Nut butter crackers are a favorite snack food for many children. For my family, peanut butter crackers are the fave with sunbutter crackers the distant second place winner.
Unfortunately, the commercial options for nut butter crackers even from organic brands leave much to be desired in the ingredients department. Check out the ingredients list for one highly popular brand of certified USDA Organic peanut butter crackers:
Most people would agree with the old adage that chicken soup is good for the soul as well as for colds and flu. It’s also a great remedy for digestive problems, arthritis, pain, and recovery from all sorts of illness.
When it comes to how to truly prepare healthy soup from scratch, however, the majority of folks would not have a clue where to begin.
Let’s be very clear about the dangers of store bought soups, canned broth or stock, and bouillon cubes. They are never healthy options even when organic as they are loaded with neurotoxic MSG, and artificial flavors with little to no redeeming nutritional benefit.
This is due to the rise of agribusiness which, since the 1950s, caused the consumer to gradually lose contact with a local butcher who would sell them a variety of bony leftovers which our thrifty forebears would use to make nutritious stocks and soups.
Almost all culinary traditions from around the world include meat or fish stocks, yet the stockpot has almost completely disappeared from American kitchens.
I first tasted the delicious, gluten free grain known as teff shortly after my husband and I were married. We met after work at an Ethiopian restaurant that we’d been wanting to try for quite some time. My husband was born and lived his early years in Uganda, and he was eager to introduce me to some of the flavors of his home continent.
I was immediately enthralled and delighted by the basket of soft, spongy flatbread that was brought to our table to use as an edible utensil for our meat stew.
Never having experienced the light, slightly nutty flavor of teff before, I asked the waitress about the bread’s origins. She proudly explained that injera is a traditional fermented bread made from teff flour that is a staple in Ethiopia.
Those of us with grandparents born prior to World War II may well remember that they made a practice of soaking rolled oats in a pot of warm water overnight before cooking it up the next morning.
In fact, prior to the 1950’s, Quaker Oats used to include an overnight soak in the instructions printed on the box!
Somehow, this healthy, traditional practice was gradually abandoned as the popularity of convenience foods such as quick oats and microwave oatmeal packets gradually took hold with Baby Boomers and later generations.
The truth is that soaking oatmeal overnight before cooking it up in the morning makes it infinitely more digestible and nutritious as the practice helps to break down toxins and anti-nutrients like phytic acid. These anti-nutrients are present in all grains and very effectively block mineral absorption in the gut and can cause gastric distress or bloating in sensitive individuals. Oats contain the highest amount of phytic acid of any grain, so proper preparation is very important.
The thing I most enjoy about a bowl of soaked oatmeal in the morning is that it fills you up all the way until lunchtime, unlike those enticing and so incredibly convenient microwave oatmeal packets or a bowl of quick oats which (have you noticed?) leave you hungry and looking for a doughnut fix by about 10 am.