New Year = New Fridge

OK, so I'm not really getting a new fridge, mine is only a few years old to me and this hand-me-down fridge is a drastic improvement to my last hand-me-down fridge.  But, last night as I polished off the last of the cookies, I decided to make a clean start in the fridge too.  The reality of 1 am is that I wasn't going to actually get up and clean the fridge then, but I made plans!

Earlier in the day I had read a post on my cousin Lynn's blog Random Family Thoughts about Mark Bittman and becoming a Lessmeatarian.  From what I read about it, the basic concept is not eating meat until after 6pm (or dinner time), eating more fresh fruits and veggies either raw or prepared at home therefore drastically reducing the use of processed foods.  Since a while back I switched our family's consumption of proteins to hormone free dairy, chicken, meats, etc, this was in line with my current goals (typically means I pay the price for organic, but have tasted the difference in quality and while I prefer to be as thrifty as possible, it is a price I'm willing to pay). 

I also try to do as much as possible to be as environmentally responsible as possible and teach the importance of that to my children as well.  My mom always said I was a bag lady as a child, so it was no surprise when I jumped on the reusable grocery bag train just after it pulled out of the station.  Throwing anything recyclable in the trash causes major guilt, I went so far as to bring all my recyclable materials back from our vacation in New Hampshire since they didn't have recycling at the resort we visited.

Well, I could go on, but I'll let you go find out more yourself.  My planning involved finding some new recipes that were simple, involved fresh or natural ingredients and quick to prepare.  I went to bed excited to clean out my fridge.  This morning I picked up a oats, whole wheat flour, bananas and several pounds of citrus fruits and a few other basics.  I spent a solid hour dancin' to my ipod, dumpin' old food and wiping out the fridge.  As I put stuff back, I put dinner in the crock pot to help use up things.
After dinner Junebug assisted me in making home made granola starting with Mark Bittman's basic recipe, here's our version (which we are already snacking on!):
  • 6 cups oats
  • 2 cups seeds and nuts (we cleaned out the pantry using up what was left of roasted soybeans, sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds and mixed nuts)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin pie seasoning
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup local honey
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla butternut extract
  • 2 cups of dried fruit (we used craisins and cherries)
Preheat oven to 350.  Mix everything but dried fruit in a large bowl.  Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet (we used two large Pyrex casserole dishes since my baking sheets don't have rims).  Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Mix in dried fruit and let cool.  Store indefinitely in an air tight container in the fridge. 

1 comment:

minimartha said...

Sounds great! We are going to make it! Loving your Blogg.

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