Wednesday, June 9, 2010

raw barley cereal...

my friend jayna has a lovely quote as her email signature...
"live simply that others may simply live" (gandhi)

i am always pondering how we, as a family, can take this more to heart...lately, my musings have involved our food consumption.

we eat pretty healthy, but i am wanting to take that a bit further, and eat more simply. i feel that we spend too much on groceries & that i spend too much time *each day* in the kitchen.

my theory is that we can all eat healthy, but without it costing us a fortune. a bit more time & prep, maybe... earlier generations lived better than we do on much less & they were also much healthier. today most of us rely too heavily on convenience foods & prepackaged products & we definitely pay for those amenities.

i want to be more on my own, living out of the pantry & cooking from scratch with basic ingredients versus the latest cookbooks & magazines loaded with new, trendy ingredients. (not that i am against trying new things)

my plan is to trade out just 1 or 2 recipes a week & slowly make my way through a few new cookbooks, my favorite of which is "nourishing traditions", by sally fallon. it is so much more that a cookbook...she has amazing articles & the hows & whys behind her methods. and the best part if that these are not new methods...she is reviving the old ones, but with their traditions as well. not just our great, great, great grandmothers' bread recipe, but the fact that she soaked her grains as well.

the other cookbooks i ordered are the waldorf kindergarten snack book & the waldorf books of soups (well, the last one i am actually borrowing from a friend).

at any rate, today is grocery day & so i had to rummage. i remembered a recipe for a raw barley cereal, though i couldn't think of where i read it & i couldn't find it on the internet either. so, i just sort of winged it with what we had *in the pantry*! :)

the recipe...

*1 cup barley
*1/4 c slivered almonds (all that we had in the cupboard)
*1/4 c or so sunflower seeds (we actually used sesame seeds as that is all i had on hand)
*2c frozen berries, thawed (ours was a medley of strawberries, blueberries & blackberries)
*sweetener (maple syrup,cane sugar,honey)

*milk of some sort (raw, soy, rice, almond)

combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and cover with water. soak overnight.

in the morning, drain off the liquid & stir in the berries & some maple syrup/cane sugar to sweeten. we had to add a bit extra as i was using frozen berries.

scoop in to individual mugs/bowls & pour a little milk over top. enjoy!

the verdict?? 3 our of 5 liked-loved it! :)
for next time i would use a bit less barley. i would use fresh, not frozen, berries & i would also add more of both the nuts & seeds. but as i was rummaging, i used what i had on hand & it turned out well enough.

(now for the behind the scenes...)
i have two rules when it comes to food...
1) everyone can pick *one* thing to "not like"
our 3 oldest, our boys have chosen mushrooms. which is funny b/c lance & i LOVE mushrooms!
i still make whatever i am going to make anyway, but they are allowed to pick out the mushrooms, so long as they don't complain/make a scene about it. if they complain/make a scene, they have to eat them! ;)
2) "we are thankful for the food on our plates"...
someone has worked hard to grow & nurture our foods. and i have worked to search out recipes, to shop for their ingredients, to wash, chop, stew, steam, bake and/or whatever else was required to prep every meals dish. i think that the least we, as a family, can do is be thankful for the time & energy & resources that went into making each & every meal.
what this also means is that if i try out a new dish, we will all eat it this first go round & vote on whether or not it will become part of our menu rotation or not (if the verdict is split, i will usually store it to try again in 6 months or so).
they can say that they would rather i not make it again, but they cannot say the "this is gross" sort of stuff.
for this one, i said that we are definitely keeping it. it is very healthy, fits with our "live simply" philosophy & barley is tuesday's "grain of the day" in the waldorf tradition. which, if you have ever looked, there aren't a million barley recipes to choose from.
i really liked it, as did ehren...evyn shared mine & wanted more, so she shared ehren's as well. we took ours outside on the deck & ate while we watched the chickens scratch around for their breakfasts.
after breakfast, i took suggestions on how to improve (as orin & aydin gave it a thumbs down)...

orin, "cook the barley." (well, then it wouldn't be *raw* would it?)
aydin, "no barley" gotta love kid honesty.

1 comment:

  1. did raw soaked barley had a soft and chewy texture, or was it rather hard?