I’m interested to hear what your staple food items are…. what are those things that you try to always keep in stock and running-out warrants a trip to the store? Those things that you eat almost every day in some form or another… Whether they make-up the biggest part of your diet or are just regular add-ons. I’m always curious how other people do daily things in similar and different ways than I do, and I’m always interested to hear what other people are eating! (is that weird?)
Here are ours:
*Yogurt: I only buy plain, whole-milk yogurt now, and I try to always keep it in stock. My favorite brand is Stoneyfield Farms…. oh my gosh, Yoplait has NOTHING on this stuff! It is so thick and creamy and tangy…. sometimes I even eat it in place of dessert. Right now Harris and I are the only ones who will eat this… Yogurt is one of those things Evelyne has convinced herself that she doesn’t like, although I really think she does like it since she’s eaten it quite a bit in the past, but she won’t touch it now. But that’s ok, because this stuff is kinda expensive. (For what it’s worth, I used to hate plain yogurt and only could eat the sweetened stuff. Once I realized the incredibly high sugar content, I weaned myself onto plain. I started by putting sugar and fruit in it, slowly reduced the sugar, and now I love it plain! It has so much more of a complex flavor this way that I can appreciate for what it is and not what’s been added.) I like Greek yogurt, too, but it’s much more expensive.
*Milk: Well, this one’s kinda obvious since I have two little ones. We have switched our whole family back to whole milk, though, so no more buying different kinds. And we’ve started buying organic… which is so much more expensive. Sigh. I used to spend $2 per gallon on milk, now I spend $5, and we go through almost 2 gallons a week.
*Cheese: I stock-up when my store sells 2lb. blocks for $3.50 and freeze the ones I’m not immediately using. (I’ve had no problems with the taste after they defrost.) We eat a lot of cheese. I often grate it for a dinner topping, tear it up into bits to put in my salads, or just eat it by the chunky slice. We also make a lot of grilled-cheese sandwiches.
*Butter: I don’t think I had ever even bought real butter until a few months ago, and I never used it in my cooking unless I was baking something. Now, we go through quite a bit. I add big chunks to our eggs, oatmeal, grilled-cheese sandwiches, vegetables, etc…. The other night I used a whole stick to cook some eggplant! Basically, if I think butter will make it better, I throw-in a whole bunch of it.
*Oatmeal: Like I said before, oatmeal is one of my quick go-to meals for breakfast or anytime for the kids.
*Whole-wheat pastry flour: I’ve discovered that this particular type of whole-wheat flour produces the best results when I substitute it for white flour. It produces a much lighter and fluffier result than the dense regular whole-wheat… even better than using white whole-wheat flour. I get this in the bulk section of my grocery store, so I can get as little or as much as I want at a time.
*Apples: This is Evelyne’s all-time favorite snack, and she would gladly eat 2 or 3 whole apples a day if I let her. I limit her to 1, and I’m hoping that her apple a day habit does indeed keep the doctor away. (so far we’re doing well with that!)
*Cheerios: The only processed food that I’m unwilling to part with. When Evelyne gets up in the morning, she immediately wants a bowl of dry cheerios, a cup of milk, and a show on tv. I happily oblige because it buys me peace and quiet and time to slowly wake-up. I’m also purposefully addicting Harris to this habit.
*Canned tomatoes: I know there’s probably BPA in the lining of the can… I know that fresh is best. But seriously, you just can’t beat a good cheap can of tomatoes for dumping into chili, on top of a pizza, in tacos, in pasta, etc, etc, etc…. It just makes everything better. I will say, however, that I read the labels on the back of my collection of tomato cans the other day and was SHOCKED and APALLED to find high-fructose corn syrup hiding in my can of “chili ready” pre-seasoned tomatoes. One other can, maybe the Italian flavored one, had regular corn syrup in it. What in the world is that doing in there?! I mainly use the plain ones that are just tomatoes and a little salt, but good grief, I will be majorly avoiding those flavored ones from now on!
*Peanut butter: In the past couple of months I started buying the “natural” brands that only have peanuts and salt in them because DID YOU KNOW that normal peanut butter (JIF, Skippy, etc….) have TRANS FATS in them? As in, the kinds of fats that will kill you dead? Go ahead, look at the back of your jar. Anything that says the word “hydrogenated” means that there are trans fats in it. Again… shocked and apalled. The other day I bought the Adams brand peanut butter, and let me tell you, it is amazing! Natural peanut butter tastes way better, in my opinion, but for some reason this brand tastes the best to me. You do have to stir all the oils around since they rise to the top, but that’s the way God made the peanut to react when you crush it up, so I don’t care.
*Coffee: I’m not picky about my coffee…. as long as it’s not awful, I really can’t tell the difference from one brand to another, I just look for a good deal. (But I am picky about the fact that I better have some every single morning!) Right now I’m hooked on the Trader Joe’s brand “Joe’s Dark Coffee” because it’s good and it’s only $3.99 for 13 oz.!!! Ya can’t beat that!
*Olive oil: I eat a big salad almost every day with homemade balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar mixed with olive oil and a few spices) and I cook in olive oil a lot. I read recently that many olive oils that are sold, including some major brands, aren’t true 100% olive oil. Instead, they’re mixed with other types of oils like vegetable oil. Shocked and apalled. You can tell if your olive oil is 100% real by putting it in the fridge for awhile and seeing if it solidifies. If it does, it’s real. If not, you got taken. I noticed that my bottles never said 100% olive oil, just other words like “pure” and “natural” and “authentic flavor.” Since we don’t eat any vegetable oils anymore, I found some great authentic olive oil at Trader Joe’s. (love that place!) If it says “estate” on the bottle, that means that the contents of the whole bottle are made from olives that grew at the same olive orchard. (is it called an olive orchard?) Many commercial olive oils are mixed together with oils from all different locations. I buy a big jar of Spanish olive oil that’s 33.8 oz. for about $5.99 at Trader Joe’s, it’s estate olive oil, and it. is. yummy.
OK, I think that’s about it. Most of our diet consists of these items, meats, and veggies and fruit. If you’re feeling a little concerned about the high amount of dairy/animal product/fat content in our diet, then be reassured….. I’m doing this on purpose. I’ll post more to come, but yes, I’m purposefully eating a very high amount of quality fat and animal product. I’ll go into more detail about why later, but if you’re curious and can’t wait, check out some of the links on the side of the page under the “Food” heading. These are other blogs that will explain it better than I do. Oh yeah, and I’m slowly losing weight on this high-fat diet!
So, what are your staples? Am I missing something here? Do you have any good ideas or suggestions that I haven’t thought of yet? Good kid food?