Monday, October 29, 2012

Going for a cleaner life

Here lately I have been trying to cook cleaner for my family. By that I mean the types of foods we eat :)
Nothing really to drastic , just some minor changes here and there to foods that we use only on an ALMOST daily basis  or ones that I find myself buying every time a do a major commissary shopping trip, which is every two weeks.
As well as the amount of fast food that we consume and where we consume it from.

Did not want to send the family into "food shock".

It all started when I came across this website Deliciously organic , by fellow military wife Carrie Vitt, and this site 100 Days of real food.

These wives/mothers have seen how the world around us has changed and how those changes have effected not only the quality of the foods that we eat ,but also our health.
And they chose to do something about it, starting small , but still starting.

These ladies inspired me and made me take a REALLY hard look at what and how my own family eats.
From the convenient, pre-packaged foods to the , sometimes 3x weekly , drive thru meals , that were not only taking its toll on our health, but also on our "quality " of family time.

When you are eating you are not really thinking about what it is that you are putting into your body.
I mean who REALLY thinks about where the chicken they are eating came from, what the canned/bottled fruit contains other than fruit or how that sports drink you are guzzling down after that hard workout really does more bad than good for you in the over all big picture and what is really inside of that burger from XYZ burger place  really made of. ( I know I did not and still don't at times).

But , when it comes to my health and the health of my family I decided it was time I did.

So I set out to see where I could incorporate minor changes, but changes non the less. That would not cause my family to revolt against me :) or drive them to want to flog me.

I started with something simple, whip cream, I do not really buy tub whip cream very often unless I am making a fruit salad, but I do buy canned whip cream often. Plus it is only one ingredient, if you don't add "flavoring".

main ingredient is the canned coconut milk

  The kids like it on their waffles, smoothies,  pudding, fruit and of course who does not like whip cream on their ice cream :)

You have to place the can in the frig for at least 24 hrs to help firm the cream that is on top .
After you open the can you need to separate the thick cream from the coconut milk. Leaving only the milk in the can and placing the cream in a mixing bowl.
milk in can and cream in bowl
 It was fun trying to see if I could get ALL of the cream out of the can, as you can see I did not do to bad of a job , if I have to say so myself:)

Once you have the cream in the bowl add ":flavoring" if you choose.
I chose cinnamon and vanilla for my first time out.
the cream with my "flavoring" of choice
I did not measure the amount of cinnamon or vanilla, it was done to taste.

Then you mix with a hand-mixer, using the whisk attachment, until the cream becomes firm or whipped looking. You can not over mix it, but it takes about 3-5min for it to become a good whip cream texture.
Gabriel is  mixing it for me
the finish product
a closer pix of the "whip cream"

Afterwards I placed it in a storage bowl and it kept for a week, well more like the kids at it all in a week :)

a home made banana split topped with home made whip cream
Riding on a "high" after having made the whip cream I decided I wanted to tackle something a little harder,but still stick with only one ingredient, so I chose to make peanut butter.

( if you get a chance read what your average store bought PB is made of even the Natural ones, it might surprise you)
Instead of buying a bag of peanuts and de-shelling them I chose to just buy a jar of peanuts.
the jar of peanuts and my food processor

This was a hard change for Sasha and I , we both LOVE PB, well she likes it I LOVE IT , but hey who is keeping notes :).

I had placed all the peanuts in my food processor and when I went to turn it on , nothing, I think I blew the motor awhile back and did not realize it.

all ready
So I had to transfer all the peanuts to my blender.

ready, again:)
Once transferred the process of making the peanut butter was so simple and quick.
I just put my blender on the cream setting and let it run its course.

bottom is creaming
The peanuts go through 3 stages total .

right before it reaches creamy state
It takes about 5m to make the peanut butter, but it is SO worth it. I have never stated anything like it before.
 ( Ian decided to play with my shoes when I was making the peanut butter:)
Ian in my shoes

the finished peanut butter
Now the problem I have is staying on top of making it. It seems that between baking with it, and eating it , it goes pretty fast :)

These are just a few simple, baby steps that I have taken in helping my family eat cleaner,so far.

It really does not seem like a HUGE step in the grand scheme of things, but to me a baby step is better than no steps at all :)

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