Monday, March 31, 2014

Non-Processed Food Month Finishes

Today is the last day of the Non-Processed Food Challenge and to be honest we're not sorry to see it finish. Making all your own food is hard work most of the time. It's all fun when you're in a baking kind of mood but when something runs out and it needs making again over and over it can get a bit tedious.

Before we started this challenge we already made a decent amount of our food ourselves. We made muesli for our breakfasts, wraps for our lunch and usually made our evening meal from scratch (using the odd convenience food to help us along). The reason for trying to use no processed foods was to see how we'd cope doing without sauces, processed snacks and drinks.

We learned how to make lots of things we hadn't previously. Peanut butter was one thing we tried. It was great because it's easy to make and tastes great but the peanuts to make it cost twice as much as a jar of peanut butter. Nutella is the same, who knew hazelnuts were so pricey! Hummous is one of the best things we made. It's cheaper and tastier homemade. Muesli is great too because you can put in what you like and change the sweetness to your own taste.



The biggest change was switching the kids' snacks. Erin loves crisps but this month we haven't bought any at all. Instead we've made cheese straws and she's snacked on those instead. It's nicer to give her foods where we know all the ingredients in it because we made it ourselves. But displeasing when after a few days they've all gone so we have to make more!


Leigh used to eat crisps too or Cornettos for snacks. She asked for homemade cookies and ate those instead. Keeping up a constant supply of cookies is almost impossible especially when they want to share them with friends because they're so good.


A few things we made weren't worth the effort. Making homemade pasta sauce where you have to skin all the tomatoes was one of them. Buying a jar of sauce is going to be great. (Still going to give your recipe a try first though, Manda :)) We also tried making baked beans. Even after soaking the beans overnight and furiously boiling them for hours they weren't soft. We eventually ate them at about 8.30pm, still slightly bullet-like just so they hadn't beaten us. (They had :()


 One of the best things has been our weekly food shopping. Having a trolley full of ingredients instead of processed foods makes you feel good. Food (mostly) costs less when you make things yourself and there's a lot less packaging to throw out too. I'd say the worst thing is the pressure of making something for tea that might go wrong (beans -.-) and leave you having to quickly make something else more edible. At least with a can of beans you know they'll be consistently great. 

We're going to continue making things ourselves and experimenting with new foods to try homemade versions of. We'll still make all the foods we always have with a few new additions from this last month. If we ever eat baked beans again it'll be from a can though.

We're still deciding on our next challenge, watch this space :D

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