Thursday, August 27, 2009

A whole-wheat recipe that wasn't gross...hurray!

I have spent my whole life eating processed refined foods and so have my kids. Because of this, some of our new healthy recipes are not always well-received but that is not the case with this one: moist whole-wheat banana bread. Even though it contains stone-ground whole wheat flour, the texture was relatively smooth and moist and it was sweetened with honey and brown sugar rather than regular white sugar. You don't have to take my word for kids, husband and parents enjoyed it too. The website that I found this recipe on seems to have some other great recipes that I look forward to checking out. You can see for yourself at
In previous posts, I have mentioned my fear of overcooking the grass fed beef. Yesterday I decided to not worry so much about it which resulted in a very tough sirloin. Due to the low fat content, this beef can become very tough if cooked past medium. The only family member that could successfully chew it was our Australian Shepherd, Lucy. I finally broke down and ordered a grass-fed beef cookbook to help relieve some of the anxiety. The ribeyes and strips came out excellent when grilled to medium rare so I know a tender juicy steak is possible. Just to be on the safe side, I will wait for the cookbook to arrive before I try to use the tenderloin. Fortunately the ground beef is much easier to use and my first chuck roast came out wonderful when prepared in the crock pot.
After seeing it on so many food labels this week, I decided it was time to learn more about maltodextrin. I have seen it listed on many snack foods, sunflower seeds and pudding. It is derived from corn, rice, potato or even wheat starch and is used as a thickener or artificial sweetener. Although I could not track down any specific health risks, I did learn that it is easily converted to energy and used by endurance athletes for a quick pick-me-up during events and training. Based on that knowledge, it could have a similar effect on your pancreas as high fructose corn syrup but I don't know for sure. Knowing that it is chemically altered compound derived from a natural product could be enough to avoid it for me. Just because it starts out as something healthy doesn't mean it will still be good for you after it has been messed with by food scientists. I am pretty sure there are no listings in my grandma's cook book for 1 teaspoon of maltodextrin. When in doubt, stick with the pronounceable and recognizable ingredients...the kind that the human race has survived on for 1000's of years.

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