Ryza is nice-a was originally published to my other blog, Canadianfoodiegirl.com, on October 23, 2012. This is another one of my favourite posts ever from that site. It may have gotten ideas turning about a separate website for health and wellness. It was definitely a turning point, because who goes to a cooking class sponsored by rice milk and ends up writing about anti-nutrients and phytonutrients?
I recently participated in an interactive cooking class at Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens, lead by Chef Patricia Muzzi of Mood Food Culinary. The class featured Ryza brand rice milk.
In the first part of the evening, Chef Muzzi introduced us to the recipes we'd be using, discussed their affects on the brain and gave suggestions for incorporating them into everyday cooking. Her company's mission is to bring awareness to the vital connection between food and the brain and how it impacts overall health and well-being. That's my language.
Participants were split into three groups to create an appetizer, entrée and dessert using Chef Muzzi's recipes with Ryza as the featured ingredient.
On the menu:
Zucchini & Bell Pepper Fritters w Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce
Turkey Scaloppini with Leeks & Peas in wild mushroom sauce
Sweet Vanilla & Peach Risotto Pudding w Dark Chocolate
I dredged the turkey. You might have read this post in which I talk about my hands being my favourite kitchen tool.
Truthfully, I didn't notice the mention of Ryza in the event invitation. When, upon arrival, I learned that the purpose was to promote a product, I was relieved that it was Ryza. A lot of other products would have had me wanting to bolt from the room, but Ryza happens to be my favourite brand of rice milk. My mother introduced it to me years ago.
Why do I like it?
1. It's made with brown rice.
2. As my mother pointed out, it's the only rice milk on the market without oil as an ingredient.
The idea of sunflower/safflower oil as an additive to rice milk creeps me out.
Ryza comes in two flavours: Original and vanilla. The ingredients of the original: Water, whole grain brown rice, calcium phosphate tribasic, salt, carrageenan, amylase, vitamin A palmitate, zinc gluconate, riboflavin, vitamin D, vitamin B12.
I'm generally not a fan of ingredients that sound science-y, but these are a-ok to me. Calcium phosphate tribasic comes from nature – either bone/bone ash or rock. Carrageenan (a thickener) comes from seaweed.
In theory I prefer to make my own nondairy milks. In practice I buy my nondairy milk because of how quickly the home made stuff spoils. [2016 update: That's changed.]
Listen up, class
Greens+ & More: An Afternoon With Genuine Health
What's the first thing you put into your body each day?
Is it coffee? Tea? lemon water? regular water? juice? a smoothie? or maybe a different green drink? Do you like to drink your greens? What's your experience with greens drinks?
I'm genuinely interested (feel free to comment below). And I needed an opener so that what comes next doesn't appear out of context separate from the rest of this piece.
It's Not Easy Being Green
My mother brought home a new greens powder to try, a product called Greens+. Standing in the kitchen, she mixed it with water, tasted it, grimaced, handed it to me, I tasted it, I grimaced. We agreed that it tastes the way fish food smells. We refused to drink it again.
I don’t remember if she returned it, but it was more than 20 years ago.
Winter recipe: Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal was originally published to my other blog, Canadianfoodiegirl.com, on February 27, 2014. This is one of my favourite posts ever from that site.
An update: I've recently discovered Bob's Red Mill Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats. They are ready in under 10 minutes, stove top. I found them at Costco when they were being sampled. Online you can buy them at well.ca.
So, you can choose overnight (steel cut) oatmeal, which smells delicious in the morning but requires planning, or the quick cooking steel cut oats, which cook while you shower.
Several years ago I went through a phase during which I’d make steel cut oats in my slow cooker once a week using Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal recipe as a guideline (rather than a strict instruction) and portioning it out to make 4 servings last for 5 work days.
Recently I started making it again but with a half recipe each day for the two of us so that it’s fresh each day. Throwing the ingredients in the slow cooker before bed takes less time and motivation than whipping something up in the morning when I’m trying to get out the door. The smell of the cooked oats in the morning will get you out of bed.
I use a variety of add-ins. They include goji berries and other dried fruit, hemp seeds, flaked coconut, chia seeds, ground cinnamon (almost always those last two), sunflower lecithin granules and vanilla powder. I’ve added canned pumpkin. Sometimes I add yogurt when I portion it out.
New Book: Smart Fat
Disclaimer: Links in this post are affiliate links (as most on this website are). I was also sent a manuscript of Smart fat to peruse.
Fat's gotten a bad reputation in the past. In the early 90s, Susan Powter wrote the book Stop the Insanity and with her charisma, she got her own talk show. I remember her shouting, “Fat makes you fat!” It's now more than two decades later. People still believe that fat makes you fat. Low-fat dieting is still a thing. “Low fat!!” is still a marketing ploy and fat is often replaced with unhealthy ingredients. Meanwhile, many studies and experts have disputed that fat is “bad for you”, instead claiming that your body needs fat. Your body needs the right fat. Your body relies on fat. Your body needs smart fat.
The brain is made mostly of fat, so does it not make sense that you need fat to at least keep that functional? Studies and my own experiences show that fat can help prevent depression and relieve attention deficit disorder (ADD). The outside layer of your cells are made of fat. Fat balances hormones. Your body needs fat, but not every and any fat.
(I originally posted this on October 16 but then decided that I have enough material for “pumpkin week” and so pulled it back and rescheduled it.)
I made a fantastic pumpkin smoothie yesterday. I'd already intended to post about it and when I mentioned yesterday's pumpkin smoothie during a Twitter chat, I was asked about it.
The desire to make a pumpkin smoothie yesterday arose in the morning when I was scrolling Diane Sanfilippo Facebook page and came across her smoothie recipe. I pretty much used that one, but I did make some modifications, as I always do.
My Pumpkin Pie Spice Smoothie:
Last week I had 2 pumpkin-themed articles posted and a third in draft when I realized that 3 is enough for a themed week. And so, I pulled and rescheduled the two posted articles and scheduled the third. Welcome to Day 1, where I show you why you need more pumpkin in your life.