Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Unprocesssed starts tomorrow!!!

Ready for another October Unprocessed?  I am!! Well, almost.  I found out last Friday that my gallbladder will be coming out on the 6th; so there will be a small crimp in my plans as I recover from my surgery,  I won't be doing much cooking (or probably eating) for at least a week.  Which means my daily posts won't happen as planned.  My diet the first week will be simple foods like broth, pasta, rice; boring!!  But it will be worth it in the end to not have to deal with the pain anymore.

I decided I have a few small goals to meet this month; scaling back my plans for the month but only pushing them off a bit, I still plan on doing everything I planned.

Goal 1: to learn more about alternative choices to cane sugar. I want to research how to replace cane sugar with honey or maple syrup SUCESSFULLY (I haven't been successful yet, seems the liquid affects the recipe) as well as how to use (or not use) products like date sugar.

Goal 2: to learn how to successfully replace wheat flours with other types of flours.  I used a hazelnut flour in a recipe not knowing you couldn't just substitute it.  Terrible results!  Apparently it's missing some important part, like a binding agent?  I have coconut flour I tried substituting for wheat flour in breading a backed chicken breast - came out terrible. Dry and powdery...blech.

Goal 3: to learn how to make my own condiments, like ketchup, mustard and mayo.  Problem I have is that we use them so sparingly I'm afraid they will go bad before we can use it all.  We literally use 2 tablespoons of mayo a week on my son's two ham sandwiches he takes to school for lunch.  Most home made recipes say it lasts a week or two.  A lot of work for something we rarely use.  Mustard is a tablespoon a week at most.

So I think that's it to start.  As I start to feel better, I may adjust my plans, but this may be a shortened "month" for me...

Good luck everyone, and HAPPY EATING!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

October Unprocessed 2014

It's that time again!  October Unprocessed via Andrew at www.earingrules.com - time to step back, think about what you are eating, how it is made, and how we can make our daily lives a little bit better by putting healthier options into our bodies.

I've been thinking about what I want to get out of the challenge this year; we live pretty much 75-90% clean around here.  My teen boys toward the 75% side of the range, my husband falling into the 80-85% range, and myself the upper 90% end.  There is something every season that just reels me in.  Right now?  That darn Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks.  :)  I know there are recipes out there that are supposed to be just as good, but part of the draw is the fact that someone else is making it for me. :) So what to do for this year's challenge?

I decided I want to put a little effort into learning more about specific types of foods and cleaning up the options.  I want to learn more about sugars, for example.  I get questioned on that a lot - "if you eat clean, how can you still use sugar?  It's so processed."  While I buy organic "pure cane sugar" for some things, turbinado for others, and local raw honey for still more uses, (and there is a bottle of agave on the shelf too) I use it sugar so sparingly I count it as part of my 10% unclean.  I want to learn more about other types of sugars, like date sugar, coconut sugar, etc to find some different options and how to best use them so I can change that % a bit.

Last year I watched a few members of the Unprocessed Facebook group making things like cheese, peanut butter, and almond milks that I was thinking I may try to do something like that as well this challenge.  I have a slightly busy month at work, so I'm thinking one per week; it will take some pre-planning and investigating but hoping it will all work well in the end.  I'll report back what I choose to try and how each one goes.

Lastly, my goal is to report in my daily menus - not only to hold myself accountable for staying on track but so you all can hold me accountable for making good choices as well.  There will be a small amount of deliberate exceptions I'll post in the beginning; life is too short to deprive yourself of something that makes you really happy, like wine from the winery I work at (they do add sulfites plus it's a job requirement to taste all the wines) and a s'more at our firepit.  Marshmallows are made by me though. :)

It's only September 17th so I have some time to get my plans in motion; if you haven't taken the challenge before I suggest you do, and also to join the Facebook group for helpful tips, ideas, advice and support.

Happy Eating!