As Recycled Moms, caregivers, homemakers, moms, wives or friends, we find one of our greatest joys is feeding people. Throughout history, food has been a point of controversy, contact, fellowship and celebration. Back in the Old Testament Bible, a man named Esau renounced his heritage for a bowl of lentil stew that his brother Jacob had cooked. Food can bring us together or tear us apart. We can enjoy making meals or resent the energy it takes to put food on the table three times a day.
Since then, our society has changed greatly and so have our foods. We can dash to a grocery store and come out with prepackaged, preserved convenience foods. These are not healthy options. The way we eat impacts every aspect of our lives. Cancers, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and other illnesses are on the rise in America. It is no coincidence that this has happened as microwaved, packaged foods have become ever more popular.
Our Recycled Kids depend on us to feed them nutritious foods that help them grow up strong and healthy. How can we achieve this in a manner that fulfill this huge commitment? It really is quite easy. One ingredient foods! For a long time now, I have been avoiding chemical laden, processed foods and have been intentional in choosing whole food ingredients for my family. It is not more expensive as we have been led to believe nor is it more time consuming.
Let me introduce you to some friends that will help you on this journey to improve the well-being of your own Recycled family. Meet the slow cooker. This is my most used appliance. I have two slow cookers because I use them so much. Another well used kitchen tool is my toaster oven. I will give you some ways to save time and money with these tools.
Instead of opening a can of corn syrup laden sweet potatoes, wash fresh ones and place them in a slow cooker. Add water to cover and leave them to cook until tender. Remove the skins and serve whole, mashed or in a casserole. A very light drizzle of honey or maple syrup will make them yummy enough for the pickiest eater. The same method will work for white potatoes.
Cook beans, lentils, quinoa, even rice in the slow cooker. Soak beans all day long, changing the water several times. Drain, season and place in the slow cooker before going to bed and you will have a healthful, delicious meal ready the next morning. Clean out the refrigerator and toss into the slow cooker your family’s favorite vegetables. These can be potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, green beans, corn, garlic tomatoes and anything else your family eats. Frozen vegetables can be used and are more nutritious than canned foods. Simmer all days and serve with bread or crackers for a warming lunch or evening meal.
If you have a large family, the toaster oven probably will not work for you. Use your stove oven instead. Wash potatoes, peel if preferred, and cut into French fry sized strips. Rinse well and toss in a colander to dry. Rub with a clean towel to remove even more water. Lay out in a single layer on a lightly greased (1/2 tsp will do) baking pan. Sprinkle with salt, garlic and onion powder and bake at 450 degrees about fifteen minutes or until browned. This is a whole food, healthy option for fast food lovers.
It will take a while to change the way you cook. Make several changes every week and be consistent. When shopping for groceries, stop and think how that boxed, processed food can be replaced with one ingredient options. Black beans and rice in a box? No! Make your own using rice and home cooked or canned beans. Do the kids want chicken noodle soup? Pull frozen chicken breast from the freezer and place it in a stockpot. Add water and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken can easily be cut into pieces. Add frozen mixed vegetables and spaghetti noodles. These can be broken into desired lengths. Cook until the noodles are done and serve. You just used one ingredient foods instead of opening a can of chemical flavorings and preservatives, full of toxins. I keep cooked chicken on hand in the freezer, so I can easily make quick meals.
Please leave a comment if you have questions or need more information. By making these changes, we are impacting the health of our children in a positive way for life. They will learn to cook this way for their own families when they are grown. We must be the one to start just as we have by taking on this sacred mission to raise these Recycled kids, so they are not tox–sick!
I also advise against using a microwave to cook and reheat food. The properties of the foods are changed and I firmly believe (do your own research!) the microwave has greatly contributed to the epidemic of cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, and other health issues.
Make wise choices for your family and the rewards will last a lifetime. Their lifetime!