A couple of months ago I gave myself the green card to eat meat without a guilty conscience, as long as I didn’t overdo it and remained responsible. You see, the problem that occurs with anyone who thinks about something too much…well they tend to overdo it a bit, and in the wrong direction. In theory, I should have just done what I had always done before, bacon Sundays with the occasional act of social carnivorism: A wee bit of ethical bacon next to my ethical eggs at beachside Sunday breakfast, and a random sausage or fillet of coral trout from anybody else’s BBQ. Instead, I increased my meat and dairy consumption, and likely consumed the equivalent of about ten pigs in the last couple of months. I went bonkers! I realised that if I ate eggs and bacon every morning, it would keep me going right up until dinner. A good thing, right? Sure! Until my guts said, NO. After a few weeks of eating animal products regularly, including dairy, eggs, and meat, I became constipated, and I started experiencing painful stomach cramps at night. Even ethical bacon and eggs started to take its toll on my guts. In response to my tummy’s outcry, I began to refocus my diet on “quick exit” foods. Foods that are more easily digested and absorbed…hence all the hype about those activated nuts (which I will tell you ALL about in just a minute).
You see I L-O-V-E breakfast, and it would have to be something very special and delicious to replace bacon and eggs. Not just bacon and eggs. Runny poached eggs on my ciabatta bread with crispy, yummy bacon. I wanted something satisfying, low in sugar, and with minimal dairy, something for the everyday, that both my kids (and husband) would happily ingest. I had to start re-inventing my breakfast, and it had to be something that tasted fantastic, made me feel satisfied and kept me going. Many of you are probably thinking “Bircher Muesli! Bircher Muesli!” But let me just get one thing straight here. I don’t do Bircher Muesli. It tastes like hay with yoghurt. In my opinion.
The reinvention of my breakfast began the other night when I started activating my nuts. Pecans and almonds, to be specific. From this point, three fabulous breakfasts were born. What exactly are activated nuts and why do it? To activate nuts, you simply soak them overnight in water with a pinch of salt. In the morning, spread them out on a baking sheet (don’t use baking paper) and put them in the oven on the lowest setting (40-50C) for 12-24 hours or until the nuts are dry, and voila! Activated nuts. The idea behind activated nuts is that through soaking, you are bringing them “back to life,” as you would do for sprouts and other seeds, making them more nutritious and digestible. Now as a scientist, I just need to tell you something, there is ZERO published material (in peer-reviewed journals) on the subject that can prove this theory of increased health and digestibility, however, there are lots of amazing things out there that have not been scientifically tested or reviewed that are great for you. Unfortunately, there are also just as many things out there that are a crock of shit. So, in the end of the day, you need to decide what is logical, and what makes sense for you. Speaking from the point of view of a biologist and the owner of hardy yet very particular stomach…if you have the time and inclination, do it. The most important thing is that you eat the nuts.
I’m not a big fan of nuts, but activated nuts, in my opinion, do taste better…especially when I turned them into breakfast. I’m not a chef, but I’m great at tracking things down, so I’ve simply hijacked these recipes for your eating pleasure from the I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar For Life books. The recipes are not exact, and have been adapted to my own taste (See Below).
Breakfast No.1: “Coco-Nutty Granola”
Whether you have activated your nuts or not, roughly chop 2 cups of nuts (I prefer a mix of pecans and almonds), and mix with 3 cups of coconut flakes, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir in 3 tablespoons of rice malt syrup and 80-100g of melted butter or coconut oil (I love butter). Place on a baking sheet and “toast” for about 20 minutes at 120C. Serve with full fat organic yoghurt (I made my own). You can also use coconut yoghurt, something I have yet to try and create.
Tip: If you’ve went through the trouble of activating your nuts for this meal, make sure you don’t forget about this dish in the oven and burn it. You’ll be so pissed at yourself!
Breakfast No. 2: “Chocolate Coco-Nutty Granola”
This is the same as above, but you need to add 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder, and 2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs. Looks the same too, just browner 😛
Breakfast No. 3: Breakfast Parfait (Family size recipe)
It is best to start this dish the night before. Mix 1 cup of cooked quinoa or quinoa flakes (I prefer the flakes) with 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, 750ml of unsweetened almond or coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder. Soak for 1-2hrs or over night. Layer this in a glass with yoghurt, Berry Coulis and some of the Coco-Nutty Granola. My 3 year old son loves it!
How to make the Berry Coulis:
Combine the following in a saucepan: 2 cups of frozen berries, 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup, as much freshly grated ginger as you like (I use about 2 teaspoons), some orange zest (about 1/2 teaspoon), 1 finely crushed star anise, and a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. This tastes great with EVERYTHING.
A Note To My Valued Readers:
I know that I am not writing as much at the moment, but there is a lot of action happening behind the scenes. Can’t wait to share it all with you. Have a great week everyone. The Eating My Ethics website is still under construction, but in the meantime you can keep finding me right here or on Facebook.