Saturday, September 14, 2013

Real Food Adventure

     School started back up and I'm student teaching in a Kindergarten classroom. It is so much fun and so exhausting at the same time! All of my students are either 4 or 5 right now and they are absolutely adorable! But... between student teaching and homework/lesson planning I haven't had much extra time. 

     On top of school starting about 3-4 weeks ago we decided to try and cut out all processed foods and eat only "real" foods, which consists of whole foods- foods in their most natural state, lots of fruits and veggies, meat, dairy (cuz lets be real, I can't survive without cheese and milk!!!), and using things like honey and 100% maple syrup to sweeten things. It has been adventure-- a lot easier than we thought it would be but very time consuming. I was inspired to try this by another blogger who writes the blog 100 Days of Real Food, it's about her family's goal of 100 days of eating only real food that turned into always striving to eat only real food. 

     In order to keep eating things we like and that are convenient I have been a lot of cooking/baking. I have made whole-wheat tortillaswhole-wheat muffinshomemade refried beans, whole-wheat waffles, homemade granola with raisins, and plan on making whole-wheat pizza, and whole-wheat calzones tomorrow! 

     The first time I made the tortillas we loved them, but they were such a pain! The second time, I doubled the recipe and they were still good but I wasn't getting the results I wanted when I rolled them out. They were so thin that they would just tear when I went to put them in the pan. So today, I got smart and went to Sur La Table and spent the best $19.95 of my life and got a tortilla press. Now, with the tortilla press they are no where near as big as 100 Days of Real Food says they should or can be, and they are not as thin either... but they are SO easy and still so delicious! No more tearing tortillas, no more thin spots burning in the pan! Also, I used olive oil since I don't have avocado oil and wasn't about to spend $20 on a small bottle of it! You don't taste the olive oil at all and since they are a little oily pre-cooked I don't add any extra oil to the pan and they come out great! 

      I made the whole-wheat muffins with fresh blueberries and they were very yummy but a little dry. I made a triple batch and stuck about 2/3 in the freezer for another time. Since they are a little dry we nuke them in the microwave and add a little cream cheese and they are delicious! I made both cupcake size and mini cupcake size and both turned out great! 

     I never thought to make refried beans at home.. well I guess technically they are mushed pinto beans because not only do I not refry them, I don't fry them at all! They are so simple! The first time I made them I threw them in the crockpot before bed and woke up the next morning to beans that were done! I make mine without jalapeño though--I'm a wimp and don't like spice. They make bean and cheese burritos with the whole-wheat tortillas! Yumm! 

     Last Sunday morning I decided to make us whole-wheat waffles and they were so good! I added just a little cream cheese and ate them without syrup. My bff cheated and smothered hers in added butter and waffle syrup and loved them also! 

    My favorite thing of all so far has been my homemade granola cereal! I add raisins to it when it's done and eat about 1/4 cup with some milk every morning and it's not only delicious but keeps me full! It it so easy to make and can be made in a large batch all at once. I've posted my recipe below. All the recipes for the rest of these real food items can be found on the 100 Days of Real Food blog that I love so much! 
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Homemade Nut Free, Sugar Free Granola

·      3-4 cups rolled oats
·      6 tablespoons unsalted butter
·      ½ cup honey
·      ½ cup maple syrup
·      ½ teaspoon salt
·      3 teaspoons vanilla extract

·      Preheat oven to 350º
·      In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt together the honey, maple syrup, butter and salt.
·      Once butter is melted remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
·      Pour hot liquid mixture over oats and stir to coat evenly.
·      Pour onto greased cookie sheet.
·      Bake for 15-20 minutes stirring every 5-7 minutes to keep it from burning.
·      Let cool, add raisins or other dried fruit.

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     Even though we are on a bit of a real/whole food revolution I still plan on baking and even baking with all-purpose flour and sugar. I will be trying out new whole food recipes also though! I'm going to try and come up with a whole-wheat sugar free cupcake... so we'll see how that goes! 

Thanks for coming, stay awhile, and return often! xoxo

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