soaked apple cider oats

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in healthy food, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, Recipes, wellness | 0 comments

photo-52Did you know that soaking grains/legumes/nuts/seeds can improve their digestibility, and reduce their anti-nutrients/enzyme inhibitors?

Simply soaking your morning oats can make a huge difference!

Soaked oats have a great texture, and flavor.

Knowing that your body is absorbing the nutrients better, and that you are even increasing the nutrient availability in these foods is simply priceless and worth the extra effort. 

Another recent revelation of mine is adding in some apple cider to your cooked oats. The cider imparts its sweetness and tartness, leaving you with no reason to add any extra sweeteners.

Here’s how:

Prep Time: 8 hours soaking + 5-8 minutes cooking Total Time: ~8 hours

Serves 2

Ingredients + Directions:

Soaking Oats:

  • 1/2 C oats
  • 1 C warm water
  • splash of apple cider vinegar

Directions: In a bowl add oats, water and apple cider. Mix well and let sit for at least 8 hours.

Cooking Oats:

  • 1/2 C oats
  • 1 C water or less, depending on your taste
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions: Bring water to a boil, then down to a simmer. Add water, salt, and let simmer for ~5-8 minutes.

Assembling: 

  • cooked oats
  • splash of apple cider (not vinegar)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • nuts/dried fruit/fresh fruit, optional

Directions: Take out two bowls, split your oats in two. Add apple cider, cinnamon and any additional toppings that you like, and savor your well earned soaked apple cider oats!

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settling potato leek soup

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in fast food, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, lunch time, Recipes, seasonal, wellness | 0 comments

37548606_e4462264d1Winter is the time for soup to shine!

There is nothing simpler and more satisfying than a creamy (dairy and gluten free) potato leek soup. The combination simply soothes the soul.

Here’s how to make this rich soup in just 20 minutes:

Inspired by epicurious 

Prep Time: 3 minutes Total Time: ~20 minutes

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • Handful of red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • 1 leek, cut in half moons
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C water (or stock)
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Prep: Rinse potatoes and leek. Cut potatoes, remove the top (where it starts to diverge), and the bottom root of the leek, cut down the middle, then into half moons. Take out your pan, wooden spoon, food processor, or immersion blender.

2. Cook: Add olive oil to a deep pan, over medium-low heat cook the leeks with a dash of salt, and cover for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Add in water, cover and bring to a simmer. Add in potatoes, cover and simmer for ~10-20 minutes, or until soft.

3. Blend: In your food processor, puree 1/2 of the soup mixture. Place soup mixture in a big bowl, then mix in the other 1/2 of the soup from your pan. Mix well, then serve. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Photo courtesy of sethoscope

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the smile behind our lunch line

Posted by on Jan 3, 2014 in healthy food, holiday, lunch time, nutrition, raising children, school food | 0 comments

2013-11-29_19-35-03 Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a wonderful break, are feeling recharged, and are staying safe in the snow. We love featuring our Food Service Staff on our blog. They are so vital to the success of our programs. They are the face, the smile, the nurturing voice behind our lunch lines, helping our students make decisions, encouraging them to try new foods, and making lunch fun for our communities. Which is why we are featuring Vernan Douglas who is our Food Service Utility Attendant at one of our schools where we serve lunch. His enthusiasm for his role within Butter Beans, and love for supporting our students at lunch time inspired us to interview him.

What brought you to Butter Beans? A very good friend of mine was working for the company for over a year at the time. She kept speaking about how exciting and different it was, so I insisted on giving it a shot.

What are some of your highlights from your time working with the students? 

There is a student that always asks me if certain foods are Kosher. I always understood the basics about Kosher foods, but not all of the intricacies. He came up to me recently and asked me to sit down with him at lunch, and he explained to me all about what Kosher means. Our conversation inspired me to read more about it, and now I am much more knowledgeable. I was impressed with his awareness of his dietary restrictions.

Have you noticed a change in the food habits of the students?  Many of our students did not eat vegetables at the start of the school year. Though many of them are vegetarians, they would sometimes prefer to eat nothing over eating vegetables. When some students started choosing vegetables, we would congratulate them on how awesome their plates looked, and slowly their peers wanted some recognition too! Not only are they now consuming more vegetables, but they get so excited when they see the daily veggies that we offer. It feels good to see them walk off with their colorful plates!

What motivates you to do your best each day?

I enjoy feeding people good food, I enjoy smiles, and I am big on great health. The children that I serve on a daily basis are our future; if I can serve them a great meal and they come back and thank me, or tell me how great the food was, that’s enough motivation for me to do what I do everyday without a doubt. What do you like the most about your job? No matter what may be going on in my life, the students are always there for me, genuinely happy, and giving me hugs and high fives…that feeling there is priceless.

What is your favorite Butter Beans lunch to eat? The shepherd’s pie is AMAZING. That is by far my favorite lunch yet. I also enjoy our cheesy broccoli soup, I’ve never had anything like it!

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