Porridge is Key to a Long and Healthy Life!

Eating porridge can help you live a longer, healthier life. Check out this article on recent studies done at Harvard.

Porridge could be key to a long and healthy life, says Harvard University
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11325968/Porridge-could-be-key-to-a-long-and-healthy-life-says-Harvard-University.html

This article reports that the Harvard study of 100,000 people showed some great benefits to eating whole grain cereals.  Among other things, “… scientists found that for each ounce (28g) of whole grains eaten a day – the equivalent of a small bowl of porridge – the risk of all death was reduced by five per cent and heart deaths by 9 per cent”.  Also “… those who ate the most whole grains, such as porridge, brown rice, corn and quinoa seemed protected from many illnesses and particularly heart disease. “

Porridge made from whole grains are high in fiber, valuable nutrients such as manganese, iron, zinc, copper, thiamine and contain 25% more protein than refined grains, and are believed to boost anti-oxidants. Eating a bowl of porridge a day reduces risk of death. Earth’s Harvest Farm porridge blends are made with organic whole grains, are great tasting hot cereals, and are quick and easy to prepare. Because the grains are coarsely ground the cooking time is greatly reduced from whole grain cooking time, a difference of 12 minutes compared to 45 minutes to an hour.

Not a bad thing for a cold winter morning!bowl of porridge on table

Our New Flour & Grain Shop

organic stone ground flour and grain
We are excited to introduce a new line of products to our website. Starting this month, we are offering stone ground flours and whole grains in addition to our selection of porridge blends. We have had many requests for stone ground flours and so over the past few months we have been making preparations for producing and selling our flours and whole grains. We now have our selection of flours and grains added to our website and are all set to go! You can have a look here.

Fresh stone ground flours can be hard to find. Whole wheat flour is certainly the most common but many other grains can also be ground into flour. We are currently producing flours from brown rice, barley and millet in addition to whole wheat. Each of these flours has unique nutritional properties and baking characteristics. Read more about them on our ingredients and grain shop pages.

We also have unground grain for sale.  You can find brown rice, barley, millet, wheat berries and oat groats (whole oat kernels).  There also are some real nice thick rolled oats for your oatmeal!

PORRIDGE SMOOTHIE

Recently a friend told me about a smoothie recipe she came across that uses leftover cooked oatmeal as an ingredient. The oatmeal adds nutritional value to the smoothie as well as filling you up and keeping the hunger pangs away until lunchtime. An additional benefit is its a tasty way to eat cold porridge. With the summer months upon us I haven’t been keen on being in a hot kitchen. I’ve been cooking dinners on the grill and making salads for lunches, but I miss my porridge for breakfast. So I got out my blender and made a wonderful smoothie using leftover cold cooked porridge. Its a great way to have porridge in the summertime without having to cook in the morning! Now when I make porridge I cook up a large batch and keep the unused portion in the refrigerator, then I can measure out what I need for smoothies during the week. You can even cook the porridge in the crockpot overnight. For the smoothie I used 1/3 part cooked porridge, 1/3 part yogurt, 1/3 part juice (I used orange juice), and then I added the fruits I had handy…frozen melon, blueberries, and banana.

porridge smoothie with bag of Plain & Simple Porridge

A delicious and refreshing smoothie idea for the summer.

NO-COOK PORRIDGE!

QUICK, EASY, AND COOL….

porridge, cider, yogurt and fruit for no-cook recipe

Ingredients for our no-cook porridge

Measure out some Plain and Simple or Just Right Porridge into a medium bowl or pot. One cup of dry porridge blend makes 4 servings. Cover with apple cider or other fruit juice; I used 1 cup of apple cider for 1 cup of porridge blend. Stir. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.

bowl with porridge and cider

Porridge soaking in cider

Let sit on the counter top for at least an hour, or you can prep it the night before and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the porridge into serving dishes. Sprinkle with brown sugar, and a little lemon juice. Serve with fresh fruit and a dollop of vanilla or maple yogurt. This makes a delicious summer morning breakfast which is very easy to make…and thank goodness there is no need to turn on the stove top!!

bowl of no-cook porridge with yogurt and fruit

What’s in white flour?

When you buy a bag of white flour at the supermarket, you are buying wheat flour that has been refined to remove the most nutritious part of the grain. Enriched white flours are fortified with 5 vitamins (iron, folate and 3 B vitamins). All those vitamins that aren’t fortified (and there are lots of them) are mostly missing in white flour.  The following chart shows just how much of the original nutrients in whole wheat are removed when its turned into the all purpose white, enriched, bleached flour we buy in the supermarket.

Chart of Nutrition Losses Incurred When Whole Wheat is Refined into White Flour

Nutrient% change
Fiber-75%
Calcium-56%
Magnesium-84%
Phosphorus-70%
Potasium-71%
Zinc-73%
Vitamin K-84%
Vitamin E-92%
Protein-22%
Copper-65%
Manganese-83%
Pantothenic Acid-27%
Selenium-45%

Data derived from USDA National Nutrient Database Release 26

As you can see, lots of vitamins and nutrients are lost when whole wheat is turned into the white flour we find everywhere.  March is National Nutrition Month.  This might be a good time to think about how much nutrition there is in that white flour we are eating.  Maybe even ponder it while eating a bowl of whole grain porridge!

Sampling Porridge at Morris Farmers’ Market

The cooler weather in October was perfect porridge weather!!  We brought a crock pot full of Peaceful Morning Porridge for samples at the Farmers’ Market.  I discovered that using the crock pot is a great way to cook porridge. Just mix the porridge with the water (or milk if you prefer) in the crock pot, plug it in and about an hour later it is perfectly cooked and ready to eat.  My crock pot is kind of a cheap one and only has an on/off switch so I can’t recommend which setting for a crock pot that has low and high settings.  I’m sure it would work on either, but the time may differ.

Pressing cider at Earth’s Harvest Farm

 

We had so many apples this year!  Some went into pies, and of course applesauce, but most of them went into cider.  We spent an entire day pressing apples!  Everyone had a job to do….I washed the apples, our two sons took turns working the apple chopper with Paul, and everyone took turns at the press.  Of course we all had our cups ready to sample the cider!  By the end of the day we had 23 gallons, most of which went into the freezer.  Some of the cider was saved out for making apple wine which will be turned into apple cider vinegar…a real treat to have ready in the pantry!

Apple Picking

Yesterday was apple picking day.  Everywhere you look the apple trees are full to the brim and dripping with apples.  We’ll have apple cider and applesauce all winter long!!

It was a warm, sunny afternoon.  A few of the apple trees are close to the bee hives, so I went over to check on the hives.  There were a few bees lazily flying about.  The sun was streaming through the leaves of the trees overhead making the scene look even more peaceful.

Porridge Pumpkin Bread

We harvested our winter squash crop last week.  Paul and Alden brought bushel baskets up to the barn, and its just so awesome to see the bounty all together.  It just made me want to cook squash.  So I put some pie pumpkin into the oven and after it was cooked and cooled I turned it into pumpkin puree and made some pumpkin bread using Peaceful Morning Porridge blend in place of some of the flour.  I took samples to the Farmers’ Market and everyone loved it.  Its hard to resist warm pumpkin bread on a beautiful Fall day!!
PORRIDGE PUMPKIN BREAD
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup uncooked porridge blend (I used Peaceful Morning)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup water, and spices together.  Mix together the flour, porridge blend, sugar and baking soda, then combine with the pumpkin mixture.  Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Turn out of the pan and cool on a rack.