2 Eggs
2 tbsp Vegetable oil
2 cups Milk

The key to this pancake is to soak the oatmeal and bran in the milk for at least 10 minutes. While it is soaking, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix the eggs, oil and milk well, then add the oatmeal/bran mixture. Mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated.

Drop batter by the spoonful onto a non-stick, hot pan. When bubbles appear and edges begin to dry, turn to brown other side.



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