A guest post from Lisa at 100 Days of Real Food…
Earlier this year, after reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and watching Food Inc., we decided to make some pretty dramatic changes to the way we were eating. It just made sense to know where our food comes from and be able to pronounce the ingredients in the items that we were eating. Not to mention Pollan refers to a lot of the packaged items that we used to buy as “food-like substances.”
So in May of this year our family (which includes two children ages 3 and 5) set out on a journey to go 100 days without eating a single ounce of processed food or refined ingredients. We put together some rules that we followed (including no sugar or white flour!) and blogged about our real food pledge on www.100daysofrealfood.com. We loved the response from readers, but one thing we couldn’t help but notice was the amount of feedback we got on how much all this real, organic, and local food costs. This is why starting on October 4 we began “100 Days of Real Food on a Budget”. Our family of 4 has $125 a week to spend on food (which is less than we would get if we were on food stamps) while at the same time following our original real food guidelines as much as possible. We are of course blogging about this journey as well and invite you to join us!
In the meantime though, I want to share some valuable lessons I’ve learned so far which are helping me stay within our strict budget…
- Organization and meal planning
- Minimizing waste (putting uneaten food back)
- Knowing and using what we have on hand (especially if it is perishable)
- Making substitutions in recipes to reduce how many things I have to buy
- Maximizing “cheap” foods (like bananas and beans)
- Making sacrifices (i.e. water instead of milk)
- Reducing consumption of meat and desserts
Soon after starting our budget I realized that bananas must be the cheapest fruit on earth. So I would also like to share one of our favorite recipes that we make with bananas…Banana Ice Cream!
- 4 – 5 bananas (frozen – see below)
- Less than ½ cup milk
- Variations if desired: peanut butter, chocolate sauce, chilled espresso, or other frozen fruit…get creative!
- Peel the bananas, break them into thirds, enclose them into a Tupperware container, and stick them in the freezer overnight (or longer). I usually throw bananas in the freezer whenever they are about to go bad, and I’ve left them in there for weeks before so there is no rush.
- When you are ready for the ice cream just put the bananas in a blender with 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup milk. I don’t have a fancy, expensive VitaMix so I have to shake my little cheapo Target blender around a bit to get it all to blend properly. Just keep adding small amounts of milk until the consistency resembles ice cream. I like to top the finished product with homemade granola.
It is that easy.
Yield: 4 – 6 servings