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Grains, Beans, and Chocolate Things

July 23, 2012

Just a few odds and ends for you today. When you read this, I’ll have just landed in California to visit my family for a week, taking advantage of the summer break from work to sit on the patio with my mom, sister, and a bottle of wine. My sister has emailed me links to restaurants with millet and kale on their menus, and my mom says that she and my brother found some amazing new chocolates. I’m sure I’ll return with interesting tidbits to share with you!

First, my sister-in-law sent me a link to this really interesting, informative article about refined grains from It explains how flour and other processed grain products affect our bodies in terms of cravings, metabolism, blood sugar levels, inflammation, etc. Of particular shock to me was that “the glycemic index of whole-grain flour is roughly the same as white flour.” The whole grain flour does retain more nutrients and antioxidants, but still, that doesn’t seem like much of a consolation prize to me. Yikes!

I have been moving away from flour for a while, trying to focus on less-processed, more “whole” foods, but these new pieces of information really opened my eyes (again) as to how some “health foods” may truly be lurking more in the “unhealthy” category. I hope you’ll enjoy the article as much as I did.

Second, to lighten things up after that doom and gloom article, I don’t think I’ve mentioned these raw chocolate coconut cupcakes from For the Love of Food yet, have I?

I love Sonnet’s blog. It is vegan, health-focused, and written in a reflective, genuine, conversational way that usually feels a little like drinking a calming cup of tea or chatting with a friend. When I get all worked up in my head about processed foods, it is nice to know that if you really want a “treat,” you can throw a few whole foods in your food processor and have a little something special ready in a few minutes. I personally usually leave off the frosting, and make just a half-batch (which joyfully is still enough to run the food processor smoothly) for David and me. Those and my old stand-by chocolate peanut butter banana “ice cream” have been my two favorite sweets lately.

And finally, at the same time I bought the red calypso beans I told you about a few posts ago, I also picked up a bag of scarlet runners. Strangely these huge, dark beans come from a bright, beautiful plant.

Photo from

The beans are delicious and we’re enjoying them, but David and I agree that they don’t have a unique flavor all their own. They do have a satisfying bite, substantial texture, and unusual look to them, which is nice for a change. So far we haven’t gotten particularly creative in serving them, mostly just with on a bed of brown rice with sea salt and avocado on top.

Happy Monday. Hope y’all have a good start to your week!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Our Kitchen Inventions July 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

As one of my friends said to me “Wheat just ain’t what it used to be”….it is all so overly processed, you just want to scream! Or at least go buy some chocolate and sulk a bit :) That seems to help me…thanks for more great information and hope you and your family have a marvelous time!


Sharon July 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

Ha! That is a great saying! I will remember that one! You are welcome for the information, I always like learning new things and hope it is helpful when I share them. :) We are having a great time in CA- a whirlwind though! Thank you, Susan!


Sonnet July 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I am so glad you liked the raw cupcake recipe! It is definitely one of my favorite stand-bys! (They even freeze well!) And I love your recipe for the peanut butter banana ice cream. Aren’t frozen bananas the best?


Sharon July 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

Hi Sonnet! Oh my gosh, we love them! You are always making such great, healthy recipes. :) I will definitely have to try freezing them… I like how then they are ready when you want them and out of sight when you don’t. Great idea! And I am glad you like the banana ice cream! Yes, frozen bananas are incredible- such fantastic texture. Love having unique healthy “tools” like that to build recipes with! Thanks for your comment and for visiting! Hope you enjoyed your time here! :)


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