Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shopping Organic and Saving Money


I have been buying more and more organic fruits and vegetables.  Tasting something organic is like a flash from the past the moment you take the first bite;  the way fruit and vegetables use to taste.  Bananas are sweeter and grapefruits are more tart.  It's nice to see the imperfections on some vegetables and they still have a little of the dirt on them. 

The organic stand in the middle of Safeway was always this foreign 'thing'.  I never even considered it because it was more expensive. And it is. However, I was determined to eat more organic fruits and vegetables and have made some changes to allow for that expense. I also have been able to save a little money in the process.

 It has been a gradual change in eating habits that has saved me a little money over time.  My change to a cleaner way of eating has become less expensive over time.  It took me a few months to gather most of the spices (you want a variety of them to flavor homemade soups, sauces, etc) and other baking ingredients for healthy treats! Once you have your essential items, you find yourself running to the grocery store for one item and returning with twelve, a little less.  If you can make the time to cook, bake, and create your own food, your body with thank you for it and you won't be buying so many packaged items that add up on your grocery bill. The expensive items in my grocery cart were in boxes and packages of "fast" food.  The items include; granola bars, fruit snacks, fruit cups, Jumbo box of cereal, instant rice, instant side dishes, jars of spaghetti sauce, burger patties, box of Popsicles, pail of ice-cream, cartons of juice and more juice!! The problem (besides they are full of chemicals to preserve them and GMO's) is that they were gone in a week forcing me back to the store to spend more money. Taking a Sunday and baking a few treats and freezing them, has saved me those trips.

 I have been experimenting with making mostly everything we eat from scratch.  That way I can control the ingredients myself and make our meals nutritious and healthy. Since changing my diet, I have not been buying much red meat which can be costly.  We mostly eat chicken, fish, and have a vegetarian meal once a week.  A box of chicken can go a long way and roasting a chicken can make several additional meals of soup, sandwiches, or casseroles.  Cans of tomatoes are inexpensive and make pasta sauces, pizza sauces, soups etc.  Oatmeal can be ground up and mixed with bananas for some delicious pancakes (recipe below).  Oils and spices can make fabulous salad dressings.  Plain Greek yogurt mixed with honey and raspberries (buy organic frozen fruit) make a delightful flavor.  Berries mixed with coconut milk is easy, healthy, and fast.  There are many ways to make your food natural and flavorful. The bonus is you will be healthy and will save money in the long run.  I am still learning in this process, so if any one has any other interesting tips, please leave a comment.

Here is a fantastic recipe I would like to share. My husband really loved these and he is my food snobby in the family, so I was pleased he like them!  Lyric asked me to make him some again this morning.  I am going to make a bulk jar of the dry ingredients so all I have to do is mix up wet ingredients and BOOM, Soft Banana Oatmeal Pancakes!

Soft Banana Oatmeal Pancakes


3 small bananas
2 tablespoons of coconut oil melted
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of honey
2 eggs
1 cup of oat flour (grind some whole oats in a bullet or processor to make into flour). If any one tries the recipe without grinding the oats, let me know how it tasted!
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk


1. In a small bowl mash bananas, coconut oil, lemon juice, and honey, stir, almond mile and add eggs.  If the coconut oil becomes hard  again, just heat it 30 seconds in microwave.

2. In medium bowl mix dry ingredients.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until mixed well. Do not over stir or you may end up with tough pancakes.  If the batter is to thick add a little more almond milk to thin it.

4. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes

5. Heat the griddle, rub some coconut oil on the hot surface, pour batter into a shape of pancake you desire. 

6. Serve and eat!  We use pure maple syrup, and it is gorgeous!

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