Making your own food

Making your own food

What we recycle and how to reduce it.

Trying to rid ourselves of the glass jars and cans that we bring into the house, I’m attempting to make as much food as possible rather than purchase it. I’m now making my own peanut butter, bread, hummus, soups, juices, Greek yogurt, muffins, pesto, cappuccino, beans, nut mix, and salsa. I shall next attempt marinara sauce. If I could figure out how to make my own cheese, I would. I’d like to figure out how to make crackers! Besides cutting back on packaging, we’re getting less preservatives, sugar and other goop in our systems we don’t  need.

My man wants to learn how to brew his own beer. Think of the glass bottles we’d save! A friend of his gave us a tour of a self-brewery in his basement and showed us how it was done. The beer, however, hmmm…how could I say it in a nice way? It tasted like lukewarm yeast. But that was years ago. I’m sure he’s perfected it by now!

Granted, I realize not everyone has the time or the passion to turn into a Betty Crocker. I think of it as an investment. I know exactly what goes into my food and what goes into my intestines. I do, however, spend a lot of time in the kitchen. From someone who has HATED to cook her entire life, I will tell you this is different. It’s an accomplishment every time I don’t have to buy something in plastic or a can. And so many of these things I’m making don’t take very long , especially if you use the food processor! My man comes home and I hold out my newest accomplishment smiling, and he laughs!

This is also why I’ve become a crock pot fanatic. You just chop and throw everything in the crock pot. I make all my soup in the crock pot now. I am making so many meals, I started an entirely separate crock pot blog called G.I. Crock Pot in order to share some of the recipes that work and others that don’t. It saves me loads of time and saves the landfill cans and packaging. Yay! We both win.

My ultimate helper.

My brother bought me the Magic Bullet for Christmas. It makes more than margaritas and daiquiris. It makes guacamole, hummus, eggs, muffins, single soup servings, marinara sauce, mousse, smoothies, sorbet, and pure, perfect juice among other things. It saves all kinds of time in the kitchen. I haven’t tried them all, but I will. No, I’m not being paid to endorse it and you do not need it to make your own food. It is something I use to speed up the process in the kitchen (like single servings of soup) and a gift I’ve been happy with. I do realize it’s made of plastic and doesn’t  go with the living green lifestyle. This is an attempt at zero waste, one step at a time, grasshopper.

Ok, so I do have lots of gadgets and help in the kitchen, but I’m in there all the time, experimenting and fooling around. Anything I can find that saves me time is a plus. The two I use the most (when I decided to make more of my own food) are a set of sharp knifes and a food processor.

6 EASIEST RECIPES SO FAR:

1. Greek yogurt

I buy normal, low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt and use a cheesecloth over a strainer, which I place over a large pot. I scrape the yogurt over every day with the spatula to a clean area on the cheese cloth to strain out the whey, otherwise the cheesecloth gets clogged. In 3 or 4 days, I have thick, creamy Greek yogurt, just like store-bought.  I add the whey to soups.

2. Pure fruit juice

I use the juicer from the Magic Bullet, but any juicer will do. All you need is fresh fruit and it will be THE best tasting juice you have EVER had! It’s nothing but pure fruit juice. Much cheaper than store-bought, no plastic or additives.

3. Beans

Beans are under the onion and turkey neck.

I use the crock-pot. 2 cups of beans (any beans), 6 cups of water and a ham hock or turkey neck. Add onion if you like. Six to eight hours later, you have delicious beans, not from a can!

4. Nut mix

One cup broken walnuts, one cup dried cranberries, one-cup soy nuts dipped in dark chocolate ( I melt the chocolate in a pot on the stove, pour in the soy nuts and scoop them out by the half teaspoon. I lay the chunks on wax paper on a baking sheet. When they completely dry, I break them apart as much as possible.)
If that’s too much trouble, chocolate chips would work just fine!

A cup, a cup, a cup. Mix it up = nut mix.

5. Cappuccino

Works best when you tilt the glass/cup and don't do it in the living room.

I now brew my coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon. (thanks to Michelle!)
I use milk instead of creamer and whip it up with the Aerolatte I bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for close to $20. You can probably find it cheaper on-line. (It’s similar to a baby blender that fits in a glass to create excellent foam.) No more cardboard cups with plastic tops. (Not that I don’t have any of those. I keep the ones I have and try to reuse them, but most places won’t refill them–except truck stops and convenient stores where you refill it yourself. Lord knows, I’ve tried.)

You'll know when the batteries dwindle. There won't be as much foam.

6.  Whole Wheat Tortillas

Too lazy to go to the store, and only missing tortillas for our bean enchiladas, we decided to make them. We grabbed the recipe off cooks.com recipe search.
Use:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Throw all dry ingredients in food processor and mix on high. Add oil. Gradually add water. The mixture will turn into a ball,  let it bounce around for about 2 minutes. Remove the ball and cut it into 4 parts. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each piece on a flour covered cutting board (or the counter top). Make them thin. Bake on lightly oiled skillet. Flip when tiny bubbles appear, like you would with pancakes. Makes 4 thin, beautiful tortillas. I will never buy them again. It was so easy and they were so  fresh and delicious, I will make them as I need them! My hubby helped!

Let me know what you make, how you make it, and what you use!

I want to learn!!

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Other “making your own” food ideas:
Making your own food (ramblingsofaworkingmom.wordpress.com)
Alton Brown’s Granola Bars (aveena.wordpress.com)
Cheap Dog Food  (kimnaclub.wordpress.com)
Savings Experiment: Make your own ice cream (walletpop.com)
Make your own junk food–homemade magic shell (browniepointsblog.com)
Make your own limoncello! (blog.cookingchanneltv.com)
Make your own cookbook? (circleoffood.com/blog)
How to make your own soy milk  (funnfud.blogspot.com)
How to make your own prison wine  (DudeFoods.com)
Slow cooker canning (foodinjars.com)

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8 responses to “Making your own food

  1. Such ambition, sooo eco minded, healthy eating, etc etc. Am totally impressed and LOVE your pics!!!!!

    • Thanks Mary Pat! I sure do appreciate the encouragement. We are having so much fun doing this, it takes up all my time. I swore I’d never be a Betty Crocker, and now look what I’ve become! :) (ha!)

  2. Wow, this is awesome! What a great idea – and I love the simplicity of the lifestyle you’re leading. Yummy recipe ideas, too – I never had any idea before of what to use a turkey neck for. Yum!

  3. Thanks Hellopaleo!
    (You know a ham hock works just as well but I figure turkey is better for you than pork…maybe…)
    It’s a lot of fun (and a lot of work) but MOSTLY fun seeing how much we can save by how little we use. The real challenge is now that we have it down, we’re moving again. Let’s see how we do in the next town!

  4. Pingback: Looks can be deceiving…. | Cook Me A Story

  5. I love making my own food too! Sorry I couldn’t give you something that will definitely solve your cheese problem.

  6. I’ll keep my eyes open. We’ll figure it out!

  7. Pingback: How to make your own pesto (Try #1) | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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