Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Little Bit At A Time

A great deal of homesteading is wanting better for your family.  I want to know what is in our food and where it comes from.  The hard thing about changing the way we eat is we have a couple of very picky people in our family that question everything that is in the food.  They do not like a variety of veggies, basically it's meat and potatoes.  So, I am trying to start out little by changing a few of the ingredients in some of my recipes and then advance it from there. 

Today, I am making chocolate chip cookies.

I set all the ingredients out and am thinking of ways that I could change the recipe to have more natural ingredients. 
I am using the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag.  It calls for sugar, all purpose flour, brown sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, baking soda, margarine and chocolate chips.

The first thing I note is that I usually use margarine.  I really want to get away from this.  I've noticed butter is a little more expensive than margarine, but I plan on doing my research to find the best organic butter for my money.

The eggs:  Hopefully next spring we will have our own chickens, so we will have farm fresh eggs :)

Vanilla:  I have only ever used imitation vanilla flavoring.  Will be looking for some real to use.  Any suggestions on brands or where to buy this from?

Flour:  I know there is better flour than bleached all purpose flour.  I have never really experimented with flour.  I know there is wheat flour and other types, but is this the same or better than regular flour?  Will have to look this up.

Just with one recipe, there are so many things that I could change.  Hopefully, I am on my way, but I have to do this little by little or I am pretty sure my troops will retaliate against me.  We have become so accustomed to eating processed foods and going out to eat, I can't just make a complete change on them overnight, so my plan is to tweak the ingredients here and there very slowly so hopefully they won't notice too much.  Wish me luck!

Oh and if you are looking at my ingredients and can think of other things I can change, by all means comment and let me know.  Thanks!


  1. It's all about the small steps! As for tweaks...you can add a bit of apple sauce to your cookies instead of so much butter or margarine (you can substitute up to 3/4 of the fats with apple sauce). Use unsweetened apple sauce unless you also want to adjust the sugar in the recipe. The taste is basically the same, but it's healthier and your cookies will be a bit moister :-) Happy baking!!!

  2. Thank you for the tip, will definitely have to try that!

  3. I'm in the same boat as you. I went to Wal-mart and bought whole wheat flour the other day and started making amish frieship bread and cinnamon rolls useing 1/2 whole wheat flour. in the amish friendship bread it added a nutty texture adn flavor. I was great!
    My husband is used to store bought everything. his mother and 2 ex-wives never cooked anything that didnt come from a package, so it is very hard to please him with homemade breads. We are also looking to get chickens in the spring, but we currently have an uncle who gives us eggs when he has extras.
    I wish you the best!! I'll keep you in my prayers!

  4. Oh, also my mother and sister made vanilla extract with vanilla beans and vodka. It is wonderful, and when you run out just pour in more vodka and let it set for a few weeks. (I like to have 2 so you make sure you always have one ready)

  5. I would definitely say making your own vanilla is worth it. I have directions on my blog (can search it). I use unbleached flour. It's better than the bleached, but doesn't give the heavier texture/flavor of whole wheat that the finicky ones might rebel against.

  6. Sweet Mamma-I am glad I am not the only one having a hard time getting the family to go along with this. I know it will get easier over time! And thanks for the vanilla tips.

    And thanks for your tips Teresa! I will search your site for the vanilla :)

  7. I love King Arthur's white whole wheat flour for baking cookies, muffins, and non yeast breads. When I first met my husband he swore he could not eat whole wheat. At first I used half white and half whole wheat, now I just use all whole wheat, and he says he loves what I make.

    Kateri @ Dandelion Haven