I love oatmeal on cool, crisp fall mornings! Am I the only one? You can make your own organic instant oatmeal packed with flavor in a few simple steps taking your regular oatmeal from ho-hum to yum-yum. Read on to learn how you can make organic instant oatmeal and wake up to a better tomorrow.
Step 1: Bake It! Preheat the oven to 350°, spread 4 cups of organic old-fashioned rolled oats on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Step 2: Pulse It! Pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
Step 3: Mix It! Mix in a cup of your favorite oatmeal add-ins such as; almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and coconut.
Step 4: Store It! Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Step 5: Boil It! Stir boiling water into a cup of your organic instant oatmeal until you reach your desired consistency.
Step 6: Enjoy It! Oatmeal is my favorite on a cool, crisp fall morning – top with honey too!
Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s back to school for children, teens, and young adults across the country. For parents, that means it’s time to handle getting lunches packed, balanced breakfasts on the table, and sleepyheads out of bed!
I always get a wonderful nostalgic feeling from the end of summer, back-to-school time. It always reinvigorates me and makes me excited to try new things and make changes in my life, even though my own schooldays are long past. I think part of this has definitely been from raising Eben!
Watching him go through the process of starting a new grade each year has been so rewarding and inspiring (and now, he’s applying to Graduate School, can you believe it!) I always want to support him and his efforts at school, and part of that means making sure he’s well fed and properly fueled so his brain can do all that learning each day (at least until he leaves us!)
One of the things I like to try and do each year is come up with new types of healthy snacks. Kids always seem drawn to any kind of single-serving snacks and fun foods—just think about those awful packaged varieties that your kids have probably begged you to buy while shopping. Packing the same things all the time gets boring and doesn’t offer much variety in terms of vitamins and minerals, which only eating a broad diet can do.
If you’re stumped for new ideas when packing lunches, here are some of our favorites, which I’m sure your kids will love, too:
Fruit Skewers: Use whatever fruits you have on hand (melons, apples, clementines, grapes, etc.) and stick bite-sized chunks onto wooden skewers or reusable plastic or metal skewers if you want to be extra eco-conscious. These colorful snacks are fun to eat and easy to share with friends at school!
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter & Pretzels: This fun, dippable snacks make eating healthy nut butter a breeze. Eben loves these so much he had already gone through the package of them before school started! Like a healthier version of Nutella, these snacks feel like an indulgence, but they’re made from high-quality, all-natural ingredients with a focus on sustainability. Definitely a winner!
Fruit and Vegetable Chips: Whether you choose to make these in the oven, dehydrator, or buy them from your local health food store (such a variety is available these days!), fruit or vegetable chips are a great way of making healthy eating fun and delicious for kids. The possibilities are endless: apples, sweet potatoes, kale, zucchini, eggplant, all with any combination of flavored salts, herbs, and spices.
Stonyfield Organics YoKids Squeezers: This squeezable yogurt is both healthy and tasty. Eben loves the Cherry and Berry flavor pack, and they never come home uneaten when I pack them in his lunch! As with all of the Stonyfield products, they are organic certified by the USDA and made with pasture-raised milk.
Nuts and Seeds: I buy organic nuts and seeds in bulk at Costco and pack them in Eben’s lunch every day. They are the perfect snack to grab right before a big test or for an after-lunch pick-me-up!
Homemade Granola Bars: Unlike their store-bought counterparts, when you make granola bars at home, you don’t need to add any processed sugars and can control exactly what goes into them. There are endless healthy granola bar recipes online, and I guarantee at least one of them can be made with whatever you have in your cupboards right now!
What about you? Do you have any favorite back-to-school snack ideas that your kids devour? Or any packing secrets or life-changing products you can’t do without? I’d love to hear about them—the more inspiration, the better!
While it can be easy to spend the summer grazing on healthy fruits and veggies, winter does not lend itself quite as nicely to a fresh foods diet. As the weather turns chilly, people often turn to high-carbohydrate and starchy foods. And without the necessary balance of nutrients, the body can be prone to more inflammation. For the 50 million people who have arthritis especially, this can be painful and can lead to further health conditions.
“There are times when inflammation actually helps us,” Dawna Stone writes in Mind Body Green. “For example, it can be the body’s natural response to eliminate or repair an injury or the body’s response to harmful bacteria. But when things get out of balance and inflammation becomes chronic, it can increase the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis and cause symptoms like fatigue and joint pain.”
Fortunately, winter is not totally void of inflammation-fighting foods. The following are some seasonal ingredients that you can cook with to boost your health this season.
Brussels Sprouts These bunches of green goodness are packed with both fiber and vitamin C. They are also rich in glucosinolate and folate, so they can fight inflammation while keeping you healthier overall. Roast them in the oven to eat as a side or toss them in a salad.
Kale This superfood has earned its name, offering high doses of vitamins A, C, B6, and K. By munching on these leaves, you are also helping your body’s ability to eliminate free radicals. Try kale raw or cooked in any of your favorite winter dishes.
Butternut Squash When it comes to eating the rainbow, butternut squash is one of the best ways to get the color orange. Full of fiber, as well as vitamins A and C, this sweet seasonal veggie can add antioxidants and fiber to your diet.
Turnips While these root veggies may not frequent your dishes, turnips are a tasty way to maintain a low cholesterol diet. They also offer a boost of Vitamin C, which can help protect your immune system this season. Don’t just stop at the root though; turnip greens are tasty as well.
Citrus Stock up on oranges this time of year. These juicy fruits are in season during the Winter, giving you all the more reason to get your full supply of vitamin C.
By combining anti-inflammatory foods with other care methods, you can control your join pain and other aspects of your health this winter. For example, about 89% of consumers cite massage as an effective pain-management technique. Remember that much of your own well being is in your hands, so try various methods out until you feel your best.
We eat a ton of fruit in our home, each week we pick up the freshest local organic fruit that we can find. There are fruit that we purchase even if it isn’t local, for instance, pomegranates.
My mom loves pomegranates and I remember being a little girl and her giving me half of a pomegranate. I remember thinking it was a very odd fruit and I wasn’t sure that I would like it. However, I loved it.
Eben has been eating pomegranates since he was a toddler and whenever we go marketing he always asks if we can get them. TIP: If you cut/peel it in a bowl of water, there is no mess! Delicious and amazing!
Last weekend, we stopped at Costco on our way home from Boulder. Costco had a crate of six giant pomegranates for $12. Wow! A bargain, compared to the $5 a pomegranate that we pay at our local fancy grocery store. They are giant too, about the size of a softball.
Americans consume about 1.3 pounds of honey per person per year. And while most think of the substance as nothing more than a sweet treat, there are actually a surprising number of health benefits of honey that many people overlook. Here are just a few reasons to consider adding honey to your winter healthcare regimen.
It’s no secret that winter weather often comes with an unavoidable and imminent risk of slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or driveway. Fortunately, the healing powers of honey can work to help you recover from any cuts or scrapes you may have after a fall or other minor injury. While it’s not a miracle cure, it’s antimicrobial properties can help keep wounds clean and heal them faster.
How exactly can you use honey to treat a wound? It’s easier than you think.
“After cleaning the wound, put honey on one side of gauze or a clean cloth, and lay it onto the wound. Or pour a thin film of honey directly onto the wound and put the gauze over that. Either way, seal the honey in with surgical or duct tape on the edges of the bandage. Clean and repeat twice a day,” explains Commonsensehome.com.
Can Improve Oral Health
Many people may be shocked to hear that despite honey’s sugar content, it still has positive oral health benefits. That’s right — the honey present in sugar does not harm your teeth — that is, as long as it’s 100% raw honey. Anything less is almost certain to be mixed with high fructose corn syrup, which is known to cause cavities like other sweeteners.
Raw honey, however, can be used as a form of tooth decay prevention in addition to treating gum disease. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important, but it’s undoubtedly medically important as well. And fortunately, certain types of honey are known for their cavity prevention abilities as a result of their microbial properties.
Furthermore, if you have an infection or inflamed area in your mouth, honey can work its antibacterial magic to ease pain and discomfort associated with the infection and help to flush out the bad bacteria that caused it.
Unfortunately, not all honey is created equal. The key to reaping these fantastic health benefits of honey is investing in the right type of honey. As mentioned earlier, it has to be completely raw honey with no fillers such as high fructose corn syrup. Ultra-filtrated honey should also be avoided, since the process of refining it removes many of its healing properties.
Finally, it’s ideal to know exactly where your honey comes from. Always try to buy locally to ensure that your honey is not being altered or processed in any way.
According to current data, the U.S. needs about 52,000 more primary care physicians by 2025 to meet our healthcare needs, and even though honey isn’t necessarily a miracle cure, you never know if it could save you a trip to a healthcare professional this season. Of course, for more severe injuries and health issues, it’s always best to consult a doctor before attempting any DIY treatments.