Thursday, September 30, 2010

Look how far we've come...

Just so you know, I have not always been such a frugal, highly skilled Foodie.  In fact, I used to consider  French Fries a vegetable serving, and fruit roll-ups a healthy snack...can you imagine?? :)
Although my love of food, baking and cooking started at the young age of 7 or 8, it didn't really take a healthy turn until about 10 years ago.

 I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now, trying desperately to get pregnant and struggling with feelings of sluggishness and low energy.  The changes to how I cook and eat started off very slowly--it was a long process to get here, where I am today. Nothing happened overnight, some of it was easy, some of it was not.  But thinking of what precipitated the change--wanting a healthier body to support a pregnancy and then a nursing baby--prompted me to start asking some questions about the food industry, what we buy, and what we eat.
Here are some of the questions that started coming up:

1.  What is the difference between Sour Cream and "Sour Cream Product", fruit juice and a "fruit beverage" (...I could come up with a million other examples of the sleight of hand  that marketers use to sell these food industry products--next time you are at the grocery store--look at the labels, start asking yourself some questions about what you are buying)
2.  What is margarine really made of, and why do I choose it over butter (a far less processed product, that has real ingredients--not chemicals)
3.Why do I buy that item, instead of making it? (like pancakes, cake mixes and muffin mixes etc)  If I choose to make it, will it have less chemicals, preservatives, sodium, and BHT(what?)? --OF COURSE it will!
So, I am encouraging you to start asking some of those questions. What other questions can you come up with?  There were many, many more for me...and the farther along this path I go, the more changes I make to what I buy and what I cook--and I am 50 pounds lighter, more energetic and happier too!  Could you be too?
Pancakes from Scratch (adapted from "The Joy of Cooking" )
2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs-beaten
enough milk (about 1 3/4 cup) to fill the measuring cup to 2 cups
3 tbsp oil
1-2 cups fruit of your choice (apples, strawberries or raspberries are popular in our house)
In one measuring cup combine the milk, egg and oil, mix.
In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture all at once and stir until just combined, and moistened.  Add fruit .
You know the rest...ladle into hot pan, flip when brown, done when cooked all the way through.
Serve with maple syrup, or homemade table syrup ( can make homemade table syrup???!!!)

Homemade Apple Table Syrup 

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2tbsp butter
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 med apples, peeled and slice thinly

Bring sugar, water, butter, cornstarch and cinnamon to boil.  Boil  2 minutes or until thick.  Reduce heat and add apple slices, simmer about 10 minutes until apples are tender.  Serve over pancakes or waffles.


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