Here is my weekly update on the eat-real-food challenge:
Things are going great for us, I have learned alot, tried some new recipes, done some research about local groceries, and adapted the way that I grocery shop.
I made granola for the first time this week. My friend at Life Under a Blue Roof gave me some that she made a few weeks ago and it was great. So, I found a recipe on the internet, found the organic ingredients that I needed (thanks to a special trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in Pittsburgh), and went to work. The first batch burnt (I think because I left out about 2 cups worth of nuts making the volume much less that the recipe intended). The second batch was perfect! We all love it. I have been mixing it in yogurt each morning for breakfast.
I also made strawberry jam and apple butter (that might have been last week). I omitted about 1/2 of the sugar called for in each recipe and they are both still sweet and very good. I am also mixing that into plain yogurt with the granola. I learned how to can when I made the jam.
I dehydrated bananas for the first time this week. We dehydrate apples as a regular snack weekly but I had never tried bananas before. Jeff and Eli like them. I am not crazy about them, I prefer the apples.
My next task is to try to make my own yogurt. As soon as the current bowl of yogurt is almost gone, I will give that a try. I like the plain yogurt with a little bit of fruit jam and granola added. I have always thought that store bought fruit yogurt was too sweet. Jeff, however, does not like it. He thinks the yogurt is too bitter/not sweet enough.
I realized this morning when Eli and I were in the grocery store getting some fresh fruit and veggies that I have not been in many other isles of the grocery store for a while. I have eliminated the few processed/boxed foods that we used to eat. I have been making our own bread so I have eliminated that from the grocery list. I got organic rice, pasta, and baking supplies in bulk from Frankferd Farms (a local organic farm/store) a while back and we are still using that. The produce department and the milk/eggs/cheese section is about all we shop at.
I did have an unfortunate run-in with a local girl scout at the Butler Farm Market last weekend. There was a troop of girl scouts selling cookies by the entrance of the store. They had a sign up that said "Sorry, we are out of Thin Mints". So, when they asked me if I wanted to buy any cookies I said, "No Thanks! Thin Mints are my favorite". Well, while we were shopping this girl came and found me in the store to tell me that one of the moms showed up with a new case of Thin Mints, "How many boxes should I put aside for you?" This girl has a promising future in sales.... I did manage to get away with just 1 box of thin mints.
That's what's going on with the eat-real-food challenge this week. My goal for next week is to make yogurt, plant some of my starter seeds for the garden, and do a little more planning for our garden (I just found out about a "cold frame", we are looking into that for lettuce and some other greens).