January 30, 2009

Thoughts on purchasing, storing, and preparing food.

I don't have a microwave. That may seem weird to you. It seems I have had one my entire life and I used it every day until about a year or so ago. I can't remember where I first read about the dangers of microwave cooking. It could have been from the Dr. Mercola website or somewhere else. But I do remember it made me go and do my own research on the topic. I remember reading how researchers discovered that it zapped most of the nutrients right out of your food. After reading that....it was rather convenient that we had just burned popcorn in it and threw it out in the garage never to return to our home. And I have not missed it.

I also remember reading that the best food preparation method for veggies to keep the most nutrients was to steam, followed by boiling, I can't remember the rest. I will try to find the links to that info. I do want to try to put documentation behind what I say and not just rehash info I've heard or read. :)

One of my goals is to maximize the nutrient value in my family's food, while at the same time minimizing the bad stuff such as pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, bpa in cans, etc.....I know I have to be realistic. Cost can be very prohibitive in what I would buy. I know if I had a lot of money I would buy ALL organic everything. But since I'm not made of money I do the best I can and try not to worry about it.

Trust me, there are nights when the $1 menu at Wendy's will just have to do. Of course you can't control what you eat away from home, so when we are home I do want to try my best at serving healthy food in the house. I don't bring coke or chips, etc into our home and I try to limit the processed food as much as possible. I know we will get that when we leave and go other places.

There are certain foods that I don't skimp on as far as buying organic and that is milk and butter. I read somewhere...I will have to look up the reference...that butter has the highest pesticide load of any food. I do buy some hormone free meats but the cost is so high I also buy regular too. I always buy nitrate free lunch meat and hot dogs even though the meat itself is not organic.

As far as organic produce, I try to follow the Environmental Working Groups list of the most and least pesticide laden foods. You can see that here: There you can see that peaches, apples and bell peppers have the worst pesticide load. On the other end of the spectrum, frozen corn, avocados and onions have the least load. So I never buy those organic.

Another thing I consider is how the food is stored. I only buy a few foods canned like Alaskan salmon and black olives. That's it. According to the EWG, EVERY can has the chemical BPA in it except I think Eden brand beans. Not to mention the fact that most of the nutrients have been stripped out of the food when it is canned. So I buy fresh as much as possible and then everything else frozen. I do buy other things canned in glass such as spaghetti sauce. I found this great brand (organic Bertolli) that I like and I use it for everything in recipes that calls for tomato sauce or paste. I love it because it only has olive oil in it. Most other brands you find will have canola or some other unhealthy oil.

I've been wanting to study other food preservation methods like drying. I was surprised to learn that, in some cases, drying preserves nutrients in foods better than even freezing. I know I need to get my emergency preparedness food stash ready! I don't think my kids would eat a bunch of canned salmon with spaghetti sauce on top!

It's just a matter of making wiser choices. I know I can't be perfect. Especially when I am stressed...everything goes out the window and it's pizza from a restaurant for everybody! But you know what ...that is OK.


(From Nourishing Traditions page 521)

Makes 8 Cups!

1/4 Cup organic popcorn
2 TB oil (olive or coconut)
sea salt
2 TB Butter: organic or homemade raw (The recipe called for 1/4 to 1/2 Cup, but we found that was way too much!)
Step 1: Put oil in pan, put popcorn in pan.

Step 2: Put pan on stove burner, place a tight fitting lid on and put on medium heat (5 on my stove)

Step 3: Shake pan back and forth over burner so the kernels don't stick and burn! When you hear the first pop lower the heat slightly (I put on 3), and continue to shake until the popping stops! It's fun to watch them pop if you have a glass lid!

James says, "Always cook with a grown-ups help!"

Step 4: Take off lid and put in butter to melt. Put the heat on the low setting and stir around.

Step 5: Sprinkle on the sea salt!

Step 6: Enjoy your popcorn!!!

Variations: Add Parmesan cheese, maple syrup, or whatever sounds good!

Cost: Popcorn (I will have to add later...I forgot.), Oil ,Butter .31,

Total cost of snack:

Don't eat microwave popcorn! It contains harmful chemicals in the lining of the paper....not to mention the unhealthy oils it is cooked in!!!


Here is a list of healthy simple snacks that we enjoy! Click on the name to go to the recipe.



Welcome to my Healthy Traditions blog! The purpose of my blog is to share all the wonderful concoctions I try in my quest for healthier whole food cooking. I plan to share products I like as well as keep track of the cheapest place to purchase it. I will also include how much it cost to make each recipe. Another goal I have is to organize menu plans around my recipes. I will also share links I find that include healthy products or research which pertains to topics of health and nutrition.

This way of thinking about nutrition is so revolutionary for this time! It is the complete opposite of what we are told by the mainstream. I was so amazed after becoming enlightened on the truths that kept out ancestors healthy. Soaking or sprouting grains, seeds and beans, actually releases the nutrients in them....Wow! All this wisdom of the ages has largely been forgotten....until now! Yippy for us!

We are told that saturated fats are bad, bad, bad....when in actuality they are very healthy and important for health. Especially for infants and children!! Read more amazing Myths and Truths about nutrition here! Remember margarine (trans fats)? For years we were told how wonderfully healthy it was for the heart by well meaning doctors! WRONG! I remember reading how bad it was about 1o years ago and stopped using it BEFORE the mainstream came around!

Do you know that soy products, which have been the panacea of the health food market for years, are actually very bad for you? Read about that here!

Why do you ask, have the nutritionists, the doctors, the food pyramid, everything we have ever heard say the complete opposite of what I am telling you? Well as the old saying goes..."It's all about the money!" In other words, special interests with big power got this way of thinking to become mainstream, even when many scientists and doctors opposed this newfangled low fat diet craze!

If you would like to educate yourself about traditional diets and why they are healthy please go to the Weston A. Price website here. They have oodles of wonderful information on the topic!!!!!