In this house we're trying to reduce our consumption of prepared breakfast cereals and milk. We found this food was taking over breakfast, lunch and often all the day's snacks, dominating the kids' caloric intake because of its convenience. Whether doctored up with refined sugars and chemicals or not, I just haven't been comfortable with this processed-food-from-afar filling my kids up day after day, either from a nutritional or environmental standpoint. The kids like rice, soy and nut milks, but I could not abide the tetrapak packaging, or the fuss involved in making them from scratch. We drink cow's milk, but again, all in moderation.
We discussed the issue and the main solution the kids came up with was more muffins. So I've been trying to get into a routine of morning muffin-baking. I have a few good recipes that the kids love, but I'd love to move in the direction of honey and whole grains, so I'm on the lookout for things that they enjoy as much that don't contain the processed sugars and flour.
The other solution we decided upon was to purchase a soymilk maker. We eventually settled on the Soyabella, since I quite sensibly realized that ease of cleanup was probably the number one determinant of how much use the unit would get. We're thrilled with it. Each night I set up some rice, soybeans, almonds or cashews to soak, and each morning I run the Soyabella. I flavour it up with a pinch of salt, some honey, and sometimes some vanilla, cocoa or decaf coffee. A week's supply of organic soybeans costs us about $1.50. (Our fall wholesale nut order cost us considerably more than that, but it was so long ago now that it doesn't count.)
So now my morning routine, before the kids get up, often comprises a batch of muffins and a batch of soy or rice milk. And my trusty pot of coffee, of course. I'm not so virtuous as to have given that up, though I am up to 2/3 decaf.
Shawna asked about my rhubarb muffin recipe. That's a rhubarb muffin in the photo and the recipe is transcribed below. I'm also including our cashew milk recipe, which is delicious and can be easily made just using a blender, without any fuss:
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1 cup yogourt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fairly finely chopped fresh rhubarb
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, mix together oil, yogourt, vanilla and egg. Mix wet ingredients with dry. Add rhubarb. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tin. Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffin batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 F. Makes 12.
1/2 cup millet
2/3 cup water
1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours
2 Tbsp. honey (to taste)
1/4 tsp. salt
Additional water as necessary
Place millet and water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat to cool somewhat. Place cashews, millet and remaining ingredients in blender. Add a couple of cups of additional water, or as much as is required to allow the blender to run quickly and efficiently. Run blender on highest speed until mixture is very very smooth. Pour milk into a jug and store in fridge. To drink, dilute 1:1 with water and stir. Delicious warm or cold. Keeps in fridge for about 48 hours.