Nancy Walker's


Healthy Eating, Vibrant Living!
Have you milked your oats lately?

That might seem like a pretty strange question but it might be one of the healthiest, easiest and least expensive things you can do.  I recently purchased a soymilk maker and began tackling homemade soymilk.  I got really tired of paying more and more and more for store bought soymilk as the price continued to escalate - so I jumped ship and we now enjoy fresh soymilk with only those ingredients I choose to add. For only pennies a gallon, it has been a very worthwhile and easy endeavor.  Then, I did some more research and happened onto another alternative to store bought "milks" - oat milk.  I tried it with trepidation, not sure how something so easy and cheap to make could possibly work - but I was pleasantly surprised.  I made a batch by simply combining ¾ C old fashioned oats and 3 ¼ cup water in my Vitamix.  I let the mixture process on high for about 1 minute and viola - oat milk!  (see recipe here). It looked a little tanner than soy milk and had a very pleasant, neutral taste.  Perhaps this experiment would work.  Next, my husband used it to make a frozen coffee drink which we all enjoyed immensely. That night I used it to make creamed corn and it was even better.  Normally I need to add flour as a thickener to my soy milk when I make creamed corn, but I didn't need to add any thickener to the oat milk.  As it cooked, it thickened.  I began to think that perhaps oat milk was a worthy thing to research further and I have been glad that I did.  Oat milk can be made several different ways and although it sounds a little strange to us, it is a more common beverage in other countries.  You don't have to have a VitaMix to make it either. Just experiment with your own blender or food processor and see if you can't get it fairly smooth after a couple of minutes of processing.  This has been so good that I feel FREE!  I no longer have to make time to go to the grocery store for soy milk, I no longer have to pay exorbitant prices for soy milk and I no longer even have to remember to soak the beans and get the soy milk maker out soon enough to have milk when I need it.  Now, when I am running short and need "milk" fast - I just reach for my oats and viola - I have milk!


My Little Helpers
My kids have been pretty excited about helping in the kitchen lately - which is sometimes good and sometimes bad.  I love their willingness and excitement to learn about cooking, but I hate it when I am rushing to get dinner made and they want to help.  I've recently been able to explain to them that the last 15 minutes prior to dinner is their time to set the table, fix the glasses and generally help in the dining room - not the kitchen.  Other times of the day, is a wonderful time for them to experiment and help.  Their current enthusiasm has caused me to search for really easy and healthy recipes that don't require sharp knives, scalding water or open flames.  The latest one we've discovered is for a delicious Banana chip oatmeal cookie.  My 8 y/o son made a batch today with white chocolate chips and my 10 y/o daughter made a batch with regular chocolate chips.  Besides being easy to make, the recipe calls only for agave syrup (or honey), only 1 tablespoon of fat, no eggs and is great with oats and whole wheat flour. We love the taste ,I hardly count them as cookies - I like to think of them as small muffins and  I hope you like it too.  Be sure to let me know how what your kids, big and small, think about them. See the whole recipe here.

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