Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October #Unprocessed: Checking In

Halfway through Week #2 of the October #Unprocessed Challenge, I thought I'd check in and let you know how it's going in our home. Last week, we were not as committed as I had planned. But then again, some things you just can't plan. Last minute invites to a birthday dinner and a breakfast out with family {my favorite meal to eat out...} threw some wrenches in our plans. But overall, we were definitely much more intentional about making sure we avoided even the processed organic food that we often gobble down with no thought.
One of my favorite dishes that graced our table last week was my Fall version of Shepard's Pie. Shepard's Pie is a favorite in our house, but this time I used mashed sweet potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes to top off this savory dish. It was a gamble for me, knowing that my hubby proclaims to hate sweet potatoes. But I was pretty sure he'd like them served this way, since they wouldn't be sweetened. Just savory. Sure enough, he was a fan. {He wolfed down the savory sweet potato fries I made the week before too! I think he's finally realized that it's not sweet potatoes he hates, but the sugary, sweet and completely false preparations he's been served over the years.}
For snacks last week, I mixed up a batch of trail mix. Tired of paying high prices for trail mix that wasn't even good for me, I started making my own mix over a year ago. I love shopping the bulk room at our local natural food store and have found that I can control my ingredients making the mix exactly how we like it while being able to skip the hassle of carefully scanning the ingredient list on the package for processed imposters. I've done the math and my mix ends up costing exactly the same as I can purchase a similar {though processed--because M&Ms are not a whole food} product at our wholesale club. Our mix usually entails a mix of equal parts peanuts and cashews to equal parts diced pineapple, diced papaya, raisins and dried cranberries with some pumpkin seeds thrown in for a little extra nutrition. Sweet. Salty. Delicious! I also made homemade nutrigrain bars for another between-meal snack.
Our chickens are in full production mode now, and we are swimming in eggs at this point. It's a wonderful problem to have. So {my hubby's} breakfast generally consists of runny eggs and toast made from homemade bread. I made this delicious oatmeal bread last week and froze one of the loaves so that we are now enjoying it this week too! I love yogurt, though, and made some granola to eat with that for breakfast. A little local raw honey drizzled on top adds just the perfect amount of sweetness to the otherwise sour creaminess of my plain yogurt. My little guy also loves yogurt or for some variety I make him some oatmeal using just apples and cinnamon to sweeten the pot.
So, although we haven't had a perfectly unprocessed October, we have been as intentional as possible about eating a largely unprocessed diet. Thankfully, the produce from our CSA keeps us focused on the challenge as well, as we're always looking for new ways to use seasonal veg. It's definitely a challenge, but it's also worth the work involved. And thankfully, sweets aren't completely eliminated from our diet {definitely craving more sweets during this pregnancy!!}. For dessert, we've been enjoying this naturally sweetened apple pie. Soo delicious!
 Did you take the challenge? Feel free to share some of your unprocessed recipes! {I'm always looking for some new ideas}

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