I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I am not keen on pre-packaged foods. It’s great for convenience, that’s for sure, but my concern is what exactly goes into pre-packaged foods.
I love junk food as much as the next person. Tortilla chips and salsa are my downfall — and it’s not like I’m going to make the tortillas myself, then fry them up to eat with homemade salsa. I’m going to crack open a bag of Tostitos and grab my nearest jar of Pace (or Old El Paso; depends on what’s on sale) chunky salsa.
Stuff like crackers and chips… you can’t reproduce that at home. And besides, what’s a little junk here and there??
I’ve known folks my age who insist that they don’t have time to make anything from scratch. Yet they’ll crack open a box of Hamburger Helper, which takes at least twenty minutes to cook. Those same twenty minutes can be used towards homemade beef stroganoff, made with sour cream and ground beef. But there aren’t any unpronounceable chemicals going into your food.
Now I do realize that it sounds like I’m starting to come across as a bit of an anti-processed food Nazi. Far from it. There are plenty of stuff in my house that is processed; I just try not to overdo it.
Every other week, a stay-at-home mom of two publishes an article in the local newspaper. Usually she has good ideas on ways to keep the kids occupied when they’re not in school, or fun things she’s found to do around the area. This week she tackled her kids’ nutrition.
She is on a mission to eradicate all traces of high fructose corn syrup (aka, HFCS) from her kids’ food. You would think that wouldn’t be so very difficult. No soda, no treats, no sweet things…
The thing is, HFCS is in everything. It’s far cheaper to use than sugar, and it also mixes into food more easily. I think it may help to extend the shelf life as well. It’s in ketchup and salad dressing, even yogurt! It seems impossible to get away from. Yet this woman is on a mission to get rid of it from her kids’ diet.
More power to her, I say. I would love to cut HFCS out of our diet, simply because it is not a natural substance. Food companies would love you to believe it is; 7-Up is marketing itself as being “all natural,” yet it is sweetened with HFCS. In my book, “natural” means “found or occurring in nature.” I suppose sugar might not fall under that category, since you have to distill sugar out from the sugar beet or from sugar cane. But at least it isn’t manufactured in a lab, as HFCS is.
EDIT: I forgot to mention… Kurt won’t drink soda overseas. Why?? They don’t use HFCS as their sweetener; they still use sugar. He says it tastes funny! I remember being in Kenya and loving their bitter lemon soda. I know they used sugar; I could taste the film it left on my teeth. But boy, was it good!
For me, trying to cut HFCS out of my diet would just be too much. It is in so many things, and most of the foods it’s left out of can only be found at a health food store. It would be easier if we had a Trader Joe’s nearby, but as it is I don’t care to spend $5 on a bottle of ketchup that could be had for $1.29 at the commissary. My food budget just can’t handle it.
All I can do is try to minimize the processed food. Sure I’ll break down and buy a convenience meal in a bag (those by Contessa are goooooooooood), but I just won’t eat them every night.
And just because I love you all so much, I shall share with you my awesome recipe for dinner rolls (that are more like a muffin) that I have been obsessed with lately. Just don’t be like me and forget to put the yeast in — like I did tonight!! DOH!!!
Scoop and Bake Dinner Rolls
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) rapid-rise or instant yeast
1 cup water, heated to 110º
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200º. Maintain temperature for 10 minutes, then turn off oven. Grease muffin tin.
2. Whisk 1¼ cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl. Whisk in water, butter, and egg until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add remaining flour and mix with rubber spatula until just combined. Cover bowl with greased plastic wrap and place in warm oven until batter has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove batter from oven and heat oven to 375º. Punch dough down. Scoop batter even into muffin tin [using an ice cream scoop]. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until batter nearly reaches the rims of muffin cups, about 15 minutes. Remove plastic and bake until rolls are golden, 14 to 18 minutes. Serve.
And one more thing!!!
|This Is My Life, Rated|
|Take the Rate My Life Quiz|