4 Easy Ways to Go Unprocessed

Last Thursday’s post didn’t get published until Monday, so I’m scurrying to catch up!  In my last post I introduced how I define unprocessed and minimally processed.  One thing that you may have noticed was that I specifically avoided the use of the word “diet”.  That’s because most people have come to think of diets as restrictive.  I don’t feel that what I choose eat is restrictive at all!

Here’s 4 easy ways to eat move towards an unprocessed way of eating:

breakfast

Swap out your breakfast oatmeal!  A canister of rolled oats contains one ingredient — oats.  The difference between old-fashioned oats and quick oats is how long they are steamed before they are rolled and how thinly they are rolled.  I posted a while back about an easy way to cook whole grain cereals.  You can find that here.  I was horrified when I looked at a package of plain instant oatmeal!Processed Oatmeal PacketsGuar gum?  Caramel color?  I’ll bet you didn’t know that stuff was in there; I know that I didn’t!  Unprocessed Oatmeal in a JarI either use steel cut oats and use the crock pot as described in the link above or I put about 1/2 cup of quick oats and a dash of salt in a pint jar, add boiling water once I get to work and then throw in a couple tablespoons of natural dried fruit.  That’s a filling and minimally processed breakfast!

read and do
My Cookbook Collection

Buy a good cookbook and use it to make your meals at home.  If you are new to cooking, try making just one meal a week.  Even baby steps are moving you in the right direction!  I particularly like to use recipes from people that I know are also committed to making food from fresh, whole ingredients.  My current favorite is The Elliott Homestead Family Table.  By making what you eat at home, you control exactly what goes on your plate.  Over time try to make more and more of your food at home.  You’ll be surprised how easy it can be and also it’s much more economical.

really fresh
Sacramento Sunday Market

Shop at your local farmer’s market or farm stand.  There’s so much good fresh local food available and it’s almost all unprocessed or minimally processed!  Try a fruit or vegetable that you’ve not seen before.  By buying from the farmer you’re helping to keep small local businesses going.  Really Fresh ChardA fantastic side benefit is that truly fresh food that you buy soon after it is harvested lasts so much longer than what you get at the grocery store.  I have a bunch of chard in my refrigerator that I bought at the farmer’s market last week that not only looks fresher than the stuff at the store, it is fresher!  It will last well over a week rather than going bad within a few days.

on the edge

We can’t always shop at the farmer’s market so, when shopping at your regular grocery store, shop around the edges.  The fresh foods — produce, meats and dairy — are all located on the outer aisles of every grocery store.  When at the meat counter, ask the butcher how to cook an interesting cut of meat or fish.  Your butcher is a great (and often untapped) source of information.  The same goes for the folks in the produce section.  They don’t just stack heads of lettuce — they really know their fruits and veggies!

 

It’s not hard to eat in an unprocessed and minimally processed manner.  A few easy baby steps are a great way to start.    Try one of these this week and be sure to let me know how it goes!

Until next week!

Dana

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