Monday, June 25, 2012

Tropical Oatmeal Vegan Pancakes

My OB says that pregnancy cravings aren't real and that I should ignore them.  I don't believe her though, because nothing but a pregnancy craving could account for the intense desire I've had for pancakes since Friday night, especially considering, as I've mentioned before, I don't especially like pancakes.  I tried to listen to her; I ignored it for as long as I could, but today, on my way home from the gym, I just knew I was going to have to finally have some pancakes, and the tropical oatmeal pancakes were conceived on the drive home.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Breast Milk Yogurt

This post is about breast milk, babies, and itchy breasts.  If you don't have some combination of the aforementioned, you're probably going to want to skip this post, because it's not going to do anything but gross you right out.  Back in July, the baby and I had Thrush.  This is a fantastic condition that causes white patches in the baby's mouth and on his tongue, and it infects the breasts as well, making them itch like mad.  It's actually a yeast infection and is usually passed back and forth between mom and baby, so it must be treated.  The baby continues to nurse during the treatment, but any pumped milk cannot be frozen and later given in a bottle or sippy, because Thrush survives the freeze/thaw, and it will re-infect the baby.

I was already on a pump schedule, and had been for months, in order to build my freezer stash.  I continued to pump during our lovely experience with Trush, because changing the schedule would have caused a drop in production.  At first I was just pumping and dumping, but then the pediatrician told me that Thrush doesn't survive heating, so I could go ahead and freeze it and save it for cooking when he started solids.

We had a rough night several weeks ago, and in a sleep deprived state, at two in the morning, I started wondering if I could make yogurt out of breast milk.  I stated on FaceBook that one of the things I wondered about at 2:00 a.m. was whether or not I could make breast milk yogurt, and an awesome friend pointed me at this recipe.  I started researching and looking around to see if other people had done this and what the opinions and different methods were.  What I mostly found where a bunch of lectures on how making breast milk yogurt was stupid because heating breast milk kills all the good things in it.

So excuse me while I go on a tangent here, but no, it does not.  Heating breast milk does indeed kill the white blood cells.  No argument there.  However, heating it does not "kill all the good things in it."  Even pasteurized breast milk is better than formula or cow's milk.  This isn't a breast feeding versus formula feeding versus dairy debate though.  It's simply facts about how cooking with breast milk does not, in fact, negate ALL the good of breast milk.  Here's the nutritional composition of breast milk,  made simple.  Here's an in-depth if you care to read it.  Anyway, my point is that while you do indeed lose SOME of the benefits of breast milk when you heat it, you certainly don't lose them all.  You don't even lose most of them.  The fats, the carbs, the proteins, the vitamins are all still there.  Does cooking your beans make the protein go away?  There's the answer, right there.  Let us not forget the fact that it's human milk, and I wanted to turn it into a treat for a human baby.  Alright, I'm stepping off of my soapbox now.

The recipe my friend linked me was the best of the very few I found out there, so my recipe is a combination of her recipe and my own, coupled with experiences and methodology learned while making soy yogurt in my crock pot (and I should probably post that recipe, because it's so easy and time saving!).  Every now and then I think I've reached the pinnacle of my hippie-ness only to surprise myself and go beyond.  I think this might be it though.  I have produced yogurt from breast milk.  I may have reached the epitome of hippie-dom!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roasted Tomato Garlic Coconut Soup

Right before Thanksgiving, the baby and I took the train to Kansas to visit my family.  I had six beautiful Roma tomatoes in the house right before we left, and I knew that no one would eat them while I was gone.  I didn't want them to go to waste, so I cut them in half, threw them into a bag, and tossed them in the freezer.

A couple of days ago, I decided to pull out the bag and roast the tomatoes with some garlic cloves.  I still wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, so I put them in a Tupperware and put them in the fridge.  Yesterday I came home freezing half to death and decided that I wanted soup.  It's a rare occasion that I eat soup from a can.  We've already established how I feel about excess sodium and ingredients I can't pronounce.  Luckily I had some perfectly roasted tomatoes ready to go.

I know the combination of garlic, tomato, and coconut sounds strange, but it's really not.  The coconut milk gives it a silky, creamy texture, and it blends so nicely with the rest of the spices in the soup.  This recipe makes two small servings (or one great big one; I ate it all, all by myself!), so feel free to adjust proportions accordingly.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Garbage Pail Vegetable Broth

Oh my gosh you guys.  I am SO behind.  I've got 14 recipes ready to be posted (and those are for big people.  I've got three baby recipes ready to go, as well), but I just can't find the time.  First I had strep; then the baby had croup; then I had bronchitis, and then it was the holidays.  There are days when I considered myself lucky to have time to get dressed and even luckier if I managed to take a shower.  At this rate you're going to be getting Fall recipes this Summer!

Here's one that's quick and easy though, and it's REALLY economical.  I've always called the Vegetable Butt Broth, but I figured maybe I should revamp the name if I was going to put it out there on the internet.  I'm not sure that this is any better, actually, but it's far more appetizing than it sounds.

When I clean my vegetables, I never throw away the parts that most people consider garbage.  I keep the celery leaves, the tops of red, yellow, and orange peppers (but never green; I loathe green peppers), carrot peels, potato and sweet potato peels (but sure to clean them very well first), zucchini ends, outter cabbage leaves that are a little wilty, pieces of squash not quite big enough to roast, the ends of tomatoes, the thin outter rings of the onion, and anything else I happen to be using at the time.  I also save vegetables that are about to go bad and won't be used before they turn.  I keep a big bag in the freezer, and just throw all of this stuff in it as I have it.  When the bag is full, I make veggie broth.  This is far more economical than buying pre-made broth; it has far less sodium, and it also costs less than going out to buy veggies to make your own.

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