The decision to become healthier led to many different choices, options and of course…research. In the past, I have started and quit diets many times, including being vegan for 3 years. So this needed to be a Life Change decision. Something I could stick with, something my husband could stand and something that wouldn’t make it totally inconvenient if we were invited to dinner with friends. After a little reading and checking out recipes, I decided upon Clean Eating. I even did a 5 Day challenge to make sure I understood it and would get the hang of it.
I had already pinned many “Clean” recipes on Pinterest, so I figured this seemed to be the logical choice. Not overly restrictive, but more work. To be honest, both my husband and I could definitely stand to eat a LOT less processed food. For those that don’t know what Clean Eating is, the basis is this, the food you eat should be closest to its natural state.
For example, an apple…the most natural state would be just apple pieces NOT apple pie.
If you buy packaged food, check the label, see if you can pronounce most of the ingredients, and you want the list of ingredients to be fairly short. You should know what all the ingredients are.
A few months before all of this, I had stumbled upon a website/blog of this woman who had a LOT of clean eating, healthy recipes she had posted. She even had a story about how she ground her own flour, the best grinder to use and the type of wheat berries that worked best. I was SO EXCITED!! I had pinned a few of her recipes…tried them out, and they were pretty good! (I hadn’t gone completely clean yet, I was using what I had in the cupboard at that time) I didn’t want to throw away everything in my pantry and be out the money. So I started in baby steps, used what I had, then as I ran out I bought better/healthier products. If I remember correctly, this woman no longer does her blog, I believe I read that somewhere. This is still a great site for learning and reading, even trying a few of the recipes. This link will take you to one of the first recipes I tried from her site. http://www.stacymakescents.com/crock-pot-chicken-and-whole-wheat-dumplings Feel free to have a look around, there seems to be a wealth of information on there.
As for grinding my own flour…although Stacy has great info on what the best grinder is, I wasn’t sure how serious I was about grinding my own flour and didn’t want to invest TOO much money to start out. So, I bought the “Grains Grinder” attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, like this one. (I found mine on eBay, it was a bit cheaper) I took Stacy’s advice on the best wheat berries for an all-purpose flour. I bought these Hard White Wheat berries from Amazon and tried out my new grinder. On my first attempt I didn’t have the setting quite right, it turned out a bit too grainy, but I mixed it with a little bread flour and made this hamburger bun recipe from Stacy’s site. (I have a bread machine…so I cheated a little and made the dough in there and then followed the rising, baking and freezing directions from the site. I am all about saving some time and keeping things as easy as possible in the kitchen)
As you know, baking can sometimes be a challenge at the best of times, let alone using new ingredients you’ve not tried before. With the flour being a bit grainier, these didn’t rise as much as I had hoped, they still were edible though. After cleaning the grinder for the first time and taking it apart I realized the dial had been put on upside down so what I THOUGHT was the finest grind was the opposite. Since that has been fixed the hamburger buns have turned out MUCH better. (And there will be MANY more posts on the “experiments” I have tried since) Hope you all find this helpful.
Please share if you have some great Clean Eating recipes, I’m always looking for new adventures! 😉