Monday, November 4, 2013

Eating Fall: Eat the Real Thing!

At this time of year, among other delicious cold weather foods, we start eating oatmeal, pancakes and waffles, and soups and stews.  A few considerations are in order with some of these categories of cold weather good eats.

The first one is something that I admit does irk me a bit.  Those brown thick liquids in plastic bottles in your supermarket are not Maple Syrup! They are blends of high fructose corn syrup, food coloring and preservatives.  Please don't eat them. Find real Pure Maple Syrup at your Farmers Markets - and/or from time to time on the supermarket shelves. Only the real thing can say it's the "real thing". The other stuff is just flat out bad.  Yes, real maple syrup does cost more (it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup). But again you will use less, enjoy it more, and not be putting yet another source of high fructose corn syrup in your body.

Also be aware - and very wary - of "instant" oatmeal. There are many nasty ingredients creating that convenience.  Steel cut oatmeal is available in bulk dry goods stores.  There are a ton of recipes for making oatmeal and you can make a big pot and keep it in the 'fridge - making it easy to grab during the week.

And that brings us to Pancake "mixes".  I had spent years truly in love with Bisquick.  What didn't it do!?!?  Then I learned about it's manufacturer - Kraft - who is one of Monsanto's most faithful mega corporations and a big user of GMOs. We have attempted to avoid bringing anything from Kraft into our home.  So - no more Bisquick.  However I have found that it is pretty easy to make a pancake or waffle dry mix.  Stored in a tightly capped container and kept in a cool place it will be available and ready for the addition of some milk, buttermilk and an egg just as easily as the big yellow box. 

The same "make your own dry mix" is also true for a good hot chocolate mix that just needs hot water.  We make a couple of big batches of that over the winter.  On a really cold morning, it's as quick as putting the kettle on. 

Lastly, it is also worth considering making big batches of soups and stews this time of year.  Pack them up in lunch sized servings, label, and freeze them.  These will be so much better than anything you can buy that's been commercially produced and canned. 

In the coming weeks I will be publishing some of my favorite "make your own" dry mixes and easy to make and freeze soups & stews. In the meantime please share some of your favorites

So, do it yourself.  Make ahead.  Use local, seasonal, natural ingredients.  Make your own dry mixes. Freeze your own. Read labels. 

Come Spring you'll be happy, well fed, and healthier!

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