Saturday, October 8, 2011

Too Many Experiments!

This unprocessed food challenge is not easy.   If I used to think about food a lot before, I think about it even more now.  The worst part has been experiments gone wrong.  I am usually fairly adventurous when it comes to food.  I get bored easily.  I like to wander through the produce section & give the farmer's market a good look for something new, something different, something to have some fun with.  Huh.  It doesn't always work out that way.

For instance, this green cauliflower I got at the farmer's market.  Isn't it beautiful?  I was just sure it would be wonderful, steamed to perfection with a little butter & seasoning.  Yeah, not so much.  It smelled kind of funny while it was cooking & it tasted even worse.  Mike & I ate it though.  It was like we had to keep tasting it to see what was 'off'.  Later we both regretted it *burp*

Then there was also this lovely little gem.  It's cute, isn't it?  I'll give you bonus points if you can guess what it is...

Now can you tell?

It's a cucumber.  Now I didn't really expect to love this because I don't really enjoy cucumbers.  *burp*  I'll let you guess why.  Anyway, it had so little flesh & so much seediness that neither one of us liked it.

This is an assortment of carrots, sweet potato, rutabega, & parsnips.
Now moving on to failure #3.  The bad part of this one is all the time I spent peeling & chopping all of these veggies.  I even sacrificed a fingernail.

 Oh well.  At least I can assure you that the fingernail did NOT make it into the oven with the veggies.

And lest you think that this week of trying to eat unprocessed foods has been a total bust, I'm going to tell you about some of my good discoveries:
Homemade Applesauce - seriously, why would you ever buy it?  I know I'm weird because I enjoy peeling & chopping apples but it is SO GOOD!  The batch I made this week is probably my best ever.  I used lots of Gala apples, two big Granny Smiths & two MacIntosh.  I added just the slightest amount of raw sugar & some cinnamon.  Instant happiness.
Baked Oatmeal - I experimented with steel cut oats for the first time.  And although I don't love, love, love it, I don't mind eating it for breakfast.  And it really does stick to your ribs.  I don't get hungry at 10 a.m. when I have this for breakfast.
Sorghum Syrup - I bought a big jar of this over the summer on a total impulse.  After 15 seconds of research I realized it might be kind of tricky to use in baking so it's just been waiting in the pantry.  Turns out, I really like a light drizzle of sorghum on my baked oatmeal.  And after realizing how much refined sugar & HFCS is in jelly, I've used sorghum to make my pb&j.  So I suppose my sandwich is a pb&ss *grin*
Ezekiel Bread - I've heard of this stuff before but I hadn't seen it at our grocery store.  Then someone told me that it is kept in the freezer.  It's the heartiest bread I've ever eaten.  And since I love things with bark & twigs in it I really love this bread.  It's prepared by soaking & sprouting the grains & it is so good.  I think this change just might last forever.  It's expensive but we don't eat a lot of bread so it just might work out.
Natural Peanut Butter - I have to admit that I never tried natural pb before because it looks so gross in the jar with the oil all separated out.  Then I actually read the ingredients on our jar of pb & I got really sad at all the added sugar & weirdness.  Since I love, love, love pb I knew I was going to have to try the natural stuff.  And it is really good.  I'm not lying, I thought it would be awful without the sweetness.  I am a real sweets girl but I truthfully did not miss it.  However, I did not like having to mix it up when I first opened the jar.  I made a mess.  Anyone out there have any tips for how I can mix it up without making a huge mess next time?

And as far as this challenge goes, I fail a little bit (or a lot!) every day.  But at this point I can still honestly say that I'm trying (though I'm tempted to jump off the wagon!).  And I haven't used non dairy coffee creamer or white sugar in my coffee.  I haven't had any candy from my parent's big pumpkin jar.  I haven't had any boxed cereal, processed cheese, canned soup, or soda. 

Maybe I should confess right now that I had Taco Bell & a huge gas station diet Coke the night before the challenge began *grin*


TwoMuths said...

yay for you! I admit we're not 100% unprocessed. :-) I did want to say I totally agree about the applesauce, and if you like making that you really SHOULD try making fun. The pectin people even have fruit juice sweetened recipes on the back of the box!

Alicia said...

Jenny stole my suggestion about jam-making! :) It's SO EASY and you can notch down the sugar a ton and come away a super yummy jar of jam.

I feel like it's virtually impossible for us to be unprocessed. We just can't give up the crackers, pretzels and such. :( And my husband LOVES cheap-o white bread. Blech.

Mary Ann said...

Jenny & Alicia, you've got me convinced. I'm going to try the jam making. I might be contacting you with my questions when the time comes :-)