We’ve heard it said before: real food is a journey. You can’t expect it all to happen overnight. It’s a process. A lifestyle change.
However, as passionate as I am about whole foods, I still compromise sometimes. I have to, for the sake of sanity. For example, even though I love making homemade pasta, I usually keep a couple boxes of whole wheat spaghetti on hand, just in case. Or, while I make many batches of homemade yogurt in the summertime, I often grab a carton of whole-milk yogurt when the goats are dried up.
That being said, there are a few food items that I will never, ever buy from the grocery store again. Not just because they are filled with chemicals or preservatives, but because their homemade counterparts are so frugal, so easy, and so far superior in taste, that I simply can not think of any reason to buy them, even in my weakest moment.
So, in no particular order-
My 5 “Never Buy Again” Foods:
1. Bread Crumbs. I’m embarrassed to admit that I frequently use to buy those little cans of seasoned bread crumbs. Yes, I paid money for bits of stale bread. Not mention the fact that they are filled with all manner of strange ingredients (monocalcium phosphate, anyone?). Now, I save back my dry or stale bread (we have no shortage of failed bread experiments around here) and use my food processor to grind them into crumbs. They are practically free and so much healthier than store-bought!
2. Canned Broth. This is another “bonus food” that can be made from things that would normally end up in the garbage. It’s easy to create wholesome, nourishing broths and stocks with leftover bones and veggie scraps. Not only will you avoid the MSG found in conventional broths, but it’s frugal and incredibly easy, especially if you let your slow cooker do all the work for you!
3. Vanilla Extract. Fake “vanilla” may be cheap, but it is nothing more than a bottle of artificial flavoring. Unfortunately, real vanilla can be costly, especially if you do a lot of baking. Thankfully, it’s a no-brainer to make in your own kitchen. All you need are some vodka and vanilla beans. Toss them in a jar and allow them to steep for several months. It practically makes itself!
4. Peanut Butter. This one is a fairly new venture for me, but I’m never going back to Jif! Why buy peanut butter that is laden with hydrogenated oils when you can easily make it at home using, well, peanuts. It’s a simple technique, but yields far superior flavor. Check out this post for more details on homemade peanut butter, if you’re interested.
5. Hot Cocoa Mix. If you still think making the switch to real food is a sacrifice, then you’ve never had a cup of real hot cocoa. It’s rich, decadent, full of healthy fats, and there is absolutely no comparison to the powdered stuff. So unless you have an attachment to those styrofoam-like marshmallows, I suggest you try making it yourself! I make mine from a recipe similiar to this one, using raw goat’s milk and real vanilla.
So compromise is totally acceptable, just choose your compromises wisely. The farther I venture into real food, the more I am amazed at how so many of the foods that we once assumed impossible to make, are in reality, some of the simplest.
What are some of your “never buy again” foods?