The grain-related items--popcorn and pancake mix--are seeing some consumption. While I don't eat a lot of grains (maybe one serving a day, rarely two), I don't see the need to eliminate them completely from my diet. However, the grains I do consume are 1) whole and 2) typically prepared in a more traditional foodways fashion; that is, soaked or sourdough. Having popcorn is an exception.
The instructions for the Fifth Crow Farm pancake mix are basic: mix with milk, buttermilk, egg, and oil, then cook up. I've instead been using it more like regular flour, mixing it with my sourdough starter, and letting it sit overnight. Here's what I cooked up for breakfast this morning:
Blueberry Ovencake (A Pancake Baked in the Oven)
The night before, mix 1/3 C sourdough starter with 1 C flour (a mixture of whole dark rye and whole wheat pancake mix) and 2/3 C water in a medium non-reactive mixing bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm, or at least room-temperature place overnight. In the morning, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add to the flour mixture 1 egg, 1 T fat (olive oil, melted butter, coconut oil, etc.), 1 T honey or maple syrup, a dash of salt and about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Mix well, then fold in 1 C blueberries. Spread in greased 9" cake pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and a skewer comes out clean. Makes 4 servings.
I've been experimenting with baking pancake recipes in the oven just so I don't have to stand at the stove for a long time.
Each serving provides 200 calories, 5 g fat, 34.5 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 6.5 g protein, and 10.5% RDA for iron. All that iron and fiber is there thanks to the whole grain flour. However, just because the iron is present doesn't mean that your body can absorb it. The soaking/fermenting step is to help neutralize the phytic acid that likes to bind iron and keep it out of your system. Also, the fact that I ate my cake with a bit of homemade lamb (grass-fed) sausage, which contains some heme iron, means that the non-heme iron from the grains will be better assimilated. At least according to my nutrition textbook.
Currently there is a bag of sugar cookies in my freezer. I baked them on Sunday, and my dear boyfriend forgot to take them away with him. Last night they tempted me--for how bad would it be, really, to have just a couple cookies?--but only for a moment. Yes, I dare say that a cookie or two would not hurt me too much, especially coming after a very healthy dinner, but if I give myself an inch I am worried that I'll take a mile. Better to just ignore them completely and enjoy a lovely cup of herbal tea, and a handful of almonds or a bit of cheese for dessert.
Oh, and I had an awesome hike in the park yesterday: 4 1/4 miles, strenuous uphill sections with a lot of good running on the flat. The lizards were out in force on the path; I'm always afraid that one will take a wrong turn and scurry right under my foot. No deer this time. Very much looking forward to my hike tomorrow, too.