One of my food goals this year is to eat cleaner. Clean eating isn’t about low fat, low carb, or gluten free. It’s about replacing highly processed, chemical laden foods with natural, whole foods prepared by hand. Author Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food & Food Rules) has a number of pretty funny but insightful food rules. I’ve been a label reader for years but after reading one of his books, I look at what I buy completely differently.
Three of his rules have become our food buying mantras this year.
1. Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
2. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third grader can’t pronounce.
3. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
Think about how much store bought junk this eliminates. Honestly it knocks out pretty much everything in the cookie and chip aisles as well as a good portion of the bread aisle. It’s a different way of life for two people that grew up eating fried bologna sandwiches, Oreo cookies, and sugary Kool Aid. I’m in the process of finding homemade goodies I can swap for some of more unhealthy processed choices and I want to start sharing those with you.
The first one is my riff on Heidi Swanson’s Oat Cake recipe from Super Natural Everyday. Oat cakes are a cross between an oatmeal cookie and a muffin but denser than either. Regular whole wheat or all purpose flour would also work for these. Becareful not to overcook them or they will turn into cinnamon spiced hockey pucks. When they start to look golden around the edges, they’re done.
Recipe: Cinnamon Raisin Oatcakes
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup turbinato (raw sugar)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, flax seeds, raisins, and walnuts.
- In a saucepan, combine butter, maple syrup, and sugar. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let mixture cool for a few minutes.
- Combine butter mixture with the flour mixture. Add applesauce and eggs. This dough will be really wet.
- Fill muffin tins and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden around the edges.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and pop them out onto a cooling rack.
Number of servings (yield): 12