I never intended to become a domestic fairy, but it happened anyway. When I first married my husband at 23, I didn’t know how to cook.
Let THAT sink in! Eesh!
The silver lining is that I got to learn! I got to experiment and try new things and develop my own style. I got to follow food and baking blogs and learn on my own. I loved the process. I sifted through food ideologies and discovered Michael Pollen and his In Defense of Food. My personal mantras lend themselves to pursuing the natural ways of the world, and I never realized how unnatural a lot of our food could be!
This is when I stumbled upon whole grains. I’m not talking about buying “whole-wheat” flour and bread, I’m talking about oatmeal and quinoa and barley and farro and millet and bulgur, oh my! Ever heard of those last few? That’s why I love whole grains: I discovered a whole slew of new things and a new way of cooking that I never experienced growing up.
There are a few diet trends lately that exclude whole grains, but before you discredit them completely, know that they come with many health benefits. They reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. They can lower your cholesterol and contain essential phytochemicals and antioxidants. Oh, and they’re yummy.
Adding whole grains to your food plan doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, they are a great addition to standard meals, or can replace boring staples like plain rice and oatmeal. Here are my highlights:
- They make great salads, which make excellent leftovers for quick, hearty and transportable snacks.
- They’re easy to add produce to (think berries and fruit to porridges and fresh vegetables and greens to salads) and promote the best things to have in your diet.
- They’re cheap! Try any health food bulk section and you’ll be surprised what you can come away with for 5 bucks.
- They’re fun to discover! When I made my first quinoa taco salad, it blew my mind! I’ve been cooking with whole grains for about 4 years, and I have yet to try amaranth, buckwheat, and sorghum. Can’t wait!
- They are easy to cook up and can be added to any meal (think brown rice to enchiladas, couscous to curry, barley or wild rice to soup). Extra credit: cook them with homemade vegetable stock for added flavor and nutrition (see here)!
Here are my favorite recipes so far:
Millet Breakfast Porridge (we make this at least 3 times a week!)
Farro + Kale Salad (currently in my fridge)
Quinoa Taco Salad
And next on my list to try:
Have fun with whatever you try! I started with the Creative Ways with Whole Grains class from Craftsy (see here); it’s a good place to start and it’s free!
And now I spend my days dreaming of our future pantry. It has spice jars for bulk-bought spices, bins for all our baking ingredients (no more flour dust storms!), and … a whole shelf filled with containers of whole grains. Ooooohhh, the dreams of a domestic fairy. 🧚
How does Marabou support women?
Moms who used to “lie-in” for forty days now have to pick themselves up within a week to get back to work. Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood now live too far away and often can’t take time away from their full time job. Household chores and caring for older children fall on the woman who just delivered a new life and whose body needs rest. But we live in a sprawled world and helping hands are plentiful but often too far to be of benefit.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. How can you give you daughter living in Japan married to a Navy sailor a helping hand? How can you lend a hand to your best friend who moved to California? How do you ask for help when none of your family lives near you anymore?
With a Marabou gift registry you can ask for any service you know will be of benefit during postpartum recovery.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask that your friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.