Another Step Toward Healthy Living

1:18 AM

Please note...this post is not meant to say that a certain kind of lifestyle is better than others.  These are simply my thoughts and how I've chosen to live my life...

I sit here on a cold, rainy November day with applesauce cooking on the stove top, trying to summon the words to write this post.  About 7 years ago, I felt the challenge to alter my cooking in such a way that it would be healthier for my family.  I felt overwhelmed by going totally hardcore so I started small with, what felt like, the best option...eradicating partially hydrogenated oils from our foods.  That alone forced me into new territory, because if you start looking at labels, you will see those 3 words in almost everything from crackers to microwave popcorn to boxed food items.

breakfast

After that move, I opted to make a vow to myself.  Never, ever, under any circumstances buy a canned fruit or vegetable or anything canned for that matter.  I know it can be cheaper (especially with coupons) but that was now a no-no.  Only fresh fruits and vegetables would make their way into my shopping cart and then onto my kitchen table.

yogurt and granola

There's been more steps over the years toward healthy living.  Eventually the microwave left our house.  I started making soup from scratch.  Homemade bread start popping up on our table along with homemade jam.  The newest thing I've added to my "made from scratch" list is yogurt.  It always sounded like a lot of work, but I can't believe how incredibly easy it was!  That's the thing with a lot of things.  It's much easier once you just do it!  I used Soule Mama's yogurt recipe and incubated mine in a cooler for 8 hours.  It is the best tasting yogurt I have ever tasted!

homemade yogurt

Jeremy recently told a friend about my cooking adventures, and he was surprised that, as a mom, I found time to do all this.  It made me realize something very important.  This way of life has become such a value to me that I can see it no other way.  No one warned me in the beginning that, once you start down this road, you won't ever want to turn back.  Food just tastes better when it's homemade.

If you're just starting down this path to more healthy cooking, you won't regret it!  If you want to but feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and start small.  Pretty soon you'll be itching to try new things.  And if you're farther down the path than me, I can't wait to meet up with you at some point!

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8 comments

  1. Homemade yogurt is the best! My kids eat it most days for lunch and are so disappointed when we've run out. My first few batches were a bit runny, but it's gotten thicker and creamier each time. Now you can stand a spoon in it! :)

    I still have a huge list of things I'd like to make from scratch regularly, and I just work on them slowly when I can. Small steps make lasting change possible for me.

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  2. Your adventure sounds great! Unfortunately some things we can ONLY get canned here, but I do make almost everything from scratch! Another minus against us here is that we can only get plain white flour, no other kinds are available. We can get whole wheat flour occasionally from across the border in PNG but that's about it! Kind of limits the pursuit of health!
    I do love my homemade yogurt! We have whole milk powder here and that makes especially tasty yogurt! My yogurt recipe is a lot simpler than the recipe you linked to, since we use milk powder. I just mix 6 cups room-temp water with 4 1/2 cups powdered milk, and then add 3 cups boiling water and about 1/2 cup of reserved yogurt from my last batch. Mix it all together, put it in quart jars (old mayo jars!) with the lids on, and incubate in a cooler for about 4 hours (I just fill up the cooler to the level of the jars with water that is about the same temp as the liquid in the jars.) Super simple!

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  3. Jen
    I make mine in the Crockpot. Yummy! Thanks for sharing.
    Heather

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  4. I'm always surprised that it doesn't take as long as I thought it would - homemade bread, yogurt, soup... it's not that hard, and in comparison, the couple extra minutes or a little extra effort is so worth it.

    We buy frozen veggies... do you?

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  5. Jen, what do you use instead of tomato sauce and paste? Those are the only items I buy in cans now. But have wondered how to change that. I use only fresh or frozen tomatoes whenever recipes call for canned tomatoes but those other tomato products are a bit trickier for me.

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  6. I recently read an article on how easy it is to make your own butter. The recipe came from a book called "The Lost Art of Real Cooking" there is a link on my most recent blog post to the article and recipe. I have also started to tip toe down this path and I think you are very right...there is no turning back...once you have had your own canned tomatoes you will never buy another one off the shelf...and it is way easier than you would think.

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  7. I agree with Renee@FIMBY, any advice? I started down this healthier cooking and buying less pre-made items but I must admit I feel overwhelmed. Deep breath you say..

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