It’s January, so most of us are still talking about (and hopefully sticking to) our new year’s resolutions. While we have some ideas about what you should strive for this year, we know that many people are hoping to eat healthier over the course of 2012.
Eating healthier is a worthwhile resolution, but it’s essential to drill this general resolution down into a manageable, actionable goal. We’re much more likely to keep a resolution if we have clear benchmarks or defined actions in place. Some examples of “eating healthier” include eating more whole grains, eating a vegetable at every meal, kicking the soda habit, and avoiding fast food. My favorite, though, is cutting back on processed foods. Making a conscious effort to rid your diet of processed foods will lower your sodium intake, reduce the number of food additives you ingest, and improve your cooking skills.
Unfortunately, eschewing all processed foods is actually a major challenge for most of us, as we’ve come to rely on lots of supermarket products that make life more convenient. However, I’ve noticed that convenience is in the eye of the beholder – and that once you have a little culinary know-how, you’d be amazed at what is convenient. Obviously going from a diet of frozen dinners to making your own roast chicken in February is an unlikely scenario. But, by practicing recipes for homemade versions of at least the most highly processed foods, you can easily make some headway with this resolution. Plus, there’s always more to do – even if you’re pretty handy in the kitchen, you can use this next year to remove one more food from your grocery cart.
To help guide you through this resolution, I created this list of five foods (plus resources) that I learned how to make as I “de-processed” my grocery cart. Start with soup, and see how far you can get!
4. Pasta Sauce. The jarred versions may seem really convenient, but there’s just something about the smell of bubbling tomato sauce that can’t be beat. Here are recipes for a Five-Minute Sauce and Tomato Vodka Sauce. Too difficult? Consider recommendations from GoodGuide.
3. Granola. The options are endless when it comes to making your own granola. Hate raisins? Don’t put them in. Love sunflower seeds? Throw in an extra handful. Get some ideas from this AllRecipes list. Too difficult? Consider recommendations from GoodGuide.
1. Pasta. It might sound labor-intensive, but there’s no comparison between fresh, homemade pasta and the boxed stuff. Learn how to roll your own with this video from our friends at CHOW. Too difficult? Consider recommendations from GoodGuide.