Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Berry Good

Back to my "care package" again, I pulled out another of Lydia's Organics cereals. These are great for travel, raw newbies, who haven't yet tried sprouting and dehydrating (or haven't had much luck finding raw buckwheat groats to sprout and dehydrate), any raw foodie, who has missed the convenience of grabbing a box of Cheerios or granola off the shelf and just adding milk (in this case, raw nut, seed or fruit "milk"), or perhaps someone who is not raw, but trying to avoid wheat/gluten in his or her diet.

That's right; Lydia's products (as well as a great deal of the raw diet in general) are grainless, gluten, sugar and oil free. They appeal to both the raw community and those following other special diets.

For instance, those with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, but you don't have to have this diagnosis to feel some ill affects after consuming it. I once heard someone say that eating gluten-containing foods can turn your stomach into a pinata (okay, maybe it won't turn your insides into a papermache donkey, but it can sometimes cause a problems for some).

Anyway, I've known people who have either suffered with this condition, had intolerances/sensitivities to wheat, diagnosed with IBS, etc. Some of them sought out these specialty products, due to their dietary restrictions, while others actually ventured further into raw.

Now, if you don't have any of these health problems, you can still enjoy these products and other raw foods just for the taste, how they make you feel and the environment (Lydia's products are certified organic). Experienced raw foodies can make them in their own kitchen, but it's always nice to have some on hand for convenience sake.

It was so simple to prepare a bowl of fresh strawberries, blueberries and sliced bananas to go with the new and improved version of Berry Good Cereal (it contains buckwheat groats, bananas, coconut, agave nectar, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries). I decided to top it with a basic banana "milk" (blended banana, water, vanilla and sea salt), since I like to stick with the flavors already in the cereal. Oh yeah, and now that the cereal has raspberries, I added them to the banana "milk," yielding a berry bright color (much more vibrant than the strawberry Nestle Quik I drank as a child).

As usual, before adding the "milk," I sampled the dry cereal, which is good enough to eat alone. The dried raspberry pieces were a sweet surprise, and their essence was somehow present throughout the rest of the cereal, as well. In the future, I could see myself grinding this up into a flour for making my friend Rawleen's Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes; you should try them sometime.

Anyway, this cereal makes for a nutritious and delicious breakfast, or anytime of the day (that sounds like a cheesy commercial, doesn't it?).

By the way, I just switched my commenting system to Disqus. Dhru had suggested it, so I decided to give it a try. Let me know what you think.