Our nine-year-old is in the fun stage of seeing the world idyllically. She knows that in our family we like to try to be wise with our resources, do our part in preserving the planet, and make healthy choices whenever possible. So, she has suggested using a washboard to do laundry, using candles exclusively to light our home, and walking or riding our bike everywhere we go! Wow, the enthusiasm is contagious; for about 30 seconds!
I don’t think most of our goals are that extreme, but I love that sort of back to the earth, simplistic thinking. When it comes to food, there are some tangible things we can do to make it easier to embrace frugal, healthier choices for our bodies and our planet!
Eat food as close to its natural state as possible, in season, and with minimal added processing or packaging. This saves money, time, resources, and is healthier! “Healthy” junk food has become readily available, but it usually comes with a higher price tag, and almost always a higher environmental cost!
Take a minute, check your pantry and fridge, and evaluate what processed foods you use most, and think about whether there is a natural choice for a better alternative. With fall upon us, I’ll use pumpkin as an example. Many fall recipes call for canned pumpkin. Have you ever tasted canned pumpkin before adding it to a recipe? Oh my! There is literally no temptation at all to lick the spatula when emptying a can of pumpkin. Try making your pumpkin puree from a fresh, local, delicious, organic Pie Pumpkin! It’s super easy! You will never go back to canned, and you’ll probably be found guilty of not only sneaking a taste but going back for seconds! It’s healthier, yummier, supports local, and is better for the environment!
To make a simple pumpkin puree, first, wash your pumpkin, slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, place the halves open side down on a baking sheet, then roast in a 400-degree oven until tender, about 45 minutes. Scoop out the flesh, place in a heavy-duty blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Voila! It’s simple.
Now, be forewarned; when you tell people that you made your pumpkin pie from a locally grown, organic pumpkin, they may just look at you like you just washed your clothes with a washboard! Our culture has taken convenience to the extreme in some areas. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate the food choices that you’re making for you and your family. You don’t need to compromise your values for convenience; instead, keep it simple.