As many of you know, I've been learning about the hazards of vegetable oils, soy, and sugar, and have been trying to eliminate them (or at least reduce my intake - in the case of sugar!) from my diet. This has meant a further move away from processed food, since it is very hard to get anything processed that doesn't include one of those ingredients. I had already stopped buying processed foods that had chemicals and additives. This is the next step.
So, I've been experimenting with making my own foods from whole, organic ingredients, and I'm really enjoying the journey, and the feeling that I KNOW exactly what is going into my food. This move has also had the added benefit of lowering our food costs and reducing plastic waste. (My eye-opening revelation about plastic, and my resolutions about avoiding it whenever possible, is the topic of another blog - coming soon!)
Speaking of knowing what's in our food, I just discovered that the fairly innocent-sounding "cellulose", which is a common filler in processed food, is wood pulp! I am not a termite! Not so sure I want to be eating wood...
Many of you have asked for my recipes, and so, I will be including them here, so they are all in one place - well, all that I've tried so far, anyway!
Here's the bread recipe we use. I'm really happy with it. It's the softest 100% whole wheat bread I've made so far. www.food.com/recipe/amis
Here's the hamburger and hot dog bun recipe. I don't use the all-purpose flour. I use 100% whole wheat, and they turn out great! These are the best 100% whole wheat buns I've ever had. What a difference from store-bought! www.food.com/recipe/whol
A couple weekends ago, I made homemade pita bread. Have you ever wondered how they get the pocket in the pita? Well, it just puffs up when you bake it! I was amazed to see that mine had a pocket - though not all of them did. I think there's an art to how long you bake them and how thick they are that I'm still working on perfecting. These have a way better texture and are far more flavorful than any store-bought pitas I've had, and if there isn't a pocket, we're just using them for wraps! Here's the recipe: mideastfood.about.com/od
Look! See? A pocket!
And, I made homemade flour tortillas last weekend. I was hoping to use the tortilla press for the flour tortillas, but it didn't make them thin enough, so I did have to roll them. It wasn't so bad, though, because the dough isn't hard to work with. They are DELICIOUS! Again, way more flavor than store-bought. I think I need to add a bit more oil next time to make them a tiny bit more flexible. The recipe is a bit off in the frying of them. You leave them on the first side until they bubble (it can take up to a minute), THEN flip them. I also used 100% whole wheat flour for these, and substituted coconut oil for the shortening. allrecipes.com/Recipe/me
Here's a pic of my pile of tortillas:
For all of the bread recipes, I used freshly ground, 100% whole wheat flour, even if the recipe said different. And I used coconut oil instead of whatever oil the recipe said.
I make big batches of the bread products and freeze them. It works great!
I have also made homemade kefir, which was SUPER-easy. I took whole raw milk. added a packet of Kefir starter that I got at our local coop, and left it on the counter in a covered container (a big mason jar in my case) for over 24 hours. (I kept tasting mine and put it in the fridge when it was the tartness I wanted. I LOVE that my homemade kefir is the tartness that I like.) When it was done, I put it in the blender with fresh strawberries to flavor and sweeten it a bit. It's delicious, sugar-free, and way less expensive than store-bought! If you save 1/2 cup of it, you can use that as a starter next time, and you can keep doing that for at least 6 batches.
I made homemade mayonnaise, too. I found a recipe that uses whey as a means of preserving the mayonnaise, so you can keep it in the fridge like store-bought. The recipe is here: www.eatfatlosefat.com/re
Scroll down to the "Additional Recipes" section to find the recipe. I think this recipe needs a bit of tweaking still. It's a bit too tart for me, and I'm not so sure I'm sold on coconutty mayonnaise. However, I think it's a good start, and I'm thrilled that I've found a mayonnaise recipe that doesn't go bad in two days.
I think that's about it, for the recipes I've tried so far.
On the list:
Homemade pasta, bagels, and greek yogurt! I'm looking forward to further adventures!