If you’ve been following Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, you already know that the final episode aired this past Friday evening. The series consisted of six shows covering his time spent in Huntington, West Virginia, trying to teach people about the benefits of real food. Specifically, he showed school food service personnel, parents, and the students themselves, how they could replace unhealthy processed foods with healthy real foods that would allow everyone to thrive. I’ll be honest … I had little knowledge of Jamie before this series. I knew he was a famous chef from the U.K. I’d seen him briefly on other television shows. But, that was it. However, after watching this series, I’m now a huge fan of Jamie and his Food Revolution.
Even though Jamie’s series has concluded, the mission—the Food Revolution—has not. He is still seeking one million signatures on his petition. When you sign Jamie’s petition, you are saying:
”I support the Food Revolution. America’s kids need better food at school and better health prospects. We need to keep cooking skills alive.”
It’s a pretty simple choice really. Do you think replacing meals that mostly consist of pizza, pressed chicken nuggets, and French fries with delicious real food meals is a good idea? Then sign Jamie’s petition. (Update: This petition is no longer active.) Please forward the link to family and friends so they can support the cause as well. Jamie’s goal is one million signatures, and he’s over half way there! But he needs everyone’s signatures. Once he’s reached that figure, he’ll present his petition and mission to President and Mrs. Obama to show how many people care and to ask for their support in the Food Revolution.
If you’re uncertain whether Jamie’s Food Revolution for our schools is a worthy one, consider this … Jamie implemented this same program in England several years ago and the results are in. You can read about them here. The students in the school districts who were served healthier foods performed measurably better. Their test scores improved overall and against their peers who did not have a “real food” lunch program. Plus the absences of the students who were eating the real, healthy food went down dramatically. I think that’s huge and want the same in the U.S. for our students!
But, let’s not stop there. My wonderful friend and fellow real food proponent, Diane over The W.H.O.L.E. Gang (which stands for whole healthy organic living every day) is passionate in her support of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, so she is leading a 30 Days to a Food Revolution event. There are many of us right there with Diane and Jamie. I’ve long touted eating real food as the primary focus of my gluten free easily (gfe) approach.
Thirty bloggers will each be sharing a post for this Food Revolution event—one each day. (You can see a complete listing of who will be participating here.) These posts will include tips, recipes, and food for thought. I’m extremely honored to be leading off this event. You can see my kickoff post here.
Those of you who have been following gfe for a while know that I have mentioned being gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free in the past (with great results)—namely, weight loss and optimum health. While I consider myself happy and healthy since going gluten free, I’m much more so when I eat dairy free (with the exception of some butter occasionally, per my doctor’s guidance) and refined sugar free. And, you’ll often see such recipes here at gfe, because I have seen those benefits before and know many who need to eat within those restrictions. Food plays such a huge role in our health and behavior. One of my favorite quotes, which I almost always share when I speak in public about celiac and gluten intolerance, comes from Thomas Edison. I don’t know what Edison’s specific history or knowledge of food issues was, but his statement is as follows:
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
As I tell my audience, we’re not there yet … we haven’t reached that far into the future. Unfortunately, doctors these days give lots of medicine and few people consider that the food they are eating is causing their health issues.
But, I know and I can do better. As I said, I’ve known that I thrive eating dairy free and refined sugar free, as well as gluten free, of course, from past experiences. But, so many things have made me see the writing on the wall of late to again make this change anew. Of course there is Jamie’s Food Revolution. Obviously it didn’t focus on individuals being gluten free or dairy free, but it did touch on the evils of sugar.
In addition, every single day, I’m reading posts from my blogging buddies and being inspired. So my “wheels” have been turning, so to speak. And, finally there’s our Food Revolution event host, Diane (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang), and my friend and sometimes travel partner, who provides inspiration. She navigates life gluten free, dairy free, and more with grace and enthusiasm! There are so many other bloggers who inspire me daily. (You know who you are, because I try to leave comments on your blogs whenever I can.) Thanks for the inspiration, all! I’ll be looking to you and your blogs for daily encouragement and ideas during my own personal Food Revolution.
But to my gfe readers … don’t worry … I will continue sharing gluten-free recipes of all varieties. There are many recipes I have already made and haven’t posted yet, and I am always cooking for others, too. But today, I’ll kick off my own Food Revolution with a gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free recipe made from real food. This is another “sweet milk” recipe.
I first read about this concept at Ari’s (The Frugally Rich Life). She had shared that milk sweetened by soaking raisins in it could be used instead of sweeteners. So I tried it. My first test run—these Sweet Milk-Nut Muffins—was not a home run, but it was good enough to make me want to keep playing with the sweet milk concept.
A couple of folks who commented on that post suggested using other fruits in this manner. Alta (Tasty Eats At Home) suggested dates. I had four in the refrigerator that were nearing the end of their life, so I soaked those in a cup of milk. At the end of Day 3 (the suggested soaking period is 2 to 3 days), I checked the sweetness of the milk. It was very sweet, indeed. But, not being a wasteful person, I decided I couldn’t discard the dates after they’d sweetened the milk. Besides, they still looked like they had some oomph in them. So I threw the dates and the milk in the blender and blended on high a few seconds. Then I added that lovely brown mixture to the muffins in place of sweetener and liquid. The results were very good.
Even with lots of other foods at our support group meeting the other night, most of the muffins went quickly. One of our younger and most enthusiastic members, Kyle, especially loved them. I sent him home with the last two and he was very happy! Here’s Kyle making raw zucchini “spaghetti” at one of our meetings. Isn’t he a cutie?
This is a great breakfast recipe, so I’m submitting it as my second entry for this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! carnival. The theme is Breakfast in Bed. My other entry is a Chocolate Coconut Chia “Pet” Smoothie. Either—or both!— would make great breakfasts in bed. You can find all the entries over at Naomi’s (Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried). Naomi is both the originator of this long-standing and always fun blog carnival and this month’s host. Be sure to check back at her site the end of the month for the complete roundup.
“Sweet Milk” Banana Muffins
- 1 cup of sweet milk* with dates, all blended together
- 1 egg
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 regular sized)
- ½ cup oil (I used coconut oil, liquefied)
- 1 cup millet flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (or nuts of your choice, optional)
- *Prepare "sweet milk" by soaking about 4 pitted dates in dairy or non-dairy milk for up to 3 days. Blend all together in blender before adding to batter.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12 muffin cups.
- Beat egg; stir in sweet milk, bananas, and oil.
- Stir in remaining ingredients all at once or just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fill muffin cups full most of the way.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Immediately remove from pan.
It’s recommended that many gluten-free flours be stored in the refrigerator and, ideally, one should bring them to room temperature before using them in a recipe. Unfortunately, I did not and the flour clumped together a bit; take heed. An all-purpose flour mix can be used in place of the millet and brown rice flours, if you prefer.
Enjoy, and don’t forget to visit Diane’s blog, The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, each day for the next month for 30 Days to a Food Revolution. I can’t wait to hear all the different perspectives, tips, and discover some new “real food” recipes. Let’s all join the revolution, shall we?
Originally published April 26, 2010; updated November 30, 2019.
Erin Elberson says
These sound lovely Shirley!
It’s a journey and a path of constant progression for all of us-there’s always going to be a challenge, or something we could do just a little better to make our minds and bodies healthier. Small steps forward, a bit at a time will get us to the Revolution. 🙂
Hi Erin–Thanks so much, dear. Yes, exactly … life’s about the journey along the way, more than the destination, right? Baby steps for all of us. We really can’t go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 8 seconds. Revoluton bound … 😉
Mmm…I would definitely make these muffins! I just posted a recipe using Ari’s sweet milk also. Such a great idea!
Hey Iris–Oh, have to check out your sweet milk recipe right away! This concept is certainly going to help me with no refined sugar. 🙂
Got your email … answer coming. 😉
Katrina (gluten free gidget) says
I can’t wait to read everyone’s entries!
Hi Katrina–Having one each day will be like a special treat, won’t it? 🙂 We all have such different perspectives, which makes for so many diverse viewpoints, great blogs, and, therefore, fabulous entries for this Food Revolution event.
sharon McDermott says
Your post got me thinking about a radio interview I heard last week with Richard Simmons. He had just left Capitol Hill after meeting with members of Congress in promoting his Fit Kids Campaign in an effort to get PE back in the schools. The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act (FIT Kids Act) (S. 634/H.R. 1585) amends No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to ensure physical education and activity for all children attending public schools and to also make sure they receive important health and nutritional information.
I just love what Jamie Oliver and Richard Simmons are doing for our children! It amazes me how much things have changed in my last 30 years and I’m so glad there is such a movement to get back to basics.
Hi Sharon–So nice to see you. 🙂 Richard Simmons is such a character in many ways, but what a passionate advocate he has been for movement and diet for many years. I wasn’t familiar with that particular campaign or the Fit Kids Act before reading your comment. Thanks so much for mentioning the info. You’re right … both Jamie and Richard are doing awesome things. You’re right … things have changed dramatically over the years. I think back to my own childhood and what’s changed … especially as far as physical activity. We lived outside and played constantly when not in school. Food was much different, too, but a lot of processed foods were starting to sneak in. Here’s hoping for big, big changes thanks to Jamie, Richard, and everyone else jumping on board the Food Revolution and the FIT Kids efforts!
This looks and sounds so yummy!
Hi Sarah–Looks like you’re new to gfe–welcome! And, thank you. These muffins are moist and yummy for sure. I’m amazed by the sweet milk method. 😉
Aubree Cherie says
Wow, these look good! I’ve been using the sweet milk as well – but with soymilk! (I’m not sure how it compares, but its definitely sweet :))
I really enjoyed reading your kick-off post over at Diane’s blog. Some great insight!
Hi Aubree–We’re all on board with sweet milk thanks to Ari! 😉 I’m sure soy is the same as far as how it acts in a recipe. It’s nice that we all can find solutions that work for us. I can’t do soy, but I like using coconut milk.
Thanks so much for the feedback on my post over at Diane’s great event. I truly appreciate your kind words! I guess that post has been formulating for 2 years, even before I was blogging. 😉
Oh, Shirley, you brought a tear to my eye with this moving post =) I’m cheering for you, girl! XOXO, Kelly
Hi Kelly–Thank you, my dear friend. 🙂 We all know that making the decision on how we will choose to eat is the biggest part of the equation, don’t we? The first few days will be the hardest, but the rewards will be worth it. I think having a clear mind—i.e., with NO brain fog—means the most to me.
Diane-The W.H.O.L.E.Gang says
Thank you for the kind words. It’s much appreciated!
Great kick off to our 30 Days! There are lots of great comments left so feel free to reply via leaving your own comments if you wish.
Now I’m really interested in this recipe here with sweet milk. Love that idea. I’m starting my milk today!
Thanks for teaching me how to bake!
Hi Diane– 🙂 Thanks so much. It was such an honor to do the kickoff post! This is such a great event. Thank you so much for hosting!
Can’t wait to see what you do with the sweet milk and your Vitamix. 😉 I can’t take full credit for teaching you to bake … you’re doing very well on your own!
These look absolutely delicious! I’m really tempted to make them even though I should be studying…
Hi Christine–Nice to see you. 🙂 Thank you! I’m loving the muffins I’ve been making of late … no xanthan gum needed. The sweet milk is such a neat idea. Since it takes 2 – 3 days for the sweet milk to be ready, you can study until then … win-win! 😉
Yay Shirley! Congrats on a great start to Diane’s 30 days! I love reading your posts – so real and honest. Thank you. This recipe looks yummy, I think I’ll try to replace the egg with some ground flax perhaps? I love the idea of sweet milk.
Hi Maggie–Nice to see you! Time to head over to your blog … you posted about something I need to learn to make. 😉 Thanks so much for the feedback on my post. It means a lot!
I can’t wait to find out if your flax seed meal works! I’ve been meaning to try that substitution, but haven’t yet. I think this recipe would be great for the flax seed meal substitution, because it only calls for one egg. Fingers crossed …
Jennifer R. says
Great post, Shirley! I’ll be excited to see what you come up with that is gluten free and also dairy and refined sugar free 🙂
Of course, I’ll show this to Kyle too!
thanks for all you do!
Hi Jennifer–Thanks very much! There are already some recipes here at gfe that meet the gf/df/sf requirements, but it will also be fun to create some more. I had a small hot chocolate made with coconut milk, cocoa, and honey this evening. Tasted great! 🙂
It’s hard to believe how long ago I took that photo of Kyle. I kept waiting for the perfect opportunity, but it never materialized. That’s a cute photo of him or sure, but he looks so much more grown up now. 😉
Such a great post–I am loving Jamie’s revolution, and the 30 Days to a Food Revolution idea. And good for you, for doing something great for your health! I am proof it can be done (oh, and just thought I’d mention–I’ve actually lost 45, not 35 pounds!) 😉 These muffins look delicious. I bet the combination of banana and sweet milk is just enough sweetness, too. 🙂
Hi Ricki–Thanks for the kind words! 🙂 Jamie’s got us all thinking and Diane is so smart to keep the Food Revolution going!
You are proof! My apologies on not giving you enough credit … gosh, I feel so badly. 10 lbs more is another whole size down! I fixed it in my post. 🙂
Yes, the muffins are just the right amount of sweetness. I probably wouldn’t have said that not too long ago; I’m learning to like less sweetness. Many of our support group members enjoyed the muffins as sort of a side “bread” last week. 😉
Thanks for your last email and sending me that anti-candida site! I wasn’t familiar with it, so I greatly appreciate the info.
Z's Cup of Tea says
These look great! I wasn’t paying attention and thought they were cookies at first!
Hi Z–Thank you, and welcome to gfe! Oh, I can see how you thought they were cookies from a quick look at the photo. And, actually, that’s not the type of container I usually put muffins in so that’s misleading, too. 😉 I’m a big cookie fan, but these muffins are much healthier and meet my current eating needs with no sacrifice of deliciousness!
Checked out your site, Ambrosia Tea Party, for a minute … love it! Can’t wait to visit again and will share it with others, especially my friends eating SCD.
All of this seems so overwhelming even though my mom makes it look easy. I’m still going to try.
My doctor is trying to fix me by using prescriptions. I’d rather try to fix it using food or eliminating them.
I’m visiting from The W.h.o.l.e. Gang. Great post.
Hi Adrienne–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 It’s like anything else really … the more you do it the more second nature and easier it becomes. 😉 I bet you’ll love making your own real food creations. I took a quick peek at your blog, The Skinny Fight, and it looks like you’ve got a great-looking chili recipe posted right now. Hey, that’s real food! So, good going!
The fact is the accepted method of treatment by traditional Western medicine doctors IS prescriptions to treat symptoms. While prescriptions have their place, many symptoms and conditions can be healed or improved greatly with diet. The more you use real food and listen to your body, the more likely you are to find non-presciption solutions.
So glad you came over from Diane’s great event! Thanks so much for the compliment on my post there. 🙂
[email protected] says
You truly are my mentor,Shirley. Such an inspiration and so personal. Thank you for your commitment to health – for ALL of us. I’m excited to be part of the food revolution!
Hi Karen–Gosh, you’re such a sweetheart … thank you ever so much! We all know that you’re one of the biggest real food advocates out there. One day I will visit your farmer’s market in Napa! This Food Revolution is extremely exciting, isn’t it? How often do you see folks get this excited about processed “foods”? 😉 LOL
I’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution as well. It’s been so inspiring and I’ve been advocating everybody I know to watch it as well. I’m looking forward to more joining the food revolution!
Hi Amy–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 Bravo to you for spreading the word on Jamie’s Food Revolution! So many of us are so excited about real food making a comeback. 😉 Hope you’ll head over to The W.H.O.L.E. Gang to follow the 30 Days to a Food Revolution, 30 different bloggers with their own stories, tips, and recipes. We’re on Day 2 and it’s just been fantastic, with much more to come! There’s a giveaway of seven different cookbooks there, too. 🙂
What a fantastic round-up of inspiration, and what awesome looking muffins! I can’t wait to see your next creations!
Hi Jenn–Yes, some terrific folks to share with you all! Thanks re: the muffins! I can’t wait to see my next creations either. LOL Sometimes, I really don’t know what path I’ll go down, but I won’t share the results unless they are good. 😉
I’ve heard good things about sweet milk… will have to try making it!
Hi SnoWhite–Really nice to see you here at gfe again. 🙂 I think sweet milk is such a neat concept and a great way to get rid of the white sugar.
So did you prefer the dates over the raisins? I definitely need to try this. I could even do dairy-free if I used my newly-found favorite milk – So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk! I use regular coconut milk in certain recipes calling for cream and the like, and I LOVE coconut, so this milk substitute is a slam dunk for me. Great kickoff post for the Revolution!
Hi Alta–I very much preferred the dates over the raisins. They gave the milk much more sweetness and a bit more robustness, so thanks very much for your earlier suggestion! And, if you noticed I just blended the dates right into the milk and then added that thick mixture. It worked perfectly. I used coconut “sweet” milk last time and will in the future; it’s yummy. I haven’t tried the So Delicious variety yet. I’ll have to look for at the store in town. But bottom line, I totally agree … you don’t have to convince me to use coconut milk. 😉 Thanks so much for the feedback on my kickoff post! I was pretty nervous about leading the way, but I’m grateful for the great response! 🙂
I too have been inspired by the Food Revolution! I look forward to reading your blog and your recipes 🙂
Hey Roxy–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 Thanks for joining us in the Food Revolution and coming over from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang! The whole concept is really exciting, isn’t it? I look forward to seeing you more here at gfe and over at the 30 Days to a Food Revolution event and hearing your feedback.
I was going to make banana bread today but these look so yummy, I am going to make it with Rice Milk(my favorite)and use egg replacer since I don’t eat eggs, I have a feeling I will be making these A LOT!!
Hi Shada–I love your enthusiasm. 😉 Welcome to gfe! Your ideas for making this recipe work for you sound great. My only caution is that, ideally, you need to soak the dates (or whatever you are using) in the milk for 2-3 days before using. That said, please let us know if you go ahead and give it a go anyway. If the dates can be soaked for a much shorter amount of time, I know everyone will want to know about it!
Thanks so much for being here at gfe and taking the time to comment!
Shirley, your posts are filled with news, joy, information and recipes. When, I leave your blog, I leave full of good stuff.
Hi Chaya–That’s such a very sweet thing to say. Truly lovely. Thank you, my dear. 🙂
[email protected] The Frugally Rich Life says
Oh wow Shirley! What a great recipe! I’m surprised I didn’t notice this earlier! (Well, ok, so I’m WAY behind in my reader…lol) Thanks for the link! I really liked the idea of blending the dates into the milk! That’s such a great idea! I’ve wondered what to do with the leftover raisins (you’ll see what I did do…soon! :)) and this is another great option! I also like that you tried it with dates! Great to know….I am actually wondering if I should keep raisins in my diet or not….I’m just too addicted to them! lol. And dates…dates I could handle! 🙂 Thanks for the link and I’ll have to try this recipe out soon! 🙂 You’ll have to let me know when you use this next too! 🙂 I love seeing how everyone took the idea I gave and applied it! Several heads (or cooks) are better than one, that’s for sure! 🙂
Hi Ari!–I can’t do the readers … I never look and then when I do, I get overwhelmed. 🙁 “Old school” email subscriptions work best for me. I need that little “hey, wake up, sister” call. 😉 The dates work fabulously. Once I saw how well they worked for sweet milk, I’ve even been putting them in my smoothies of late. Natural yummy sweetener. Yes, you really started something with your sweet milk concept. I see great new recipes everywhere with sweet milk! 🙂 I’ll look for the info on how you used your raisins …
I love that you gave a different recipe on eat site. Thanks.
Kelli–There can never be enough good recipes, right? 😉