Breakfast Ideas for Every Taste

Simple Stewed Fruits

4 long (4”) cinnamon sticks

2 pounds dried organic prunes

1 pound dried organic apple slices

In a large pot, place cinnamon sticks and fruits.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes.  Cover and let cool.  Store in the refrigerator.  Serve over granola, oatmeal, buckwheat cranberry almond bread or whatever strikes your fancy.


Apple-Blueberry Bread Pudding
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk or nut/seed milk
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. vanilla
3 cups whole-grain bread in cubes
1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup chopped apple; pear; or plum


1. In a large bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients.
2. Place bread cubes in a greased, 8-9” round baking dish and sprinkle with dried fruit and nuts and the apple; pear; or plum.
3. Pour wet ingredients over all assembled ingredients and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven, 35-40 minutes.

Amaranth with Wild Blueberries and Almonds
Amaranth and almonds are both high in protein and blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants.
This simple recipe is one of my favorites. It can be made in large batches, cooked the evening before, and freezes well. Adding a whole grain like wheat berries helps to lower the glycemic index.
1 cup amaranth
3 cups water
1 cup dried wild blueberries or other dried fruit
1 cup chopped almonds, or other nuts/seeds


1. Place amaranth, water, and berries in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, and let simmer about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed.
2. For additional texture, add cooked brown rice, millet, buckwheat, or wheat berries when amaranth is fully cooked.

Granola (yield: ~10 cups)
½ cup barley malt
¼ cup hot water
1 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract
½ cup melted butter, ghee, or organic unrefined coconut oil
1 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans or mixture
1/2-1 cup sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 T. ground cinnamon, if desired
1 cup dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, or other dried fruit, if desired.


1. In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
3. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients.
4. Spread ½” deep on a large baking pan.
5. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree over for about 8 minutes, turning over with a spatula several times until lightly golden brown. All to completely cool.

6. Add dried fruit.

7. Store in an airtight jars.

Buckwheat Cranberry Almond Muffins (or Squares)
¾ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup stone ground whole wheat flour
1 cup water
2 t. baking powder
2 eggs, well beaten
½ t. salt
4-6 T. honey or maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
2 t. vanilla
1 cup dried low-sugar cranberries
½-1 cup slivered almonds.


1. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and add and mix remaining liquids.
3. Combine and mix wet and dry ingredients.
4. Gently fold in cranberries and almonds.
5. Pour batter into a 8 ½” square well-oiled baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees 25-30 minutes. Batter can be baked as muffins, reducing the baking time to about 20 minutes.

Barley-Oatmeal Squares
This is a true family favorite. If you don’t have time to make cookies, just put the batter in a greased brownie pan and bake about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pan and the depth of the batter.
1 cup barley flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
½ cup buttermilk
2-3 T. honey
1-2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
½ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruits/nuts


1. Mix wet ingredients.
2. Fold in chocolate chips, dried fruits, nuts
3. Drop by tablespoons onto a well-greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven, about 12 minutes.

Our Favorite Pumpkin Muffins
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. ginger
¼ t. salt
½ cup golden raisins
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs


1. Mix together dry ingredients and raisins.
2. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients.
3. Add and combine dry into wet ingredients.
4. Fill well-oiled muffin tins 2/3rds full. Bake at 400 or 15-20 minutes. Batter can also be baked in a well-greased pan, for a slightly longer time.

Naturally Sweet Oatmeal-Banana Treats
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
6 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2-3 cups dried fruits, chocolate chips, nuts in whatever combination you wish
1 T. vanilla flavoring
Combine all ingredients and drop by spoonfuls on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350, ~20 minutes.

Peanut Butter/Tahini Muffins (yield: 12 muffins)
2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/3 cup organic peanut or sesame seed (tahini) butter
¼ cup melted butter, coconut oil, or cold-pressed oil


1. Mix together first 3 ingredients
2. In a separate large bowl combine the remaining ingredients.
3. Add dry to wet ingredients and gently combine.
4. Fill well-oiled muffin pans 2/3rds full and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted and removed is dry. If baking in a pan, allow a bit more time.

Thermos Oatmeal
In a wide-mouth well-insulated thermos, pour boiling water and seal 5 minutes to warm. Pour out water. Add 1 cup boiling water, ¼ steel cut oats, and dried fruits if desired. Stir. Let sit overnight. Enjoy the next morning with milk, butter, nuts, maple syrup, etc.



Recipes: Thinking “Out-of-the-Box”

Hearty Lentil Soup (yield: 10 one-cup servings)
10 cups filtered water or stock
3 cups green lentils
1/4 cup red lentils or equivalent green lentils
2 cups chopped onion
3 bay leaves
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
2 T. minced garlic
2-4 T. olive oil


1. In a large pot, add first 4 ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour.
2. Add next ingredients through garlic, stir well, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Add olive oil, stir, adjust to taste.

Simple Split Pea Soup (yield: 10 one-cup servings)
2 cups split peas, washed and picked over
9 cups water or stock
1 piece large piece kombu (optional)
1-2 cups diced onions
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced organic celery
2 t. curry powder or ½ t. ground fennel seeds, to taste
Salt or tamari to taste


1. Wash the peas and place in a large pot with the onions, carrots, celery and stock. Bring to a boil stir, and reduce heat. Cover loosely and let simmer40-60 minutes until peas and vegetables are soft.
2. Add curry powder, fennel seeds, or other seasonings of your choice including salt if using.
3. Soup is finished when peas have cooked to a velvety smoothness. Add tamari and serve.

Thick Split Pea and Brown Rice Soup (serves 6; cooking time 1 hour)
This is adapted from Martha Rose Shulman and the combination of split peas with brown rice provides a complete protein meal. The same result can be had by serving whole grains or whole grain bread with the two simple soup options above.
1 T. butter or ghee
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. curry powder
2 cups split peas, picked over and washed
1 cup brown rice, washed and soaked over night
8 cups stock or water
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Heat the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven and sauté the onion, carrot, and the garlic with the curry powder until the onion is tender.
2. Add the split peas, rice, stock, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until the peas are tender.
4. Check and add more water from time to time if needed if soup becomes too thick.
5. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and serve.


Bone Stocks

Bone Stocks: One of the best ways to build and strengthen bones and support digestion and health.

Hearty stocks can be sipped alone to boost the immune system and as an antidote to colds and the flu, or they can be used in cooking to add depth, flavor, and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Making stocks, especially time-consuming bone stocks, is a bit of a lost art in modern times, and yet it is one of the very best health investments we can make.1


Making Bone Stocks…Equipment and Materials
There are a host of wonderful cookbooks describing how to make bone stocks. Many suggest a large stock pot and organic meats, which you bring to just a boil, reduce the heat, skim off foam that floats to the surface, add vegetables, and keep at a slow simmer for some hours depending on the meat…beef for at least 8 hours so it has time to surrender all its minerals and flavor, and chicken for about half that time. I truly enjoy reading the author/chefs who describe this process and, much like cooking shows on television, I can live the dream along with them–down to imagining the wonderful aromas as well as the delicious tastings from frequent sampling of the stock as it gathers richness and body.


But if you have never cooked stocks, I want to be realistic. I want you to be successful. And, I want it to be easy. I usually use a slow cooker for bone stocks because I cannot stay in the kitchen hour after hour, and I am also not comfortable leaving the house with a pot on the stove. So, for now, since bone stocks cook for very long periods and because our modern world is full of distractions and commitments that pull us out of the kitchen, I recommend a slow cooker, especially if you are just starting out to with bone stocks. A slow cooker is easy, safe, effortless, and rather fail-proof.


Special equipment you will need:• A slow cooker large enough for your needs (or stock pot, if you choose)
• Strainers, stainless-steel nesting bowls for cooling, cheese cloth if you desire a clearer stock
• A cooking thermometer is helpful to monitor temperatures with a stock pot
A few guidelines:
• Water should barely cover ingredients. Add more if needed
• Never salt a stock. Bones have sodium and flavors concentrate
• Start with cold water and bring just to a simmer, with bubbles barely breaking the surface of the water. Never boil a stock. High temperatures can integrate the fat with the liquid, resulting in a “greasy” rather than a clean tasting stock. A slow cooker is perfect for a slow simmer: Even “High” is calibrated to be below the boiling point.
• Skim the impurities that rise to the top…most foam will rise in the first hour of cooking
• Taste the meat when you suspect it has surrendered its essence. When tasteless, stop cooking and strain the stock, unless you are making a 24-hour stock and intend to eat the bones
• Cool the stock quickly to prevent bacteria growth. Skim off the congealed surface fat
• Stocks keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but should be boiled about every three days to kill bacteria. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Always bring a thawed stock back to the boil to restore its life.


Before your get started…Some Observations from my “Test Kitchen:” • To get the best gelatin from chicken, cook the meat on the bones for 4-6 hours. Use no vinegar or wine. A longer cooking time and/or an acid will weaken the gelatin.
• To get an even better gelatin that is twice as firm, use cartilage-rich knuckle- and hock-type bones. Cover with boiling water in a slow cooker (no vinegar) and simmer for 4-6 hours (a short enough time so the freed gelatin does not break down from prolonged heat). Pour off the stock and refrigerate. Begin a new batch the same way, with the same bones. Knuckles and hocks will provide multiple batches, with no discernible diminution of firmness of the gelatin.
• To eat small bones like chicken legs with their marrow requires about 24 hours and is best when you use some vinegar or wine.
• The best tasting stock is a product of both meat and bones. Flavor can be enhanced by the addition of extra meat. Prolonged cooking does not help flavor. Remove stock when meat has no taste.


Eight Branches Organic Chicken Bone Soup
4 pound organic chicken, well-washed and skinned
4 skinned chicken breasts, or other chicken pieces, if there is room in the pot
1-2 large onions, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3-5 ribs of celery


Place chicken in large crock pot with enough water to cover plus 2 inches extra and begin cooking on high. When simmering well, turn to low and cook for about 20 hours, adding more water to keep covered, if needed. Add chopped vegetables about 2 hours before you plan to finish.


Broth may be strained and used as a tonic when recovering from colds or the flu; it may also be used in soups, bean dishes, or to cook grains (my favorite…I freeze this in 2 cup batches and cook with grains in my rice cooker)


Chicken may be eaten, bones and all…alone, in salads, as additions to soups, etc.

Source: Tim Aitken, L.Ac.,Eight Branches Healing Arts.


Pathways4Health Chicken/Bone Stock

Three pounds (about 12 legs) of organic chicken, or whatever fits well in your slow cooker

2 Bay leaves
Sprig of Fresh rosemary, or 1 t. dried, if desired (it is a good anti-inflammatory); 1 t. dried thyme
4 quarts boiling water
¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar or ½ cup white wine (to be added later).


Combine all ingredients but the vinegar in a 4-5 quart slow cooker, turned to high. Skim off foam, if it exists.
Let legs cook for about 4 hours until meat begins to fall off the bone. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large bowl. When cooled a bit, remove the meat from the bones and store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for another use. [Since meat is just 1% collagen, saving it to eat and cooking the bones for gelatin is my preference to avoid waste, unless your goal is to maximize taste.]


Return bones to slow cooker along with all the knuckle, gristle, and skin. Add the apple cider vinegar. Turn slow cooker to low, cover with lid, and let simmer for up to 20 more hours. Strain the stock, reserving the bones and discarding the other solids. Store the bones in the refrigerator in a covered container. Cool the stock overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator, then remove the fat from the top and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you chose to try eating the bones, the sensation is a bit like eating shoe-string potatoes…slightly crunchy, rich, and satisfying. Marrow is full of bone-building minerals, of course, as well as fat to help with their absorption.


Very, Very Rich Chicken Bone Stock…A bowl or two can make a meal.
3-4 pound chicken, whole or in parts
12 cups cold water
3 or 4 large carrots
2 or 3 celery stalks, with leaves
1 parsnip
1 onion, peeled
½ head garlic
1 leek
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
Handful fresh parsley leaves and stems
8 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Other vegetable scraps, like fennel fronds, chard stems or squash ends
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Fine sea salt to taste


Into a large stock pot, place cleaned chicken and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that appears.
Meanwhile, clean the vegetables and herbs, and cut the vegetables into large pieces so that they will fit inside the pot. Add all the ingredients, except the sea salt, to the soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil again, reduce the heat to very low, and simmer uncovered. After the first hour of simmering, remove the chicken, take the meat off the bone, and set it aside to be added back to the soup when it’s finished cooking (boiled meat is rather spent after 6 hours in a pot). Simmer the soup uncovered for another five hours. Then remove it from the heat, strain, skim the fat if there is in abundance, and serve with the reserved chicken pieces. This serves a family of five, so it can be cut down.

Source: Ellen Arian,

Beef Stock
Once you’ve made this stock, don’t be so quick to discard the bones. The marrow that remains within is a rich source of calcium, fat, iron, and zinc. In fact, it has three times more calcium than milk, ounce for ounce. Although it’s fallen out of favor as a food, marrow was an esteemed source of nutrients in the past. If you’d like to give it a try, blow or scrape it out of the bones after the stock is cooked, spread it on whole grain toast, and top with a little salt and white pepper.
2 pounds beef marrow bones
4 quarts cold water
1 large carrot, top ½ inch discarded, chopped
1 medium onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup parsley stems (no leaves, which add green color)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red or white wine, or 2 tablespoons wine vinegar


1. Place the bones in a stockpot with the water, bring to a boil over high heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Skim off as much of the foam as possible.
2. Add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, parsley stem, oil, and wine, lower the heat to maintain a very low simmer and cook for 6 to 8 hours with the lid ajar, skimming occasionally.
3. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve without pressing on the solids. Cool the stock before storing in the refrigerator overnight, remove the fat from the top. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes 3 quarts.
Source: Annemarie Colbin

Copyright 2010

  1. See January10 Newsletter for complete discussion []

A Warming Winter Meal

Winter Recipes: Foods to Beat the Bitter Chill
Foods can be our best (and safest) medicine. Foods have an inherent temperature, taste, and direction. Many ancient cultures long ago discovered this and used it to their advantage when drugs, technology, and modern conveniences were not available. As we move into the coldest month of the year, it is good to review foods that are warming in nature. Eating warming foods at this time of year can make the winter chill an exhilarating welcome experience. Among warming/hot foods to include in your cooking, consider:


Warming foods:
Grains: oats, quinoa, spelt, sweet rice
Vegetables: caper, kale, leek, onion, parsnip, winter squash, sweet potato, watercress
Fruit: blackberry, cherry, date, peach
Beans: black beans
Nuts: chestnuts, pine kernels, walnuts
Fish: anchovy, eel, lobster, mussels, shrimp
Meat: chicken, ham, kidney, liver, pheasant
Dairy: butter
Herbs: aniseed, basil, bay, caraway, cardamom, carob, clove, cumin, dill, fennel, fresh ginger, juniper, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, turmeric


Hot foods:
Fish: trout
Meat: lamb
Herbs: cayenne, chili, cinnamon bark, garlic, dry ginger, horseradish, mustard, pepper

Source: Helping Ourselves, Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics
By Daverick Leggett

With this as a guide, you can mix and match ingredients to create your own warming treats…like cinnamon oatmeal with dried cherries or tabouli with parsley, garlic, and quinoa. It is interesting to note that lamb is the only animal meat that is “hot” in temperature and that beef, with a neutral temperature is not on the list of warming foods.


Winter Soups: Chestnut Soup with parsnips and sherry
Warming Red Lentil Stew with parsnips, onion, cumin, parsley


Winter Side Dishes: Wild Rice with leeks, shitakes, dried cherries, & nuts
Kale with Shitake Mushrooms with ginger or garlic


Winter main course: Lamb Shanks with garlic and rosemary


Chestnut Soup
2 onions, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
3 T. butter or e.v. olive oil
6 cups filtered water or chicken stock
½ cup sherry
Pinch cayenne pepper and nutmeg
1 T. dried thyme
4 cups fresh peeled chestnuts

Melt butter in a stock pot and sauté onions and parsnips until soft. Add water or stock, chestnuts, and sherry. Bring to boil and skim off foam. Add seasonings and simmer, covered for 15+ minutes. Puree and serve.
Source: Adapted from Sally Fallon


Warming Red Lentil Stew
1 c. red lentils
1 medium onion
1 parsnips or carrots
1 T. umeboshi vinegar or 2 T. lemon
1 T. cumin
1 t. sea salt
1 T. sesame or olive oil
Chopped parsley or scallion for garnish
5 cups water

Cut all veggies in small pieces and sauté them 10 minutes.
Add washed lentils and water. Bring to boil. Skim foam. Lower heat, add cumin and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add umeboshi or lemon and salt and simmer another 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley or scallion and serve.
Source: Institute for Integrative Nutrition


Festive Wild Rice
8 oz. wild rice
2 1/3 c. liquid or broth
2 T. butter, melted
2 leeks, sliced, white & pale green parts
4 oz. shitake mushrooms, fresh, sliced
¼ c. almonds, chopped
¼ c. dried cherries or cranberries
Salt and Pepper


Cook rice: Bring broth to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45-50 minutes. Remove from stove and let rest 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Or: prepare in rice cooker with same proportions.


In a separate pan, sauté leeks in butter for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté 2 more minutes. Stir in nuts, cranberries, and beans. Gently add to cooked rice. Serves 4-5.
Adapted from Lunderg Farms


Stir-Fry Kale with Shitake Mushrooms
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
½ pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed, washed and chopped
2 cloves garlic or ½” piece fresh ginger, minced
1 T. olive oil or unrefined coconut oil

Warm oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic or ginger and cook, stirring 2-3 minutes.
Add shitakes and stir fry for 5 minutes.
Add chopped kale, and stir fry for a few minutes.
Add splash of water to the pan, cover and let steam for 5 minutes.


So Simple Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks
Place 4-6 lamb shanks in a 6-8 quart slow cooker. Cover with filtered water. Add garlic cloves and fresh rosemary to suit your taste. Cook on medium to high about 4-6 hours.
Note: You may want to brown lamb shanks first, but I find this is not essential if you are in a hurry.


Copyright 2008

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