Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eating Organic on a Budget: Part 2

I used yesterday to e-a-s-e you into the basics of eating organically on a budget. Today, I'm going to stretch it just a little. Joining a co-op, shopping locally, and growing a garden were among the wonderful suggestions we received, but they weren't the craziest by far. I'm going to save the most extreme suggestion for last!

Today, we're going to go just a bit deeper. After all, eating organically isn't something that happens overnight, is it? Whether you're just starting out on your organic journey, or whether you've been blazing that trail for decades, all of us started somewhere. And I'm going to guess that somewhere didn't include a trip to Whole Foods for every.single.item on the list...at least not the first trip. {smile}

One easy way to save money and still eat organically is to avoid packaged items and make what you can yourself. {Stay tuned for a couple of homemade yogurt recipes!!}

Gem, one of our wise forum friends, pointed out something very important to keep in mind every time you visit the store: Just because a box of Oreos is organic doesn't make it healthy. VERY GOOD REMINDER. My kids in particular seem to think the word 'organic' is a synonym for 'healthy'; and the truth is, it's just not.

Packaged cookies, crackers, cake mixes, and the like can, indeed, be organic. That does give them a benefit over their conventional cousins: Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Zesta, and Betty Crocker. If, however, you rotate that pretty box with the big "ORGANIC" label just 90 degrees and read the nutrition facts and ingredient list, you will certainly find sugar, salt, and a host of other ingredients found in conventional food items.

Making your own snacks, cookies, cakes, crackers, and breads at home gives you the ability to control everything that goes into your food, and subsequently, your body. And, you get the added bonus of paying for real food, not a pretty box or a high-end organic brand name.

Remember, you can take any recipe and make it organic just by buying organic ingredients. If you're an experienced or fearless cook or baker, you can also experiment with your old stand-by recipes to make them dairy-free, gluten-free, yeast-free, or sugar-free. All it takes is a little time and knowing what and how much to substitute.

A few of my favorite sites are listed below. If you're new at all this, I hope these sites will give you a place to jump from. If you're an old pro, I bet these recipes will be excellent additions to your repertoire. {We are a gluten-free family, ergo most of my favorite sites boast GF recipes. If your family isn't GF, either enjoy these recipes anyway or leave us a comment to your favorite DIY snacks, cookies, breads, or cakes.}

Simply Sugar- and Gluten-Free

Silvana's Mousse Cloud Pie from Elana's Pantry

GNOWFGLINS: funny name, seriously good, traditional food

Health, Home, & Happiness

Recipes from Keeper of the Home

P.S. From our family to yours, we pray you have a blessed and exciting Resurrection Sunday!

Written by Lindsey @ Penny-wise

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