**This post has been entered in Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop!**
Time for the next three steps in the Baby Steps Series! If you haven’t read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6, go back and read those first! Next week is the LAST week in this series except for a surprise finale post, so we’re almost done — can you believe it? How has your journey to real food been?
Here are steps 19, 20, and 21!
19. Try a new, healthy meal once per week (check the blog for recipes!)
20. Avoid canned items (replace with glass bottles or from-scratch)
21. Try sprouting grains
Why those steps? I’m glad you asked!
Number 19 should be pretty obvious. Now that you’ve worked on changing your habits, like including more fats, fewer grains, and healthier snack foods, you really will need some new meal ideas! Making over your old favorites is a good option (as we talked about last time), but you might just find that it’s time to make some new favorites! Every Thursday I post a new real food recipe, so you can check through this blog for new ideas. Kelly the Kitchen Kop has several; so does Nourishing Kitchen, Grain-Free Foodie, Kitchen Stewardship, and more. Pick ONE new one to try each week. If you don’t like it — oh well, one night wasted. If you do, yay, new favorite! We’ve added tons of new meals to our rotation this way and no matter what “diet” we’re currently following, we have a pretty decent array of meals to eat. You can’t be more adventurous unless you’re willing to try! Tell me what new meal you’ll be trying this week, and leave the recipe or a link to it if it’s not from here.
Canned items are not good for you. Not because they’re canned — sometimes there’s no way around it, if the food’s just not in season — but because metal cans have BPA linings that can leach into your food. We all know BPA’s no good; in fact, the U.S. is finally following the lead of other countries to ban it in baby bottles and other children’s products. Hopefully we’ll eventually see it entirely banned for food use. But until then, make a choice: you won’t buy any more. Instead, replace it with BPA-free plastic (that’s hit or miss), glass items (always safe), or fresh (also safe). Tropical Traditions sells a great strained tomato product by Bionature. (We love it.) Anything you can buy in glass, or better yet can yourself, is great. It avoids chemicals and is better for the environment because glass is easily reused or recycled. (I’m keeping all my kombucha bottles to use when I start brewing! More on that next week….)
Sprouting grains. What IS it? And why do it? I’m not going to get into it here, because I’ve mentioned it before and it’s REALLY complicated. Very briefly, sprouting the whole grains (i.e. the berries, not pre-ground flour) helps to unlock the nutrients inside the grain, making it more digestible. To learn lots more about this, hop on over to Kitchen Stewardship; she’s been talking all about it for the last couple of weeks. I’ll assume you’re going now…. Okay, you’re back! Now you know why. There’s a great tutorial on HOW over at Keeper of the Home. It’s very easy. Basically, you soak the grain overnight, then drain it and let it sit for a day or two until you see little tails growing (rinse it every several hours so it stays moist, and keep it covered). Then, dry it in a dehydrator or oven on low, and grind it yourself. Some blenders can grind it, and so can coffee grinders, so you don’t have to have any special equipment for this (you can buy a grain mill, but you don’t need it). People who are sensitive to gluten can sometimes handle the sprouted grain, and it really just improves digestibility and nutrients for everyone. If you went to Kitchen Stewardship and read up you already know that. But try it! Once you’ve sprouted, dried, and ground the grain, you proceed as usual with recipes. No alterations needed. Please keep your flour in the freezer; it can go bad faster if you don’t.
How’s your baby steps journey going? Have you tried these? What are your next steps? Jump in the discussion, I love comments!
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