Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Quinoa Hash Browns, and be kind to each other!

As a mother, I try to keep abreast of healthy eating options.  We all do.  We join parenting websites, healthy eating blogs, and Pinterest so we know how to make our Acai berry, quinoa chia puds look like rainbows. We constantly assess our parenting based on what we find on the web, and usually find ourselves wanting.  So we try harder and seek answers from our peers via chatrooms, forums and Facebook pages.

The problem with this is that many of us are very judgemental of each others journeys.  We believe that the information we have gotten from our painstaking research is better or more complete than the information our peers have gotten from their painstaking research.  Unfortunately, for every eating plan, way of life or super ingredient out there, there is as much research to say that it is rubbish as there is to say it is the answer for perfect health.  We also need to consider that we all have different goals and ideas of what is healthy.

I remember a conversation with a close friend, that we had when our children were very little.  We met for a picnic, and both brought food to share.  We brought Christmas pretzels and chips, they brought cake and chocolate (this was prior to our knowing about Miss A's allergies!).  I was worried about my children eating cake and chocolate due to the high sugar and fat content.  I allowed them a small amount.  My friend was concerned about his children eating pretzels and chips due to the high salt and carbohydrate content.  This struck a chord with me in that we were both trying to be the best parents we could be, but we were coming at the problem from opposite angles.

One of the chat pages I belong to had a similar discussion yesterday regarding soy.  Several mums were asking about soy as a substitute for dairy in the case of lactose intolerance.  What they received as advice was a minefield of polar opposites.  From people telling them that soy is a great milk substitute, people saying that only Japanese soy is ok as fermented, people saying only unfermented Australian soy is ok, and people saying all soy is bad and every male child that drinks soy will grow man boobs.  I am not even exaggerating!  This very quickly dissolved into personal attacks, but the most confronting problem was that all sides of the argument had scientific evidence to support it.  How can this be?  I don't know, but it is very frustrating.  How can we as consumers have any idea of what to feed our families, when even the experts can't agree?

All I can say is that we need to be respectful of each other's points of view.  All of us who are dealing with healthy eating issues and allergies and intolerances are doing our best.  We are researching as much as we can and picking out what we can handle and making do with what we cannot.  Because of this, we all need to be supportive of each other and not attack other parents for doing their best.  Just because a child has packets and additives in their lunch box does not mean they are less loved or cared for.  It means that today his Mum gave him biscuits and muesli bars for lunch.  Just because a lunch box is all healthy, hand made food does not mean that child is brainwashed and missing out on treats.  It means that her Mum is trying to feed her healthy alternatives to hopefully make her healthier and happier.  Or that the child is allergic to everything and her mother has no choice.....

Rant over!  Now here is a really yummy breakfast idea that has quinoa in it.  I don't know if this means it is healthy, or that we will now live forever for eating this Superfood, but it tastes good and provides a different grain for those who are gluten free.

I got this recipe from a blog called A Beautiful Mess, made a few obligitary changes and now it is a regular in our house.  I use a pancake maker, a cheap electric appliance that I got from a cheap shop, to make my hashbrowns.  This means that apart from a small amount of spray oil on the hotplates, there is no added fat.  They are lovely fried in butter, not so lovely fried in Nuttelex.


1/3 cup tricoloured quinoa (any quinoa will do, but this one looks prettier)
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups grated raw potato
1 egg
Season All to taste
Chives to taste
Optional - 1/2 cup grated lactose free cheese

Place quinoa and water in a saucepan.  Bring to the boil.  As bubbles start to appear, cover and turn down the heat to low.  Leave simmer to 10 mins.  Turn off the heat, and leave covered for 10 mins so that the quinoa can absorb the water.

In a bowl, mix the potato, egg, SeasonAll, chives, cheese (if using) and quinoa.  When combined, place spoonfuls either into Pancake Maker and cook until golden.  Can also be fried in butter, nuttelex or presumable coconut oil.  Flip when a golden crust forms on the bottom.

Great served with eggs and bacon.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you vented those opinions about everybody doing their very best to do the best for their families. What that 'best' for the family will be is as individual as each family and its needs. What is 'junk' to some (e.g., muesli bars (high in sugar) or potato crisps (many are high in fat and salt), may be one of the few forms of protein or starch etc, that the child can tolerate and when it comes to packing lunchboxes in a country where in many schools the lunches are stored in schoolbags, with no access for the chidlren to store their lunches in a refrigerator or to heat up a meal from home, these so-called 'convenience' or 'snack' or 'junk' foods may be the only practical snacks that these children can easily manage at school without suffering adverse effects. I am sure that the parents are able to better supplement their children's special needs diets when they are at home with more options.
    Judging others is cruel and counterproductive. I agree with you Cheryl that the plethora of 'scientific' evidence is confusing. My advice would be that if you found a study that might be relevant to your situation, take it to your treating doctors etc. and discuss it. Our doctors have a scientific background and can assess the validity of the study and whether it is of value to your particular situation.
    Perhaps the problem is "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing"!
    Let's just support one another and learn from each other, respecting people's efforts and remembering that what works for one may or may not work for another but it does not necessarily mean it is wrong to try.
    Am I making sense? Methinks I am rambling now! You are very brave to have spoken up about your findings and experiences. It needed to be said.
    Good for you and keep the food ideas coming!