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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No-Bake Energy Bites and Apple Pie Breakfast Recipes!

NO-BAKE ENERGY BITES RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls.

Tip:

Substitution ideas can abound for just about any of these ingredients! Feel free to substitute in your favorite nut butter (almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.) for the peanut butter. And you could also add in some wheat germ in place of some or all of the flaxseed. I would caution, though, against substituting agave nectar for the honey, as the honey’s thickness helps hold things together.

Some other fun substitutions for the chocolate chips (or an addition to them) could include:

chopped dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins, etc.)
dried berries (cranberries, cherries, etc.)
chopped almonds, pecans, or sunflower seeds
other chips (butterscotch, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, etc.)

The joy of these bites being “no bakes” is that this recipe is super flexible. If you end up needing to omit one of the dry ingredients (such as coconut or flax), just add in some extra of whatever other dry ingredient is remaining (for example, the oats). If you feel like your energy bites are too dry, just add in extra honey or peanut butter.


APPLE PIE BREAKFAST RECIPE:

Ingredients
- 1 cup of steel cut oats*
- 3 diced apples
- 1 cup apple juice
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions - Slow Cooker

For Best Results: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook for 2-4 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low until it reaches the consistency that you like. Be sure to stir every hour or so.

You can also cook longer without stirring, but you have to add more liquid and it does come out a bit mushier. Add an extra cup of liquid for 7-8 hours in the slow cooker.

* It must be steel cut oats when cooked in the slow cooker, as regular oats get very soggy when cooked this way. You can find steel cut oats in your local grocery store (sometimes they are called "irish oats" or "pinhead oats"). If you would really rather use rolled oats, be sure to use the stovetop method below and adjust your liquid/cooking time accordingly.


Directions - Stovetop Method

A few people have asked me about a stovetop method since not everybody has a slow cooker, and let's face it, sometimes we don't know what we want for breakfast until the morning of. Below is a stove top method and it tastes similar, but I still prefer the slow cooker version better (the oats become softer the longer they cook).

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it reaches the consistency that you like.

Hope you enjoy these recipes!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Message from Marge- March 2012

March 2nd and 3rd will be this months Customer Appreciation Days. I am always excited to know that the month of March is arriving as I consider it the transitional month of the first quarter of the year. It is the month that changes from winter to spring and the earth comes back to life as it basks in the sun’s rays. We, too benefit from the newness and freshness of the new season in that we transition our diets from winter dense foods to lighter, more cleansing foods of spring. Just as we “spring clean” our homes we can benefit from cleansing our bodies of toxins. We carry two products in our store that assist in gently cleansing the body. Our Whole Body Cleanse is a 10-day cleanse that restores balance to regularity and digestive health. We also have a whole food Probiotic Cleanse that combines superfoods, herbs, and live probiotics, promoting optimal digestive health. In our society we are all exposed to an array of toxic chemicals whether it is work related, cleaning products, foods, or lifestyle. There are numerous ways to enhance our body’s elimination of toxins that will improve our overall health, energy level, and vitality.
You will continue to see a greater selection of gluten-free products as we increase our selection as the need arises. One out of every 133 people in the U.S. has to make the fundamental lifestyle change to be gluten-free due to the painful side effects associated with eating gluten. Our shelves are stocked with gluten-free breads, crackers, cereals, pasta, granola bars, cookies, chocolate chips, soups and additional selections. Some gluten-free products are not located in the gluten-free section such as rice, taro chips and protein shakes. We also carry a gluten-free all purpose flour as well as quinoa, amaranth, rice, millet, coconut and almond flours. Gluten Defense capsules are also available to help the body digest wheat and dairy. There are also many products in the freezer section such as muffins, breads, pizza and pizza crusts, hamburger and hot dog buns, bagels and cinnamon rolls. We also have buffalo, beef, chicken and turkey hot dogs as well as fish sticks and chicken nuggets. Some of our older companies have always offered gluten-free products but never marketed them as such. As knowledge of gluten-free lifestyles surface, there will continue to be more of a selection of great tasting choices. The reason I mention great tasting is that in the past gluten-free has not always been pleasing to the palate, that is not the case today. The products are great in taste and are equal or superior to foods containing gluten.
We are also offering grass feed beef in the freezer. The product is locally grown by my son Todd. Todd takes great pride in growing and managing vegetable produce, livestock, and crops that are compatible to the philosophy of Schlarman’s Health Center. I am always looking and researching to find the best quality products to offer you. I am grateful to Todd and Kari for undertaking this endeavor in order to increase our selection of high quality products we offer. There is something here for everybody to improve and enhance your health. Whatever your need is we are here to assist you in acquiring the knowledge concerning the discomfort, finding solutions, and enabling the body to heal. If we can be proactive with our health instead of reactive our bodies will often correct the situation before it becomes a crisis situation.
Just as the earth is continually changing we too change to adjust according to our needs. It is easier if we are able to make changes in small, consistent increments. Our bodies are grateful if we are able to make choices that have far-reaching health benefits. We are here to help you with those choices and enjoy the opportunity to do so! Blessings,
Marge

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grass Fed Beef

Starting Monday, February 20th, Todd will have grass fed beef available for sale! Many customers ask how grass fed beef is different and we hope that this article will answer some of those questions.

Grass fed beef is a healthy alternative to conventional, grain fed beef. No pesticides, antibiotics or hormones are used. The steers are fed a diet of grass, hay and are supplemented only with minerals for their overall health. Grass fed beef is lower in fat while still having the appropriate marbling for great flavor.
A major benefit of raising animals on pasture is that their products are healthier for you. Grass fed beef has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. It also has more beta carotene, vitamins E, C and D and a number of health promoting fats, including Omega 3’s. Research shows that grass fed beef has many positive effects in the areas of heart disease, cancer and the immune system.

Todd and Kari have been using grass fed beef at home for about two years now. The meat is very tender and flavorful and is prepared exactly the same as any other beef product. Steaks, roasts, hamburger patties and bulk hamburger will be available in addition to all of the whole hog pork products that are already in the freezer section! If you have any questions regarding any of the meat products that are available, please contact Todd at 419-852-8346!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sweet on Xylitol

Americans have a mighty hankering for sugar. It seems that we just can’t get enough of the stuff. It is estimated that the average American eats, drinks, stirs and sprinkles about half a cup of sugar per day, and 150 pounds of it annually. Sugar deserves some of its bad reputation. From its well-known role in the process of tooth decay, to its implication in cases of pre-diabetes, excessive sugar intake has become a cause of concern for all people. Luckily, there is a go-to alternative.
A Sweet Alternative
Xylitol is not only a safe, natural sweetener without the side effects of sugar and some artificial substitutes; it’s also good for your teeth, can support normal insulin and hormone levels and promotes overall health. Although xylitol has a similar sweetness profile, and looks a lot like sugar, that is where the likenesses end. Xylitol is in many ways sugar’s opposite. While too much sugar can cause harm, xylitol offers benefits. Because of xylitol’s five-carbon chemical structure, it has antimicrobial properties, preventing the growth of bacteria. Other forms of sugar, such as the popular alternative sweetener sorbitol, have six-carbons and therefore serve as food for dangerous bacteria and fungi. While table sugar (sucrose) is acid forming, xylitol swings things in the alkaline direction. This alkaline environment is inhospitable to all the destructive bacteria in the mouth, including the worst culprit: Streptococcus mutans.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate, more specifically a sugar alcohol, found in fibrous vegetables and fruit and commonly extracted from birch bark. It also occurs naturally in our bodies. As a bulk sweetener with similar sweetness and functional properties to ordinary table sugar, it helps prevent tooth decay and upper respiratory infections.
Xylitol is slowly absorbed and only partially utilized. It also carries a reduced calorie profile: 2.4 calories per gram or 40% less than other carbohydrates. In the United States, xylitol is approved as a food additive in unlimited quantity for foods with special dietary purposes. Importantly, because xylitol is slowly absorbed and metabolized, it creates very negligible changes in insulin levels. Therefore, xylitol won’t raise your blood sugar like table sugar.
Keep the Dentist at Bay
According to the American Dental Association, 75% of American adults over the age of 35 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. Much of this is simply tooth decay that results from bacteria in the oral cavity consuming sugars. When food containing ordinary sugar (sucrose) is ingested, it gives these bacteria energy, allowing them to multiply and to form acids that can eat away the enamel on the teeth. This “acid attack” causes cavities to form. Xylitol is not fermentable and does not break down like sugar, thus helping to keep a neutral pH level in the mouth.
Acidity is a problem because it strips the tooth enamel of minerals, causing it to weaken and making it more vulnerable to attack by bacteria, leading to demineralization. Ordinarily, saliva bathes the mouth with an alkaline solution that neutralizes acidity and actually remineralizes the teeth. However, when saliva turns acidic because of too many sweets, bacteria in the mouth have a feeding frenzy. By helping to raise oral cavity pH, xylitol reduces the time that teeth are exposed to damaging acids as well as starving harmful bacteria of their food source.
With xylitol, the acid activity that would otherwise last for over half an hour is cut short. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth. The use of xylitol for oral health reasons is supported by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
The published research into xylitol’s oral health benefits is extensive. This is not to mention its other potential benefits, such as inhibiting visceral fat accumulation. A recent review of the oral health research literature supports the notion that xylitol not only prevents and removes plaque, but also can aid in the rebuilding of cavity-riddled teeth.
Needless to say, diet plays a major role in dental health. When there is an excess of sugar in the diet, this weakens the immune system and allows for an acidic environment, causing oral health to suffer. Xylitol, for its part, can help aid the immune system in its fight against illness, as evidenced by its use as an ingredient in nasal sprays such as Xlear.
With proper use, xylitol actually stops the fermentation process leading to tooth decay. Long-term use suppresses the most harmful strains of oral bacteria, making a long-lasting change in the bacterial environment. Although larger cavities won’t go away, it can in fact help small decay spots harden and become less sensitive.
After taking all of this into consideration, it’s clear that xylitol is a dentist’s dream. Using xylitol toothpaste and mouthwash right before bedtime, protects and heals the teeth and gums overnight. Only small amounts are needed for dental benefits (in the daily range of four to 12 grams, one teaspoon to one tablespoon). Since the oral environment becomes less acidic with continued xylitol use, it is advisable to chew xylitol gum or use a xylitol mint after every meal or after eating sweet snacks, preferably for a total of five times each day. The best news is that studies have shown xylitol’s effects to be long lasting, and possibly even permanent.