Bunnie Munchies to the rescue!
“It is my observation that at least 80% of the health problems in America are related to diet.” Stanley Gardener M.D.
My drug of choice is sugar. Just don’t get between me and my chocolate Easter eggs and no one gets hurt. It sounds like I’m not the only one on this bunny trail; the average American consumes an astounding 2 to 3 pounds of sugar a week! That includes corn syrup, regular sugar, (sucrose) and corn sugar, (dextrose). In the last 20 years, the consumption has increased from 20 pounds to 135 pounds per person, per year. This is bad, because sugar is not our friend. Average consumption of sugar can lead to more common colds, mood swings, nervous disorders, depression, gallstones, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, inflammation and lots of unspeakable diseases.
One of the reasons sugar hastens these diseases is that it seriously raises your insulin levels in your body which in turn lowers you immune system. White blood cells need Vitamin C to destroy free radicals in the system. When glucose (sugar) is abundant in the blood stream, the cells have to process the sugar first, due to the insulin, for safety reasons, before they can take in Vit C. This slows your immune system down to a crawl. Insulin also triggers a rapid storage of the sugar in the form of fat and elevated triglyceride levels, which both lead to heart disease and pockets of jiggly flesh.
A buzz word I’m sure you’ve all heard of is “glycemic index.” The glycemic index (GI) is a way to measure what foods do to your blood sugar level over a two hour period. Whole grains, meats, veggies, fruit have relatively low GI. The sugar from these food will be slowly dispersed into your body. On the other end of the spectrum, you get into the white stuff, like white bread, rice, potatoes, sugar and the GI is off the charts. The sugar hits your system like a bombshell. Your blood sugar will spike sharply and drop suddenly with those foods, causing incredible stress on your body. Look for foods that have a GI less than 55 for optimum health.
Let’s face it; sugar is obviously revered in our culture. So the way to have your cake and eat it too is to eat smart. Eat sugars that are in their natural form like fruit, and baked goods sweetened with non processed sugars. Also choose baked goods that are made with whole grains, fruit and nuts. These elements will help the sugar be released slower into the system. Also an interesting phenomenon happens when you eat sweets in healthy forms, you don’t binge on them. By the way, Mother Nature’s has healthy baked goods available for the instant gratification.
This recipe is able to hop gracefully from Easter brunch to the lunch box. You will find yourself making them again and again. Rebbecca O’Day created these back in the days of Mother Nature’s café. This recipe is easily made vegan with omitting the one egg. Dedicated to Jamie Ehrke
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups of rolled oats
½ cup chopped nuts or sunflower seeds
1 cup raisins (I have used a multitude of different dried fruit, all yummy)
1 large egg (optional)
1 cup of maple syrup (grade B at Mother Nature’s is the best for baking!)
½ cup canola oil or nut oil like walnut
½ cup of apple sauce
1½ teaspoons of vanilla
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 cups of shredded carrots (about 3 or 4)
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Lightly oil some cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and oats and give a good whisk. Stir in the nuts or seeds, and the fruit. In another bowl, whip together the maple syrup, oil, egg, carrots and vanilla. Stir the flour mixture slowly into carrot mix, until well blended.
Using a wet spoon to prevent dough from sticking, drop batter onto oiled cookie sheet.
Flatten with your fingers to about ½ inch thick. (I’ve found that if you wet your fingers lightly the dough won’t stick to them) Bake till golden, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet then transfer and enjoy!
Feel free to experiment with the fruit; sometimes add ½ teaspoon of fresh grated ginger cardamom, or nutmeg, Lemon zest is wonderful too. Hoppy Easter!