Experimentation

Back in December I talked about a few of my New Year’s goals. One of them was to start changing our diet at home to something more wholesome and grounded in real and whole foods. Well, as if the bloggy internet gods had heard my prayers, this series cropped up on Keeper of the Home, one of the homemaking blogs that I follow. One of the first posts was about what you can start changing and eliminating in your diet to go down the real foods road. Keeping that in mind, when I went to make breakfast this morning, I came up with this recipe. 

First of all, it’s loosely based on my standby pancake recipe from Martha Stewart. Secondly, this is a sort of cobbled together, vaguely “real” food recipe. After I list what I used I will sum it all up with how I will change it next time around to make it a real “real” food recipe. 

Here goes: 

2 cups whole wheat flour

5 tbs. raw honey

2 tps. baking soda 

2 cups of water

6 tbs. canola oil

2 large eggs

2 apples, chopped

To cook, I threw all the ingredients together in a bowl, mixed everything together until well blended, then over medium heat in a well-greased skillet, poured a 1/4 cup of batter in for each pancake. It made about 12 pancakes. 

How did they taste? Really good, especially with some syrup and butter. However, the texture is a bit different because of the wheat flour, and that also alters the taste a bit. It definitely had a more wheat-y flavor. 

What would I change the second time around? Well, for one, I would replace the canola oil with either coconut oil or butter (preferably raw and/or organic). Also, instead of water, I would consider using either low fat, organic milk or full fat, raw milk (“raw”, by the way, means unpasteurized). Reasoning behind this? One, there are lots of nutrients in whole, raw milk. Like, a lot. And most of those nutrients are lost during the pasteurization process. Two, I think butter and milk are a lot more yummy than oil and water. That said, the water, I’m sure, cuts a whole lot of calories from the pancakes.

So, this is my first venture into the real food world, modified as it is. One of my short term goals that I just set for myself recently was to try to cook at least one real food meal a week, so I suppose this is kind of my first for the week (which works, considering I don’t really have the ingredients I want at home right now and won’t be grocery shopping until the end of the week).

Next on my list of things to do in this area? I’m going to do some pricing tomorrow at a couple of local shops (a farm stand and a co-op) as well as our local grocery store.  

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I Spend Too Much Time Thinking About Food

The school year is in it’s full and totally busy swing, the holidays are fast approaching, and I’m starting to get, like, really pregnant. Totally a great time to start thinking about a massive change to our lifestyle, right?

I’ve posted several times on how I’ve been losing weight (well, up until I got pregnant in May). One of the huge factors in the weight loss process for me was looking closely at what and why I was eating. I don’t want to say I’ve completely ditched that now that I’m pregnant, because I haven’t, but I’ve tried to make the cooking and eating process less laborious. For example, I’m not measuring out exact portions and I’m letting myself have a few more sweets (because I’m pregnant, and other than the adorable baby at the end, there aren’t a ton of perks). I am still trying to make sure that what I’m eating is diverse, which is harder to do during pregnancy when all you want to eat is bread and cheese with chocolate fudge as dessert, but I’m trying. And the trying is paying off, because I’m not anywhere near the weight I was with E. at this point in my pregnancy. I had probably packed on about ten or fifteen pounds more!

But this isn’t really about weight loss, because obviously that’s not even on my radar right now and probably won’t be again  until six or so weeks after the baby is born.

I bring up the food thing though, because, regardless of whether or not I’m eating more or less, I’ve been feeling the itch to change what my family is eating for a while. I’ve always held the ability of some women to cook good, wholesome meals for their families from scratch in really high regard. It’s something I’d love to be able to do myself, though when I think about the amount of work involved, it starts to feel really daunting. What’s more, even if I knew I had the amount of time I needed to do this, I wonder about the monetary investment. If I’m going to cook from scratch, I’d like to do it with quality ingredients. Quality usually equates to more money than I’m used to spending. But in the end, I’m not really sure, because I haven’t done it yet.

So why cook from scratch? Is it because I have this bizarre need to be a true domestic goddess that must be fulfilled? Eh…maybe. I mean, I can’t deny that there is a huge part of me who wants to be that mom who not only works a full time job, but also manages to keep her house clean and feed her family nutritious, totally homemade meals. I mean, I’m not entirely sure if that mom exists (and if she does, it’s possible she’s currently institutionalized), but if she does exist and she’s sane, I’d like to be her.

But there are practical reasons, too. Like the idea of only eating things where you know exactly what the ingredients are, or, to take it a step farther (and I don’t know if I can get to this point right now), only eating things where you know exactly where the ingredients came from. The number of crazy preservatives and chemicals that are in even our most basic foods make me nuts. The process that goes into creating skim, pasteurized milk grosses me out. The kinds of foods that are fed to mass farmed chickens and other animals (cows, beef cattle, pigs, etc.) is really yucky, too, and has caused me to limit my own meat/egg intake unless I can buy something locally raised. I mean, I don’t want to get all snobby and stuff, but it’s really hard to digest (ha) all this information that’s really well known, I think, at this point and still want to eat the way we’ve been eating.

I’m at the thinking, dreaming, sort of planning stage right now, because I’m not really sure how to start. I’ve got some thoughts…but I’m still not sure how to make the move, either completely or bit by bit to eating whole/real foods. I’ve scoped out some interesting blogs and started looking at some recipes, but really, that’s about it. I wish someone would write me a plan on how to start (maybe this is something I should take up with my nutritionist?).

So, what’s my eventual dream? Like, if I follow through with everything that is continually running through my head? That my family eats, for the most part, foods that have been prepared using ingredients that I know the source of, ideally from our own yard or neighbors’ yards or a local farm. That even things like cream cheese, jams, and condiments are the products of my effort, not someone else’s. That we feel good, healthy, and happy about the food we eat and the lifestyle (because a change like this is a change to your lifestyle as well) it leads us to.

That’s not a lot to take on, right?