Something missing in whole grains?

When researching for a previous post about whole grains I came across some interesting information from the Mayo Clinic.  This is what they had to say:

A word of caution – If all of the grains you eat are whole grains, you may need to take extra care to get sufficient folic acid, a B vitamin. This is because whole grains are not a natural source of folate, and some may not be fortified with folate. Look for whole grains that have been fortified with folic acid, such as some ready-to-eat cereals. Folate is also found in other foods, including fruits, vegetables and legumes. Folic acid is especially important if you’re a woman who could become pregnant or is pregnant.

This got me hunting down information on folic acid.  It turns out the combination of ingredients in Dee’s Cereal helps alleviate some of these concerns about eating whole grains.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The form of folic acid naturally occurring in our bodies is called folate so you’ll see the terms used interchangeably.   It helps with body functions such as cell division and growth.  It also helps in making healthy red blood cells.

Folate is especially important for women who could become pregnant because many of the birth defects that a folate deficiency can cause happen before a woman even knows she is pregnant.  Some of the major birth defects that can occur due to a lack of folic acid are spina bifida (where the spinal cord is left unprotected and nerves in appendages don’t work properly) and anencephaly (where the brain doesn’t fully develop).  This is why doctors recommend that women who could become pregnant take a multi-vitamin, such as a prenatal vitamin, that contains 100% of the daily folate needs, even if they don’t plan on getting pregnant.

If we don’t have enough folate in our bodies, we can also have problems making healthy red blood cells.  Folate deficiency can lead to a type of anemia.  That means that the red blood cells can’t carry enough oxygen or that there is a lower number of red blood cells than are needed to get oxygen to the rest of the body.

Taking pills (including vitamins) should always be done with prudence and normally under medical supervision, but as far as we know, we can’t consume too much folate from food.  I have always preferred to find ways to consume the nutrients my body needs through food rather than having to take a pill.  Pregnant women aside (and those who could become pregnant), the rest of us don’t need quite as much folic acid.  Most of us can get a sufficient amount of folate through our diets, if we pay attention to what we are eating.

Leafy greens are a great source of folate.  Eating legumes, liver, kidney and sunflower seeds is also a good way to get folate in your diet.  We haven’t gone quite far enough as to add leafy greens, liver or kidney to Dee’s Cereal, but we do use garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds…alright, so maybe the sunflower seeds don’t sound so weird but I get plenty of funny looks when I tell people we’ve put garbanzo beans in our cereal.

If you missed the blog on the amazingness of garbanzo beans you can read it here, so I won’t bore you with more of that here.  What I will tell you is that a 3.5oz serving of garbanzo beans will get you 43% of your daily folate needs and the same serving of sunflower seeds will get you a whopping 57%.

I’ve always known that the combination of foods in Dee’s Cereal is what makes it such a great product.  Thanks to the Mayo Clinic inspiring some research, I now know a little more about why that combination is so good.  If we learn to watch what we eat and eat a large variety of foods, we can usually get the nutrients our body needs.

As you enjoy that next bowl of hot Dee’s Cereal or toss that next cup into your favorite recipe, remember that you’re getting an amazing combination of nutrients to fuel your body right.  Eat up and enjoy!

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live 

Follow your effort (by Mark Cuban)

I don’t have a set work schedule and a lot of what I do I have the great fortune of doing from home.  Any of you who are in the same boat know that those things can be a blessing and a curse.  Like right now, for example.  How fantastic is it that I have an adorable 2-year-old standing next to me asking, “Can I push that button?”.  Well, when you’re trying to be productive, its not so fantastic. Point made.  Thanks, Abram.

As I was sitting here thinking about some of the things I needed to get done today, I did the ultimate slacking-at-work thing and logged onto Facebook.  True, I’m supposed to keep up the Facebook account to stay in touch with customers but I didn’t really have a reason to go on there.  I just got tired of thinking about what I was supposed to do to actually be productive and logged on to see what everyone else was doing to be unproductive…just like me.

Ironically, I came across this blog post by Mark Cuban that one of my friends commented on: Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort.  Now, I’m not here to debate whether Mr Cuban is right about someone following their passion or not.  He’s the billionaire so I’ll let him have his say when it comes to business and work ethic even though, if you read the comments, not everyone agrees.

What struck me about the post was this:

“1. When you work hard at something you become good at it.

2. When you become good at doing something, you will enjoy it more.

3. When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become passionate or more passionate about it

4. When you are good at something, passionate and work even harder to excel and be the best at it, good things happen.

Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.”

Interesting how we seem to come across the things we need to hear even when we’re not being the most productive people we can be.  As Mr Cuban states elsewhere, our effort is really the only thing we can control.  Its so true in so many facets.  I have a lot of things I need to focus my efforts on more than I have been.

Where do you think you could improve your efforts?  How would that change impact your life?

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Dee’s Banana Nut Muffins ARE GREAT!

It turns out Gaylene doesn’t just do a great job answering phones and taking care of customers around here.  She also has the incredible talent of being able to whip up delicious Dee’s Cereal recipes.
A while back we were looking for something we could use during the in-store demos we do at many of the locations that carry Dee’s Cereal and Gaylene came up with a couple of delectable muffin recipes.  Below is the recipe for my favorite, the banana nut muffin.  You can find this and other recipes on our website under the recipes tab.
You’ll notice Gaylene even put in different sweetener options (honey, sugar, agave, juice concentrate).  You can use any of these depending on your sweetener of choice.  The juice concentrate combination is especially good if you’re watching your sugar intake (such as if you’re baking for someone with diabetes).
This recipe will make 12 regular-size muffins or 48 mini muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, whole wheat (White wheat works best for baking but may be harder to find.  Red wheat will make the muffins too dry.)
  • 3/4 cups Dee’s Cereal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey, OR 2/3 cup sugar, OR 1/2 cup agave, OR 1/4 cup frozen concentrate pineapple juice and 1/4 cup frozen concentrate apple juice
  • 1/2 cup applesauce unsweetened or, if unsweetened isn’t available, lightly sweetened is OK
  • 1/2 cup puréed white beans (purée the canned beans with their juice – consistency should be like thick paste)
  • 3/4 cup ripe bananas, mashed

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour, Dee’s Cereal, baking soda, baking powder, and if you are using sugar as the sweetener, add it to the flour mixture now.
  2. In a separate bowl combine egg whites, milk, olive oil, applesauce, puréed white beans, and, if you are using one of the other sweeteners add it to the wet mixture now.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once.
  4. Stir just until moist, batter will be lumpy.
  5. Fold in nuts.
  6. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups or spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Fill 2/3 full.
  8. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes for regular-size muffins or 350 for 10 minutes for mini muffins.

Makes 12 regular muffins or 48 mini muffins.  Serve warm from the oven or make a double batch and freeze some for future use.  Enjoy!

I told you she was good!  These are some of my very favorite muffins.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.  And hopefully they help lead to healthier snacking and baking options for you and yours.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Garbanzo beans?! In my cereal?! Oh yeah!

I talk to a lot of people about the awesomeness of Dee’s Cereal.  It’s what I do.  Over the years, I’ve heard all sorts of comments and fielded too many questions to number.  Invariably, though, the weirdest looks come when I tell people that Dee’s Cereal has garbanzo beans.  It may sound weird, but garbanzo beans are one of the reasons Dee’s Cereal has helped so many people.

Check out these nutrition facts found at nutritiondata.com to see for yourself.  (Chickpeas is just another name for garbanzo beans)

You can see there that garbanzo beans are well-balanced in macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein). Recommendations vary on what that balance should be but 68% carbohydrates, 14% fat and 18% protein is a great balance for a healthy diet.

Garbanzo beans are also one of the best protein sources found in the plant world.  Along with quinoa and amaranth, garbanzo beans are one of the reasons you are able to get such great protein from Dee’s Cereal.  The best part is that Dee’s Cereal provides the great protein you would normally have to find in meat without adding all the extra solid fats.

The “Amino Acid Score” tells how well-balanced the essential amino acids are in a food.  Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; they are what protein is made up of.  Essential amino acids are the amino acids our body needs but can’t produce on its own.  There are 9 of them and the only way we can get them is by eating foods that contain them.  The body can only use essential amino acids proportionately.  For example, if a food contains 100% of 8 of the amino acids but only has 50% of the 9th, then the body can only use 50% of the essential amino acids found in that food.

A score of 106 shows that the amino acids in the protein derived from chickpeas has a complete amount of each essential amino acid.  This is what is meant by a food being a “complete protein”.  This is one of the best reasons for including garbanzo beans in a food like Dee’s Cereal.  That protein balance helps the body get the nutrients it needs.  It also makes it so the feeling of being full lasts longer because there is a better balance between carbs, proteins and fats.  This is one reason why eating Dee’s Cereal keeps you full longer than eating oatmeal or boxed cereals.

Garbanzo beans also help in maintaining your energy when you eat Dee’s Cereal because they are high in dietary fiber.  Fiber is basically everything in plants that our body can’t absorb.   This means that when we eat fiber, we give the body something to clean its insides with as it works through the digestive system.  It also gives us the feeling of being full that lasts longer than when we eat refined grains or sugars.  It has also been shown to help balance blood sugar and reduce the chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

If you scroll to the bottom of the nutritiondata.com page I linked to above you can see more of the amazingness found in garbanzo beans.  They are a good source of folate and manganese, a decent source of copper, iron and phosphorous, as well as containing other minerals and vitamins in a low-fat food.

So, yeah, it may sound funny to have garbanzo beans in your cereal but thank goodness they’re in there.  They are one of the fantastic ingredients that make Dee’s Cereal such a unique, nutritious and delicious meal.

And, yes, awesomeness and amazingness are words…at least they are now.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live 

Discount for Facebook fans!

Dee’s Cereal Facebook fans get a 15% discount on all purchases from March 1 – 17.  Find us here or search for Dee’s Cereal on Facebook.  Like our page and then look for our status update dated Thursday, March 1 to find the promo code.

We also just finished up a drawing for free Dee’s Cereal that was only available to Facebook fans.  Just one more reason to like us on Facebook!

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live