It’s only fair that I admit it up front. I’m very picky about the food I buy and I guess I’m somewhat of a food snob. I have a real problem with fake food and I’ve decided not to buy anything with ingredients I can’t pronounce. I have a thing about using real ingredients. Farm fresh eggs, organic butter and dairy, fresh vegetables. I’m determined to stay out of the center aisles of the grocery store. I I turn my back on rice-a-roni and cake mix in a box!
“Food” I don’t use:
1. Egg whites in a carton. I want whole eggs and whole eggs only. I refuse to be biased against egg yolks. A whole egg has only 70 calories for Pete’s sake!
2. Those plastic lemons in the grocery store. I don’t want the extra preservatives!
3. I refuse to give in to potato flakes in a box. Really, how hard is it to boil a few potatoes, smash ‘em up with a little butter and milk, salt and pepper and serve them? You don’t even have to peel them. Leave the skin on!
4. Parmesan cheese in a shake can. Call it what you like but don’t call it cheese!!!! Ditto for Velveeta. If you don’t have to refrigerate it, is it really cheese?
5. Hamburger helper. If I want to help my hamburger, I’ll dice a little onion , throw in a little Worcestershire and mustard, maybe a clove of garlic and some bread crumbs!
6. Fake butter. I don’t care if it’s “heart healthy.” It doesn’t melt right and it doesn’t smell right.
7. Fake syrup. I’m sure Mrs. Butterworth is perfectly nice but I’ll take 100% pure maple syrup on my homemade buttermilk blueberry pancakes.
8. Canned gravy. Yes, there is a learning curve with gravy but it isn’t steep and it is oh so much better when you scrape up all those lovely brown bits from your roast, add a little flour and some broth, maybe a little wine and some herbs, and present a wonderful, savory dish to your friends and family.
9. Garlic in a jar. Buy a garlic press and throw out those little jars of chopped garlic.
10. Artificial sweeteners of any kind except Stevia. Those chemicals do way too much damage and there is no proof they help you lose weight. In fact, they have been shown to actually cause you to gain it!
I have discovered Agave Nectar this year and I love it! It’s liquid like honey but it doesn’t raise your blood sugar level the way honey and sugar can. Wonderful stuff!!
11. Cool Whip. Don’t even get me started. I know it’s low calorie but whipped air and sugar isn’t going on MY dessert! Real whipped cream with a little vanilla and a touch of sugar never hurt anyone. Unless you’re lactose intolerant in which case, skip the whipped cream and make frosting!
In the spirit of full disclosure, there is one item I do use. Refrigerated pie crusts. They are so much better than my sorry attempts at pie crust but now that I have admitted that right here in public, I am determined to conquer my fear of pastry and learn to make my own!
I understand being pressed for time but some shortcuts just aren’t worth it. A little planning will go a long way in helping you to get rid of processed foods. You CAN make things from scratch most of the time and you can make a great meal with simple, whole foods. I have eliminated most processed foods mainly because I started reading the labels and seeing way to much salt, sugar and chemicals I couldn’t pronounce. Not to mention High Fructose Corn Syrup. If that’s in there, I ain’t eating it!