Posted by tntmck on Jun 23, 2011 in Overall Diet
When preparing whole foods for the family, I avoid processed packaged items as much as possible. At first, I simply cut out lots of recipes. Slowly, I’m learning how to make or substitute for many of the ingredients myself. Here’s a quick white sauce for condensed soup substitution.
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS whole wheat flour
1 cup stock (vegetable, beef, chicken, etc.)
Multiply this out for the number of cups you need for the recipe.
Posted by tntmck on Jun 3, 2011 in Tips
Do you eat soaked bread, make your own bread, or just don’t want the added expense of buying bread crumbs? Make your own. I save my bread ends and any crusts I may have in a bag in the fridge and once I have enough or need them, I just grind in the food processor (a blender works just fine too).
Recipes you may enjoy with bread crumbs:
Freezer Chicken Nuggets
Turkey and Spinach Meatloaf
A 10oz. bag of frozen veggies is perfect for cooking and puréeing using your favorite method, then freezing.
You might enjoy these more detailed posts:
BATCH PREP METHODS: Part I – Cooking
BATCH PREP METHODS: Part II – Storing
Posted by tntmck on Nov 17, 2010 in Dairy
Buttermilk. It makes so many wonderful things, but is hardly needed in more than small amounts in many recipes. When I’m going to need buttermilk, I try to make more recipes that call for it, but it never fails. I waste a ton! I’ve recently fallen in love with dry buttermilk. You just mix it with the other dry ingredients in your recipe, then add the appropriate amount of water indicated on the canister. Easy! And, it will last several years stored in the fridge. Years, yes, you read that correctly…years!
Yes, this is just like powdered milk, but it is real buttermilk. Here’s a list of the ingredients.
Sweet Cream Churned Buttermilk
Sweet Dairy Whey
Use it for muffins, pancakes, banana bread and more! Try it out in these recipes.
On their website, SACO says that “it is the only product of its kind available on the retail market today. Made from sweet cream, churned buttermilk, which is the by-product of butter making, SACO Buttermilk Blend is the first real buttermilk available to consumers in over 50 years. Fluid buttermilk, found in today’s dairy case, is merely cultured skim milk and contains no real buttermilk.” You can learn more about it here.
Posted by tntmck on Aug 24, 2010 in Tips
If your baby or toddler is not willing to eat due to teething or sickness, offer more of the foods he likes, or prepare mainly soft, mashable foods or even chunky, hard foods that may feel good on the gums. Whatever the need, pay attention to the signs and what he needs. Don’t worry about him becoming a picky eater. Once the teeth have cut through or he’s healthy and well, return to your normal foods and good, healthy variety. This is something I have to tell myself to do sometimes and it can be hard to recognize, but I’ve come to recognize and learn signs of something going on with each of my boys. They act different and have reactions to things that usually don’t bother them in the day.
Posted by tntmck on Aug 10, 2010 in Batch
, Fruits & Vegetables
Use your baby food-making skills to your benefit. Help the bottom-line by paying attention to a few key things and you’ll save even more money than what you’re already saving by not buying, storing, and disposing of all of those jars and packages of food.
- Buy fresh produce that is local and in season. You can often find this on sale as well.
- Shop deals and use coupons for frozen fruits and vegetables. These are great to have on-hand and easy to puree and thaw and mash. They also make great additions to yogurt.
- Make baby food in large batches and freeze it in single servings. This will not only save you money, but lots of time and cleanup!
Posted by tntmck on Jul 27, 2010 in Finger Foods
, Fruits & Vegetables
No cooking, pureeing, blending, smoothing, freezing, etc. required. Yes, now that’s a recipe for success. You just need a fork and a bowl. What’s this magic concoction, you ask? Well, it’s nothing more than some of nature’s best foods. Bananas and Avocados. I love, love, love them for the ease of portability, mashing, and transportation. Take them with you on-the-go. Pull them out of the fruit bowl and in seconds, you have instant, fresh, real, whole baby food. The best part is these foods are wholesale and grow with your child from baby to toddler and on. If fact, why not enjoy the other half yourself for a healthy snack.
Peel a banana. Mash it with a fork to the desired consistency. Feed to baby.
Cut around the length of the fruit. Twist the sections apart. Scoop out the insides. Mash it with a fork to the desired consistency. Feed to baby.
Follow simple instructions above and mash together.
OLDER BABIES & TODDLERS
Peel a banana. Cut lengthwise, then crosswise into desired piece size. Serve to baby or toddler as finger foods.
Cut around the length of the fruit. Twist the sections apart. Cut gridlines inside the shell. Scoop out pieces with a spoon to separate from skin. Serve to baby or toddler as finger foods.
Follow simple instructions above and serve together as a combo-snack or meal.
NOTE: Avocado and Banana are great first foods and can be introduced at 6 months.
Posted by tntmck on Jun 24, 2010 in Fruits & Vegetables
Do you ever get home from the farmer’s market or the grocery with all of your fresh produce and wonder where to store each item? I’m constantly questioning if I should store things in my fruit bowl, in my pantry, or in the refrigerator.
RIPEN FRUITS AT HOME
Speed up the ripening by placing fruit in a single layer in a large paper bag with several holes, folding over the top of the bag. Leave the bag on the counter while the fruit ripens in 1-2 days. The refrigerator will continue to keep the ripened fruit fresh for several days.
- Bananas (Bananas are always picked green. The will ripen from green to yellow in a few days on their own. The brown speckles on a banana means it is very sweet and ready to eat. They can also be stored in the refrigerator after they ripen. The skin will turn dark, but the fruit inside will be good to eat.)
- Pineapples (I cut once ripe, and store in a glass container in the refrigerator. They say ripe when you buy them, but I usually let them ripen on the counter another day or two at home.)
These fruits are picked when ripe and don’t ripen any further. Store them in the refrigerator and enjoy within a few days.
Please share any thoughts or ideas.
Posted by tntmck on Jun 16, 2010 in Tips
It’s hot. I mean real hot real early this year. That means it’s too hot to be heating things up in the kitchen. We try to grill outside and eat lots of fruits and salads when it’s so hot around our house. A reader recently reminded me of a great idea when preparing fruits and vegetables for your baby or toddler is to use the crock pot. Let it do all of the hot work for you without having to turn on the stove or oven. Here are links to some great ways to prepare these in the slow cooker.
Crock Pot Basic Recipes
Crock Pot Apples
Crock Pot Chicken
Try something new and share your thoughts and ideas here.
Posted by tntmck on Jun 9, 2010 in Tips
Have you been peeling potatoes, washing fruits and veggies, scraping your dinner plates and have a smelly drain? Sometimes, we’re so busy making the food that the cleanup only makes it to the counters.
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
Pour the baking soda down the drain, then follow it with the vinegar so that it bubbles. Once it has foamed and bubbled, turn on your cold water. Let it run for 60 seconds until the baking soda and vinegar have all washed through.
Whenever you’re using a lemon or anything citrus, be sure to put it down your disposal and run it at the end of your food prep and cleanup. That lemon smell is just heavenly and the rinds actually clean the blades.