Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Springing Into A Health Kick

You know when the weather is turning warmer because our budding artist begin covering our sidewalk and driveway with their masterpieces. And unlike some, we leave the drawings for all to see until rain or snow washes them away giving the kids a clean canvas to start on once more. I can't help but smile at the pictures.Wow, look at those eye lids. This self-portrait of our oldest grand daughter has a bit too much makeup for my taste. The rainbow effect has arrived.
Our youngest is just making lines -- but cute ones.

And to bring that sparkle to her eye that we loves so much, I had to take a photo of our youngest's Scooby Doo toy, her favorite. He was sitting on the counter and it was a perfect photo opportunity. I told her he was trying to sneak some cookies. Kirk use to take pictures of the kid's snowmen with all kinds of objects and tell the kids about all the fun the snowman had while they were in the house taking a nap. We have to follow the tradition. I just added a slant. She loved it.

What's unique about these cookies is that they have a cup of golden flax flour in them, along with boiled raisins, coconut, and oatmeal. It's my attempt at healthy while satisfying my sweet tooth. Don't be shocked but I actually followed the recipe on these. They were on the back of the container of golden flax flour. The cookies are major yummy but they break apart a bit too easily. I'll have to fiddle with the recipe now in order to change that a bit. The positive thing about these is that I don't eat as many. They are more satisfying and how can you beat the healthy aspect. Okay, kind of healthy since they still have a lot of sugar in them. Too much I thought so that's one area I'll cut just a touch. But I'd suggest you pull out your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and add raisin, coconut, and substitute a little of the flour for flax flour. You'll feel better about eating sweets.

Next, I'll experiment with putting the flour in yeast bread and quick bread. Yup, we are taking our flax seed oil and adding flax flour to things for my hubbies cholesterol, It's up. Before the kids came it was excellent but our diet has gone south with all the stress and the kid's, "I don't like that's." Since they are now going home with mom at night, most nights, we are working our way back on course. I've been sick more this year than I've been in fifteen years. In fact, I've been running a fever for the last few days. This is going to stop because I was the one who only caught a cold every four years and the one who had a houseful of sick people but never caught it herself. That shows you what high stress, little sleep, and a poor diet will do. Mind you, things are going to change. One area is the use of flax in our diet. Have any of you experimented with this flour? I'd love some advice on how to best use it.

Since I'm on a flour kick, I also ground some 10 bean - a mixture of beans and a few lentils. We had these chips by High Mountain, out of Boulder, Colorado. They had rice flour and bean flour in them. They were so yummy that we had our daughter pick up some on sale in her town just minutes away from Boulder. Oh how my brain has been a whirling. Wouldn't bean flour be good in tortilla, crackers, and maybe even bread. It could up the nutrition level and it might just be the motivation to learn to make decent tortillas. I like those really thin ones.

But back to the chips, we liked them so much we looked up the factory hoping they had tours and a store where you can buy things at a discount. You know how I love to buy in bulk. On one of our trips to see our daughter each year we swing by Celestial Seasons in Boulder and pick up our herbal teas for the year. We could easily swing by their factory also. No such luck, the factory doesn't allow visitors, and so when our daughter went home from a visit to see the yaks in Buffalo, we sent her on a chip hunt. She found some on sale in a store near her, we had her buy several packages. There is a store 40 miles away that carries them also and the next time we are there I'll check them out.

That leads me to my next question, have any of you experimented with bean flour? Last, I wanted for you to meet the local Horned Owl. He is a permanent resident in our little town. I delight each time I see him, which is only a few times a year. We've quite a few in our area. There was one who lived high up in a cottonwood tree where we use to keep our beehives.

There is a Prairie Falcon that comes in late spring. Just the one. I wonder how long they live for there's been one for years. Even when our kids all lived at home. Did you know they stalk their prey like a cat? They don't swoop down and grab them. I know this because we had baby chicks in a big cage in the backyard just below the kitchen window. We were doing homeschooling at the kitchen table and saw him cirling above, then he landed and began to stalk, slowly working his way toward the cage like a cat after a bird. Then he lunged grabbing the wire of the cage with its talons. The chicks ran for the shed part of the enclosure and the falcon stalked around the outside. Not worried for the chicks safety, it was fascinating to watch. Otherwise, I'd been out there screaming like a banshee to leave them alone.

Before the owl we had a three legged antelope someone named Tripod that resided behind our house for five or six years, then he disappeared. Wildlife is a part of the joy of living in this area. We are blessed to have such a abundance of it. We've always had lots of antelope in town during the winter, deer too. This year the deer were here but not the antelope. I'm not sorry as they distroy a great many bushes. Just in the past couple weeks, the antelope have returned in numbers but they stay on the prairie until late fall and then they come in. Why, I wonder were they gone this winter? It was an extra cold one and you'd have thought they would have been in town where the wind is distrupted by the houses and there is more to eat with the increase in snow. And why are the deer not here in summer but return when it is time to harvest the garden? I know, I know, it is to torment me.

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