We now re-join our heroine sobbing in the middle of the kitchen floor surrounded by mountains of canned goods and boxes of “stuff” thinly disguised as food. Battles can be emotional, and having just ninja chopped HFCS to near extinction, and Chuck Norris kicking MSG and artificial sweeteners to the curb, our pantry purging protagonist is portraying her passionate protest at the plight of our national provender. Holy hyperbole, Batman! Seriously, I could be a one woman reality show! OK, enough with the drama. I really didn’t break down and cry, but it did kinda make me mad when I began to realize all the junk that is in so much of the foods that we eat.
To continue, the next things that got the boot where my half can of Crisco and my jug of canola oil. (Repeat after me: “Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil are not my friends!”) I have been using other oils for a while, so it was definitely past time to toss those! I use butter or olive oil in most of my recipes and I just have recently been introduced to organic coconut oil. It is naturally solid at room temp and makes a great alternative to unnatural shortenings. It comes in two ways: expeller pressed which has a neutral taste and no smell, and extra virgin which tastes and smells coconutty. Yes that is too a word.
Coconut oil is good for pie crusts and frying things and that makes me happy cause I loves me some homemade french fries! As an aside, don’t EVER try to fry homemade french fries in extra virgin olive oil. It will fill your house with smoke. Really stinky, thick, black smoke. And then your smoke detectors will go off because they detect the really stinky, thick, black smoke. All of them. Loudly. At the same time. And then you’ll need rescue dogs with earplugs to find your children. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. Because I would never be silly enough to use a low smoke point oil to fry french fries in. 🙂
Another change that’s in process is replacing refined, white sugar with raw organic honey and organic dehydrated sugar cane juice. While I know that is not the least refined kind of sugar, as I said before it’s a process. I have quite a bit of white refined sugar in my pantry left over from some very good intentions I had about making goodie baskets for all those near and dear to me for Christmas gifts. Unfortunately the goodie fairy never showed and now I’m stuck with lots of refined sugar that I don’t want to eat and I feel that it wouldn’t be good stewardship to toss all of it out. (Now that I know how to make sugar body scrub it won’t go to waste!) I am also continuing my search for healthier alternatives to some things I use frequently, like the onion soup mix, Italian salad dressing mix, and the ubiquitous cream of something soups. There are several recipes online and I will keep trying them until I find one I like.
What pantry items have you deep-sixed for homemade, healthier alternatives? Please share, it may be something someone else is looking for. 🙂