"My theory is that we can all eat healthy, but without it costing us a fortune."
Jessi Koontz
"Even poor people who still cook have healthier diets than rich people who don’t."
Michael Pollan


Past Posts

Sprouted Rye Essene Cakes


Nothing but rye.


“What are these?”

“Rye cakes. Essene bread. Sprouted rye essene cakes.”

“What’s in ‘em?”

“Rye. Sprouted rye. Just rye grains sprouted. That’s all.”

“Hm. Sweet. Sugar?”

“No, just rye.”


“No. Nothin’ but sprouted rye berries.”

“Sesame seeds!”

“No. Just rye.”

So, I had all this sprouted rye berries, you know?  I cooked some of them. Put some in a salad. But I still had a pretty good container of sprouted rye.  So I dumped it all in the food processor and ground it up until it was kind of mealy or doughy or the consistency of hamburger. Then I used my hands to squish it and shape it into little cake shapes. I put the cakes on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven on low temperature.  I don’t know… 200? 250, maybe?  I sort of basically kind of dried them out, rather than actually baking them.  But whatever you call it,  I left them in there for what, an hour or so.  I don’t think the timing is all that critical when the temperature is that low.  They kind of dried out mostly on that side, then I turned them over and left them in the oven like that for a little longer, then I took them out.

One ingredient. Doesn’t matter much what temperature you “cook” them at. Some people just dry them in the sun, really.

And they’re good.  They’re sweet. They have good flavor.  They’re almost like a dessert.  Well, a dessert for people who don’t eat donuts and stuff.  I mean, they’re really good, but if you’re used to like Twinkies and stuff, no, they’re not like that.

Anyway… I love this stuff.   Really nice for breakfast.

And yeah, you could put other stuff in there if you want.   But I didn’t.

 How to make sprouted grain bread, from MotherEarthNews.com

Essene Bread… How to Make it in the Sun

This works with wheat, too.

Make it thick, or make it thin. Use an oven, or a dehydrator, or a rock in the sun. Add nothing, or add flour, or add whatever.

I made the most basic version, but this  sort of bread or whole grain food technique is extremely variable. You can experiment with lots of different grains, seeds, flours, herbs, nuts, fruits, ….

Hey, it’s your food, make it like you like it.



Sprouted Rye Berry Salad


Very nice, very easy.
(I just added sprouted rye berries to cucumber salad.)

I sprouted rye berries last week… kind of a lot of them, more than enough for one or two dishes. I saved some and let it sprout a little more, to make Essene bread with, and I cooked and the rest of it essentially the same way I normally cook and use rice.

I also added some of the cooked sprouted rye berries to an otherwise ordinary cucumber salad.  It was delicious —  Crunchy, refreshing, nutty-tasting.  It also made the salad more complete, nutritionally-speaking, and helped me stay fuller-feeling longer.  In fact, I also added sprouted mung beans, so it had some extra protein, to boot.

Sprouting rye berries is the same as sprouting mung beans or alfalfa sprouts.  Soak the seeds overnight, drain and rinse them each day for a couple of days. Boil them up if you want them cooked like rice. Let them sprout an extra day or so if you want to use them raw.

A salad like this is sort of kind of like tabbouleh…

Sprouted Rye Berry and Shallots Salad – FoodAndWine.com has a nice little rye berry salad recipe using cooked sprouted rye berries, sort of like what I did, only simpler.

Sarahfae, at AddictedToVeggies.com, says “Give yourself a present” by adding raw sprouted rye berries to an awesome green salad.

And you really can use sprouted rye berries like rice in lots of different dishes. Eliza Martin, from the Saveur Test Kitchen, even reports that this stuff makes a delightful and delicious risotto-style preparation.

Ripe Bananas Cost Less

When they're at their best, bananas are the cheapest.

When they’re at their best, bananas are the cheapest.

At a local grocery store, the bananas cost 57¢/pound, except when they start to get near being ripe, when they suddenly get cheaper.  The produce guy puts them in these paper bags and charges 99¢ for the bag. These bags  weighed 4 pounds each, and I bought three bags.

I often buy my bananas at another store, where the regular price is 44¢/pound, but since I know that sometimes they are even cheaper in these special “Ripe Bananas” bags, I like to stock up on them when I can.  I pull the peel off of the bananas and freeze them in plastic bags, so I don’t have to worry about them going bad.

I like to eat frozen bananas with other frozen fruit.  At night, when I want a dessert, I take a banana out of the freezer and cut it up with a knife, add some other frozen fruit in a bowl, and then I splash on a little milk or kefir, and maybe some nuts, and have a treat. You can make a terrific “ice cream” using frozen ripe bananas, too.

Lots of people would use these bananas for banana bread. A little while ago I used some of these bananas to replace the oil in a zucchini bread recipe.    And in all these cases and more, the riper the bananas, the better they taste!

Another good way to use the bananas while they are ripe is to slice them and dehydrate them (either in a dehydrator or in an ordinary oven). I much prefer banana chips dried at home over the store-bought kind because you don’t have to put sugar, oil, “banana flavor,” or sulfites on them. Home-dried banana chips are wonderful for homemade trail mixes.  Similarly, you can include ripe bananas in recipes for homemade energy bars.



Multi-Grain Zucchini Bread

Healthy Zucchini Breadwith Kefir "cream cheese" and raspberries.

Healthy Zucchini Bread
with Kefir “cream cheese” and raspberries.


I had some big zucchini hanging around here for a while because somebody gave them to me.  That’s what happens in the summer – people give away a lot of zucchini.  I thought of making zucchini bread, but when I looked for how to make it, almost all of the recipes I looked at called for a whole lot more oil and sugar than I wanted to use.

Then I found this video recipe for Healthy Zucchini Bread, by Joanna Soh, at Youtube.  I didn’t exactly follow that recipe, but I was inspired by it!

You can tell this is one of those recipes that is extremely variable… but then, aren’t they all?  (Well, no, not all recipes are variable.  Believe it or not, there are a few things out there that you do have to follow the instructions to make.  Still, though, most things are pretty flexible.)

Most people will probably not use several different flours.  Like I said, I was inspired by Joanna.

Whole wheat zucchini bread.

Here’s one with whole wheat and all-purpose flour.

Walnuts and vanilla would be good in there.

As I said…  variation is practically unlimited.  Chocolate, pineapple, lemon, flaxseed… gluten free, fat-free…  TipNut.com has a list of 16 variations on Zucchini Bread.

And all those variations are a good thing, because this time of year, the zucchini situation CAN get a little out of hand!


Too Much of a Good Thing? Healthy Eating Disorder

“Have you found that as the quality of your diet has increased, the quality of your life has correspondingly diminished?”  – Dr. Steven Bratman, author of Health Food Junkies: Orthorexia Nervosa – the Health Food Eating Disorder

One day I was sitting on a carpet,  barefoot and crosslegged, talking with a couple of Laotian Buddhist monks. I asked them, “What is the origin of conflict?”

One of the monks replied, “Desire. Desire is the origin of conflict.”

Then I asked, “What if I desire to avoid conflict?”

The little monk just pointed his finger at me and giggled.