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Toxins in our food: Taking control (Recipes Included)

Friday, July 15, 2011

As many of you know, I've been learning about the hazards of vegetable oils, soy, and sugar, and have been trying to eliminate them (or at least reduce my intake - in the case of sugar!) from my diet. This has meant a further move away from processed food, since it is very hard to get anything processed that doesn't include one of those ingredients. I had already stopped buying processed foods that had chemicals and additives. This is the next step.

So, I've been experimenting with making my own foods from whole, organic ingredients, and I'm really enjoying the journey, and the feeling that I KNOW exactly what is going into my food. This move has also had the added benefit of lowering our food costs and reducing plastic waste. (My eye-opening revelation about plastic, and my resolutions about avoiding it whenever possible, is the topic of another blog - coming soon!)

Speaking of knowing what's in our food, I just discovered that the fairly innocent-sounding "cellulose", which is a common filler in processed food, is wood pulp! I am not a termite! Not so sure I want to be eating wood...

Many of you have asked for my recipes, and so, I will be including them here, so they are all in one place - well, all that I've tried so far, anyway! emoticon

Here's the bread recipe we use. I'm really happy with it. It's the softest 100% whole wheat bread I've made so far. www.food.com/recipe/amis

Here's the hamburger and hot dog bun recipe. I don't use the all-purpose flour. I use 100% whole wheat, and they turn out great! These are the best 100% whole wheat buns I've ever had. What a difference from store-bought! www.food.com/recipe/whol

A couple weekends ago, I made homemade pita bread. Have you ever wondered how they get the pocket in the pita? Well, it just puffs up when you bake it! I was amazed to see that mine had a pocket - though not all of them did. I think there's an art to how long you bake them and how thick they are that I'm still working on perfecting. These have a way better texture and are far more flavorful than any store-bought pitas I've had, and if there isn't a pocket, we're just using them for wraps! Here's the recipe: mideastfood.about.com/od

Look! See? A pocket!

And, I made homemade flour tortillas last weekend. I was hoping to use the tortilla press for the flour tortillas, but it didn't make them thin enough, so I did have to roll them. It wasn't so bad, though, because the dough isn't hard to work with. They are DELICIOUS! Again, way more flavor than store-bought. I think I need to add a bit more oil next time to make them a tiny bit more flexible. The recipe is a bit off in the frying of them. You leave them on the first side until they bubble (it can take up to a minute), THEN flip them. I also used 100% whole wheat flour for these, and substituted coconut oil for the shortening. allrecipes.com/Recipe/me

Here's a pic of my pile of tortillas: emoticon

For all of the bread recipes, I used freshly ground, 100% whole wheat flour, even if the recipe said different. And I used coconut oil instead of whatever oil the recipe said.

I make big batches of the bread products and freeze them. It works great!

I have also made homemade kefir, which was SUPER-easy. I took whole raw milk. added a packet of Kefir starter that I got at our local coop, and left it on the counter in a covered container (a big mason jar in my case) for over 24 hours. (I kept tasting mine and put it in the fridge when it was the tartness I wanted. I LOVE that my homemade kefir is the tartness that I like.) When it was done, I put it in the blender with fresh strawberries to flavor and sweeten it a bit. It's delicious, sugar-free, and way less expensive than store-bought! If you save 1/2 cup of it, you can use that as a starter next time, and you can keep doing that for at least 6 batches.

I made homemade mayonnaise, too. I found a recipe that uses whey as a means of preserving the mayonnaise, so you can keep it in the fridge like store-bought. The recipe is here: www.eatfatlosefat.com/re
Scroll down to the "Additional Recipes" section to find the recipe. I think this recipe needs a bit of tweaking still. It's a bit too tart for me, and I'm not so sure I'm sold on coconutty mayonnaise. However, I think it's a good start, and I'm thrilled that I've found a mayonnaise recipe that doesn't go bad in two days.

I think that's about it, for the recipes I've tried so far.

On the list:

Homemade pasta, bagels, and greek yogurt! I'm looking forward to further adventures!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    homemade and fresh you can't beat! I am proud of you! You are a girl with aplan! a winner!

    spark hug
    1816 days ago
    Love it! I found the better I eat the less waste we make, as we're down to 1 can of garbage a month. Pox on the plastic and up with fruits that come with their own edible packaging. Give you a tip that I found on the web. The crock pot can be used for raising bread (just put parchment paper in the bottom), then you turn it up to high to finish baking it. It turns out like the brown and bake rolls...so if you want the crust browned you just put it under the broiler for a few minutes.

    I love kefir, so will have to go and get starter. I'm excited.
    2908 days ago
    2943 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114604
    Thank you for this blog and the recipes! Now im shocked just like you about the 'wood'??!! in processed food?? Yuck!!!
    3269 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8066537
    thank you for the info and "cellose" I am shocked!
    3272 days ago
  • ERIN4771
    and i thought i was doing good with chopping veggies emoticon ...these are awesome recipes!! thanks for sharing....and i can't wait to read about the bagels you are working on, those are my breakfast fuelers!!!
    3272 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6462671
    You rock!
    3273 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Well done going more healthy in eating, but not so sure about the coconut oil,, very high calorie/fat, I guess the olive oil they tout so much is not good for baking..
    I eat mostly fresh fruit and veggies and stay away from bread products, preferring beans and lentils, but I do have one cup of soy milk daily to make my fruit shake. Other than that its just water and natural (not processed) green tea.
    I can't understand why I wasn't getting your blogs on my friend feed. I hope they go there now. Trying to catch up on them all now..I have been very busy with work.
    3273 days ago
    Good for you on eating so healthy and cooking that way as well. That's awesome that you made so many yummy things. I love whole wheat flour products and those look very good that you made! emoticon
    3274 days ago
    WoW!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3275 days ago
    What efforts and diligence you've put into this! Wow! Thx for sharing, but this grab 'n go kinda guy doubts he'll come even CLOSE to what you're accomplishing...even though it has much appeal!

    3275 days ago
    I'm impressed at how professionally made your pita looks! Thanks for sharing the recipes. Will check them out.
    3276 days ago
    yummy, i just printed these out. what did you use for the Crisco in the bread recipe? was that cocoanut oil too? and did you use your bread machine to make the buns? or can you do that with out the machine?
    gonna have to look up Kefir.
    3276 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6419298
    Great going!!!
    I've bought several non-gluten flours and have yet to start experimenting (except I did use some to thicken my turkey shepherd's pie)...
    Keep up the good work and figure out that sugar thing...it is the number one thing I NEED to avoid...
    3276 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/15/2011 1:07:12 PM
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