One of the biggest challenges about “going whole foods” is finding family-pleasing recipes. These recipes need to taste good AND be comprised of whole-food ingredients. In my opinion, this goes hand-in-hand…these recipes taste good BECAUSE they’re comprised of whole food ingredients! 😛
Before you toss your old recipes out the window, STOP! That may not be necessary. Most recipes can be turned into good, whole-food recipes by substituting ingredients. Find below a list of my favorite substitutions:
- Sub coconut oil or butter for vegetable oil: depending on what you are doing-baking vs cooking, but they are basically interchangeable:
- Sub whole wheat flour for regular flour: I tend to up the water ratio a little bit (or don’t add quite as much flour) as you would when using the white all-purpose flour variety. Wheat flour is thirstier. 🙂
- Sub brown rice for white rice: This just requires a little planning, as brown rice takes 3x as long as white rice to cook on the stove. (50 minutes for brown rice vs 15 minutes for its white counterpart.)
- Sub honey or 100% maple syrup for sugar: I use honey instead of sugar for most baking. On rare occasions when I do use sugar, I use the raw, organic, non-GM kind (available at Costco…you may begin to notice my love for all things Costco-
- Start preparing your own beans vs using the canned kind. For more on how to do this, see my post entitled Freeze Your Beans
- Substitute store-bought bread for bread you make yourself!! (Super easy if you have a bread-maker, and still not too incredibly hard even if you don’t.) Plus, then you can make your own home-made bread crumbs for recipes that call for breading, etc.
- Substitute home-made creamed soup recipes for store-bought creamed soup (cream of mushroom, cream of celery, etc). (The recipe link is for cream-of-mushroom soup, but my family personally doesn’t care much for mushrooms, so I just leave the mushrooms out and it’s still a great sub!)
- Make your own chicken, beef, and vegetable stock vs buying it at the store!
- Make your own tomato products such as tomato paste and tomato sauce, which can later be made into pizza sauce, pasta sauce-whatever you need! (Tomato paste is easy, just quarter tomatoes, boil them on the stove for 15-20 minutes, and then transfer to the crockpot on low for 6-7 hours, or until desired consistency is reached. I like using roma tomatoes, but any tomato will do.)
- Make your own whole wheat tortillas vs buying them at the store. Here is a basic tortilla recipe that can easily be made whole wheat.
- Buy meat locally, where you know it won’t be processed with all kinds of chemicals. (Plus, when you buy in bulk, such as buying a quarter of beef, you end up paying a lot less in the long run.) Craigs list is a good place to start your search for local meat (plus, you get to help support the local economy, always a plus)!
- Make your own ice cream vs store-bought. (There are a TON of ice cream recipes out there, and that way you can know you are eating real cream instead of a bunch of chemicals!)
- Make your own frozen-yogurt popsicles vs store-bought popsicles.
Admittedly, it does take a little bit of work and a lot of planning, but it’s worth it because you know your family is eating good, healthy food that is chemical free!! What I like to do is build up my pantry staples and freeze ahead, so I don’t have to scramble last minute. (So I will often make large batches of beans, or tomato sauce, or whatever I am making so I won’t have to make it again for some time.)
The moral of the “story”? Make Your Own and Freeze Ahead!! 🙂