My Holistic Momma's Dilemma

You might remember my earlier blog post on healthy kid's b-day parties and WHY have healthy kid's b-day parties. So my latest dilemma... my soon to be 12 year old kid wanted an Oreo cookie birthday cake.  First of all I asked: "Why Eli? I have never purchased Oreo cookies for you!"

Bottom line is he wanted what he wanted.

Truth of the matter is there is not one ingredient in an Oreo cookie that was ever meant to be:

  • in your digestive tract being digested and
  • sent out into your blood stream being delivered to
  • every cell in your body to do
  • all the processes to nourish your cells so you have a
  • healthy body!

Nature did not mean for our body cells to be poisoned by packaged food's synthetic ingredients.  Ouch, Paula, really?  My healing advice comes into question on occasion:  "She is so strange, too harsh, very severe, too tough..." But really, the truth is the truth, our bodies were not meant to be poisoned.

I am all about moderation; moderation in foods that were meant to be part of our cellular metabolism. There is no way, in my mind, to be moderate about that which was never meant to be a part of our cellular being.

For just 2 weeks, try feeding your body with 100% whole food, every snack and meal.  I guarantee you will feel like a whole new person: alive, vibrant, clear headed, sleep well, etc. Then, after 2 weeks of whole food eating, go back to your regular diet, 100%, for a day or two.  You will be aghast at how lousy processed food leaves your body feeling.

Whole food eating is not about what you are removing from your life, junk food, but what you are inviting into your life, vibrant health.  Let me know how it goes.

So, back to that Oreo cookie cake. I started off with the basics.  I do not measure ingredients, just throw in the bowl, so I am giving my eyeballed estimates. Thank my Mom, that is how she cooks. I learned through observation.

  • real butter, from grass fed cows grazing in the Finger Lakes of NY - about 3/4 cup
  • 3 pasture eggs from Maria of Deep Root Farm, wicked orange yolks. Lots of good nutrients.  Use the whole eggs.
  • local milk from some sweet, grazing, local goats - 1 cup
  • *oat flour I ground from gluten-free oats - about 1 1/2 cups
  • Sucanat unrefined, real brown sugar (Available at the Potsdam Food Coop & Nature's Storehouse, Canton) - 1/2 cup
  • organic vanilla - 1 Tbsp.
  • baking soda - 1/2 tsp or less
  • baking powder - 2 to 3 tsp.

*gluten free flours will make a shorter, denser cake.  If gluten is Ok in your diet, use whole spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour.  Whole food cakes, made with 100% whole grain flours, will be heavier, denser, and shorter cakes.  When you get used to this denser, more flavorful, manner of creating in the kitchen... the "fluffy" refined food versions will be tasteless and boring.

The below Newman cookies are made with wheat flour and therefor contain gluten.

I caved (What else is a Mom to do? He is so damned cute.) and bought Newman's Own Organics Newman-O's Creme Filled Chocolate Cookies.

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Original Ingredients:

Organic Unbleached Wheat Flour, Organic Powdered Sugar (Organic Sugar, Organic Corn Starch), Organic Sugar, Organic Palm Fruit Oil, Canola Oil (Expeller Pressed), Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Unsweetened Chocolate, Salt, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate (leavening), Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier)

I took one row of the cookies, scraped the creme filling out, crushed the wafers, and added the crushed mess to the batter.

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The "Oreo" cake after baking:

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Tomorrow I shall slice it in half to make 2 layers and fill the center with frosting. Then I will slather the whole thing with the rest of the frosting.

Frosting:

  • 2 eight oz. packages of Organic Valley Pasture Raised whipping cream
  • 1 eight oz. package of Organic Valley Pasture Raised Neufchatel cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. local, dark maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. organic vanilla
  • the second row of Newman-O's, scraped and crushed, added to the finished frosting

The final, third row, of Newman-O's will be cut into 1/2 rounds and placed on top of the cake.

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Happy Birthday Eli!  Much LOVE, Mom

Or, as my boys call me...

MOM

Teaching whole food eating, cooking, and baking classes:  I volunteer teach cooking classes through the Sustainable Living Project, Local Living Venture. Sign up for their emails to be notified of upcoming classes.  I also do small groups at my home, just ask.  pyoumell@gmail.com

Gluten-Free Cooking & Living Class

Gluten Free Class Offered through Local Living Venture DSC00874

Gluten Free Valentine's Cake, see recipe below.

POTSDAM, NY -- The idea of "gluten free" is being talked about everywhere lately, and many people find that they are unable to tolerate the proteins found in gluten-containing grains, or just feel a lot better when they eliminate them from the diet.  Because of the need for basic, solid information on this subject, the Local Living Venture is presenting another in their series of "Nutritious Delicious" cooking seminars entitled ""Gluten Free Eating and Living" on on Thursday, February 27th in Potsdam, NY.

If you are curious about Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance or are wondering about going gluten free, it may all seem overwhelming. This informative session with local nutrition educator Paula Youmell, R.N. will give attendees the lay of the land from both a practical cooking discussion and demonstration to the very important health perspective.  Plus, attendees will help make, and then sample, some gluten-free whole foods.

Topics to be discussed include:  the basics of a gluten free diet; how to do it in a healthy and easy manner; how to avoid hidden gluten and cross contamination; and, cleaning out the kitchen of gluten products.  Many resources will also be shared for follow up.

Presenter Paula Youmell is an R.N., Certified Health Education and Lifetime Wellness/Fitness Teacher who has worked in the areas of holistic health, healing and whole foods for twenty-plus years.  Youmell is currently proprietor of Hands On Health Holistic Healing (www.HandsOnHealthHH.com) and has co-presented several seminars in this Nutritious Delicious series, including "How-To Cook Beans & Grains" and the "Baking with Whole Foods" classes.

The Local Living Venture (LLV) sponsors workshops promoting traditional rural and simple living skills with the motto "Sharing Knowledge from the Past - Building Skills for the Future."   A listing of upcoming resourceful living workshops and events are on the Workshop Schedule page at www.SustainableLivingProject.net.   New topics and local workshop presenters are always sought and welcome.

Co-sponsoring the event is the Potsdam Food Coop at 24 Elm St., Potsdam, NY  They strive to provide a pleasant shopping experience and working environment, with an emphasis on education, shared information and developing a relationship with the community. The Co-op (www.PotsdamCoop.org) carries local, natural and healthful foods and is open to the public (no membership required) from 8 a.m to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Class size is limited so attendees must RSVP for the location in Potsdam, NY.  To register contact LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com or (315) 347-4223 with your name(s), phone numbers, and number in party.  The class fee is a suggested donation of $15 per person, $5 for students. Partial scholarships are available upon request.

Cake Recipe (all ingredients are organic and grass fed, naturally raised)

Keep in mind I made this in my usual "throw stuff in a bowl and hope for the best" method.  Amounts are approximate based upon my throwing in the bowl and eyeballing the amounts.

2 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup butter

1/3 cup unrefined cane juice sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 tbsp. baking powder (I use a larger quantity because I do not use the fluffy fillers that most gluten free products use: potato & tapioca starch, white rice flour.  These filler ingredients are all refined foods and deplete body cell health.)

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. unrefined sea salt

100% whole grain, gluten-free flour mix - this was millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff and buckwheat that I ground just before making the cake.  Any gluten-free grain will do.  Certified gluten-free oat flour is great if you want to replicate a "normal" cake. Start with 1 1/4 cups of whole grain, gluten free flour.  Add as described below and let set for the 5-10 minutes.  Add more to make thicker if needed.  Cake batter is runnier than cookie or muffin batter.  Stir and use best judgement on the consistency.

1.  Mix wet ingredients and beat together well.  I melt the butter first and use a little bit to butter the cake pan.

2.  Add dry ingredients on top of wet and mix them in well.  Start with 1 cup of the flour.  When every ingredient is mixed together, set the bowl aside for 5-10 minutes.  Whole grain flour soaks up liquid.  It is easier to add more flour, a little at a time, than to try and add more liquid.

3.  Check batter consistency after 5-10 minutes.  If too runny for cake, add a bit more flour and check again in a few minutes.  Batter is ready when it is at the consistency of cake batter.  Not sure what that means?  Well, runnier than cookies or muffins but a bit thicker than pan cakes.  That is my best explanation, play in the kitchen and these things become second nature.

4.  I baked in my 6" round, 2 1/2" deep Pyrex bowl to make a small cake.

5.  Bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

6.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes or so and remove from baking dish.

7.  Allow to cool completely.  Slice in 1/2 to fill between layers.  Fill and top with other half of cake & frost.

Frosting (again, all organic and from naturally raised, grass fed animals)

1/2 pint heavy cream

1 package Neufchatel cheese (lower fat, higher protein cream cheese)

3 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1.  Blend all frosting ingredients together until thick like frosting.

2.  Separate into 2 bowls, 1/2 frosting in each bowl.

3.  Add grape juice or black cherry juice concentrate to make the frosting pink.  I added about 1/4 cup of the concentrate (do NOT reconstitute this concentrate).

4.  I used the fruit juice colored frosting to fill between the layers and make the heart on top.