Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Raw Breakfast Food - Grab and Go

So many times people, including myself, get frustrated trying to fit a raw diet into their busy lives.  You really have to get the hang of planning ahead, dehydrating ahead, chopping veggies ahead, and basically thinking about meals a few days in advance.  This is where people get the misconception that eating a raw diet is hard because it takes up too much time.  It doesn't really take up anymore physical time than conventional cooking but you definately have to think and plan differently.  For instance, I make bread or cookies in the dehydrator while I sleep but I never would have cooked anything during slumber - in my book this is saving time. 

However, it's this change in "food-prep mentality" that can also quickly derail our raw efforts.  If we are not prepared with our food we get frustrated and give up.  Sure, you can always grab a salad or piece of fruit in a pinch but that is only going to satisfy you if the lack of preparation is an occassionally thing.  For chronic food-prep-procrastinators, a daily diet of a bunch of salad gets old quick!

I've been wanting to post out a raw breakfast cereal that is kid-friendly, quick, and easy to make. This cereal is great for breakfast but also excellent for a quick on-the-go snack that is portable, travel-friendly, and tasty. I make this cereal in large batches and stash it in the fridge.  You can eat it with nut milk or just out of the bag like granola.  My kids also really dig this cereal when I spruce it up with cacao nibs, coconut or other goodies they like. 

If you are a mom trying to get your kids off the sugary cereals one approach you might take when making this for the first time is to really sweeten it up with agave or really kick up the amount of dried fruit so your kids will take to it.  Each time you make a new batch just use a little less agave/dried fruit than you did with the previous.  Your kids will adjust to having the cereal be less and less sweet.

Also, if you want a more traditional cooked oatmeal you can take a bowl of the cereal, add nut milk and let it set overnight.  The cereal will absorb the nutmilk and soften with an cooked oats consistency by morning.

OK - here is the recipe.  There are no amounts because I just throw it together.

Nuts (almonds, macadamias, walnuts, pecans, or any blend you like)
Seeds (hemp, sunflower, flax or any blend you like)
5 grain oat cereal (I use the 5 grain blend so that there is a variety of grains - you could just us whole oatmeal)
Cinnamon and or nutmeg
Dried Fruit (I like dates, apples and goji berries)

To make it yummier for your kids - add shredded coconut and cacao nibs.

Pulse a bunch of the nuts in the food processor until chunky (again, how chucky is your preference).  Take the nuts and mix with oat cereal in a large bowl (there should be way more oats than nuts or you will have a very calorie dense cereal).  Add in any seeds that you want.  Add in chopped dried fruit.  Toss it all with cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste.  At this point I squirt a little agave on and toss the cereal to coat.  Store in a zip lock bag and air tight container.

In the past I have done the cereal with some honey and spread it in the dehydrator to make more of a traditional granola but, of course, this is more time consumming.

Enjoy this recipe.  It's my mom's favorite - I make large batches and send it out to California just for her!