It’s so convenient amongst the busy hubbub of life to take advantage of commercially prepared food – one thing less to worry about – a sigh of relief. But what if you knew the positive benefits of preparing your own food from scratch may just outweigh the effort it takes to take the plunge back into a sort of modern home-steading kitchen? And it needn’t be as extreme as milking your own cow every morning.
Engaging with your food creates a sense of continuity and accomplishment that can also be fulfilling and funky! You’ll also make sure that you receive the best, most healthy body-loving nutrition possible. Get your kids or partner involved and use it to get some meaningful fun interaction going. Studies have found a connection between families eating meals together and a reduction in children smoking, drinking alcohol, performing poorly at school or having low self-esteem or eating disorders. The bonding created by taking time to nourish your family personally is a holistic approach to nutrition that can bring on the love too.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE
The crux of preparing your own food is that you are in control – you get to make informed choices that are good for your body, your loved ones, and the earth. Buying wholefood ingredients puts you directly in charge of your larder’s green and healthy gauge – especially if you decide to buy organic. You’ll know that your food is free of nasty things like additives, preservatives and pesticides – or if they do contain these things, you can be aware and conscious of which ones you okay or take steps to properly clean up any illegals that slip through out of necessity. You’ll be able to make sure you use things like fresh healthy oils and fats in your cooking too.
Finding a local organic market can also make for a happier calmer shopping experience because the bright lights and hustle of big supermarkets can definitely contribute to frazzled nerves. And if it’s a weekly out in the country – what a pleasure – meeting the growers and soaking up mama’s green healing ambience and having a fun, relaxing morning out.
There are so many possibilities to be creative and paint a pallet of simple nourishment once you have a kitchen brimming with wholesome wholefood. Once you’ve figured out which flavours and foods go together, you can throw together any number of quick, nourishing combinations, or go full-on gourmet if that’s your thing. A recipe book or two could stand you in good stead. There are some rather delectable recipe books around that are packed with healthy nourishing information and ideas (link). Cuddling up with a good recipe book can be quite a mouthwatering experience.
Good quality cookware is more important than many realise. Many pots and pans are made in such a way that toxic metals and chemicals from things like Teflon actually leech into your food as it cooks. Choosing good quality ceramic coated cookware will ensure you don’t have unwelcome nutritional additions to your nourishing lovely meal.
Choose more healthy methods for preparing your food such as steaming, or even dehydrating food for goodies still bursting with their raw goodness. Dehydrating is a method of slowly removing moisture from food that leaves it raw, full of nutrition, easier to store, and gives a kind of cooked effect for flavor and texture.
You also have more control over your culinary carbon footprint as you can choose energy efficient options for cooking, such as using a Wonderbag to shorten your stove-time, or an induction stove, which uses a special technology that can cut your electricity by up to half. Freshness One of the freshest ways you can get those sparkling nutrients out of your fresh produce is to juice you veggies. Even if you buy juices that are organic or freshly pressed, their living enzymes and vitamins start degrading the moment they are exposed to the air. The best way for you or your family to enjoy fresh juicy goodness is to do it yourself. And a freshly prepared fruit or veggie salad is a classic way to imbibe as much rainbow nourishment from the sun as we can.
Buying pre-chopped salads and fruits may be convenient, but valuable nutrients start to degrade the moment they are cut open and left to bask in bright shop lights.
GROWING YOUR OWN FRESH HERBS
So fresh it’s still growing? Herbs you find on the shelves at supermarkets have often been irradiated, a process that destroys the vitamin content and produces a number of toxic byproducts. There are quick simple ways to have fresh greens even if you don’t have a garden. How about growing some little pots of herbs on your windowsill or patio? Fresh fragrant herbs for your pot, or even steeped in some water for a potent healing cuppa. What a treat! They’ll still be bursting with all their life-force and health-giving qualities and they’re so delicate and pretty that they’ll add beautiful greenery and aroma to the ambience of your hearth too.
Germinating your own delicious, radiantly healthy, crisp sprouts to munch and sprinkle on your soups, salads or put in your smoothies are fresh, fast superfood on tap. If you have kids, what a pleasurable way for them to see and learn firsthand the miracle of how plants germinate and grow and need to be watered and cared for, and maybe even spoken to!
Treats and yummy additions to your diet are where preparing your own food from scratch definitely pays off. Because you don’t have to deprive yourself or your family. You get to choose how you sweeten your goodies (that’s a big one!), which flours you use if you have food intolerances (and there are so many great options available these days!) and if you are vegan, you can be totally sure about what has gone into your treats. Ingredients like stone-ground flour have a far superior nutritional value too and you can also check that you are not getting in any nasty GMO’s. You’ll soon have the tantalizing aroma of home baking wafting through your house for a touch of heart-warming domesticity.
MAKING YOUR OWN
When we buy from the supermarket shelf, we can’t always be sure that money-saving shortcuts haven’t been taken, negating the super nourishment and healing of foods that are traditionally seen as super beneficial for us. Over and over again you’ll hear how good fermented and cultured foods are for you. Because they just are, unlocking so many nutrients and providing friendly bacteria for our gut. And they are oh-so-yummy!
Store bought Sauerkraut has often been pasturised and has been found to have a negligible count of beneficial flora in comparison to homemade. Homemade sauerkraut has beneficial bacteria that is off the charts and outstrips probiotic supplements any day. See this funky fermentation pot you can use to make your own sauerkraut!
Another fav and versatile cultured food is yoghurt. When you make your own, you’ll stay in control of what goes in – organic milk? Nut or coconut milk for vegans? And when you want to add some extra delicious sweetening or flavour, you can throw in your own fresh berries, raw honey, authentic cinnamon and organic fruit.
And because being eco-aware means understanding the cycles of life – when you make your own fresh, wholesome food – you can use all your preparation left-overs such as peels and juicing pulp to make some divine earth-loving compost so that what comes from the earth goes back to the earth, the way it should.