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    5 Recipes

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    I not only love oatmeal, I appreciate its nutritional benefits as well. It occurred to me some time ago, given that good oatmeal tastes wonderful right out of the pot, that confining oatmeal to breakfast seemed a bit restrictive. Why not serve this wonderful grain as a side dish and let it take its place alongside rice, bulgur, couscous, hominy grits, etc? I tried to e-mail this idea to the Quaker Oats company, only to be informed that they weren't interested in ideas from consumers! Their loss, I'd say. These oats are also fine if not toasted, but are less robust in flavor. You can dress them the same way you would mashed potatoes or rice. For those not familiar with thick-cut oats, they cook up drier and much less soupy than do supermarket oats, even at the highest end of the recommended cooking time. Feel free to use any sort of broth, including bouillon cubes and powder but make note of my suggestion to dilute it. Give this a try and let me know what you think.

    Recipe #207736

    Alicia, a member of Raw Paws--a Yahoo! Pets Group--posted this recipe, citing The United States Regional Cook Book by Ruth Berolzheimer as her source. Wholesome Sweeteners, which is available in health food stores, probably produces the only blackstrap molasses that actually tastes pretty good (although the label might or might not state "blackstrap," they only produce one type); you could also use Barbados molasses for a less nutritious but better-tasting beverage. I use Penzey's ground ginger and Bragg vinegar because it's unfiltered and contains "the mother" ("strand-like molecules of connected protein molecules," as per the label).

    Recipe #205199

    I noticed persimmons on sale recently and it occurred to me that they might make good smoothies. I did a search and found only one recipe; I'm sure it's delicious but was loaded with sugar and dairy. Mind you, I consume my share of both but I have smoothies for breakfast and want them to be healthful. I got creative and after playing with proportions, came up with this. I've used both Hachiya (which I prefer and which I allow to ripen to the point of being near-mush) and Fuyu persimmons. Coconut milk is very high in fat but I don't use very much. However, a "lite" option with much less fat is available and I imagine it would work fine. Either type stores well under refrigeration in a covered container and can be found in Asian food sections of supermarkets, as well as in health food stores and ethnic markets. I found a canned variety of coconut water called Amy & Brian Coconut Juice in a health food store; I like it because it's available with pulp (unlike the mature fruit, young coconuts have little-to-no fat) and is also a better buy than the little aseptic packages. Fresh, sweet juice is best. You can toss some ice into the mix but I start with cold ingredients because I don't like to dilute my smoothies. The spices are Penzey's (always superb quality) and the extracts are from Vanilla Saffron Imports; in addition to their "unusual" extracts, their Mexican and Tahitian vanilla extracts are fabulous and their prices unbelievable. You can also add some natural sweetener but sample first--it should be unnecessary if your juice and persimmon are sweet enough. I've discovered that the season for hachiya persimmons is all too short. Next year, I'm going to buy many more and freeze them after they ripen. The fuyu variety are meant to be eaten firm and are therefore less of a hassle, but they're not as delicious.

    Recipe #201922

    This recipe is from Fit for Life; I've been using it for years as the basis for no-frills smoothies because it adds healthful creaminess without dairy or soy (both of which I like, BTW). Toasted nuts can be used in a pinch (as long as they're not salted) but the best and most healthful results are obtained with raw nuts. Keep in mind that buying from a bulk bin is probably cheaper and that pieces are even more cost-effective. Whole almonds or seeds can be soaked in the water overnight before blending, which is supposed to increase their bioavailability. You can get creative with this by blending different varieties; it's also good to try to imagine which nuts will complement your other ingredients (walnuts, for example, complement blueberries nicely). And of course, those who are sensitive to nuts should avoid this recipe.

    Recipe #200758

    Vita-Mix developed this recipe for the Komen Northeast Ohio Race for the Cure ® (although I don't know exactly when). This recipe can probably be made in a conventional blender, but if you can fit a Vita-Mix into your budget and are serious about food and health, by all means do so (and no, I have no affiliation with them); among its many virtues, it can tear through icy jobs like nobody's business. I made my own modifications, which appear in parentheses. This smoothie has myriad health benefits which I won't list here, some of which can be viewed by following this link: The ginger, BTW, is crucial to this recipe--it really adds a punch! Seedless black grapes will give a spicier, somewhat less sweet result and frozen fruit can be substituted for all or part of the ice if desired.

    Recipe #197978

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