I wanted to give you guys a sneak peak from my new eBook, The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms. I have a whole section on identifying your new ‘convenience foods’ in a real food kitchen. Here is a look at part of that section including links to my favorite convenience food recipes! Scroll down to find out how you can get my new eBook for a special offer through Sept. 30th!
5 New ‘Convenience Foods’ to Keep Stocked in Your Real Food Kitchen
I have found that there are a number of items that my family always needs. I ensure I have a batch of these foods made, making my life a whole lot easier. These are not foods you have to make every day, but they do need to be on a regular rotation in your household. I have found that if I have these items on hand, my meals are most of the way prepared. For me, these are my new REAL ‘convenience’ foods. My list may be very different from yours but you get the idea! These are the items you need to add to your planning schedule and they will help you restock your real food pantry.
1. Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is a must have item in my kitchen. If you have stock on hand you can make any soup in just 20 minutes by adding fresh vegetables and simmering. You can also make beans, rice and roasts more flavorful and nourishing by popping in some broth you have on hand. I make a big pot of stock about once a month and then store it in pint sized plastic containers. Plastic? Why not glass? I know some of you might be hesitant to use plastic, however, the reason I use these containers is that I can quickly run them under a hot tap to easily release the contents into a pot for reheating last minute (who can remember to take a pint of stock out of the freezer to defrost overnight!?). You cannot do that with a glass jar unless you want cracked glass with your stock. I also do not put hot stock into the containers – I load them up after I have cooled my stock overnight in the fridge and skimmed off the schmaltz (chicken fat).
2. Fermented Condiments and Dressings
It might seem nuts to create something you can so easily buy, however, there really aren’t great alternatives out there you can buy that you cannot make for far less money at home and with much better ingredients. I keep ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and Ranch dressing at the top of my list to keep stocked in my kitchen. They are very simple to make quickly and because they are properly preserved through fermentation (what is fermenting?) they keep for a month’s time (maybe more, but I have never had to find out because we eat them that quickly!). I have timed myself before and it takes me under 7 minutes each to make my ketchup, mayo and Ranch dressing recipes. The mustard only takes longer because you have an overnight step.
3. Fermented Vegetables
We eat beneficial fermented foods at every meal and that means primarily fermented vegetables. I belong to a weekly CSA (community supported agriculture farm box) that is full of fresh vegetables. There are more vegetables than I could ever cook and eat within a week. I think I also would get pretty tired of eating cooked cabbage week after week when cabbage is in season. Instead I ferment all of these vegetables to preserve them so that they stay good in my fridge for 6 months or more. This means we always have delicious carrots, sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), pickles, etc. on hand to add to lunches and for snacks. If it is a vegetable you can be sure I have tried fermenting it to preserve it for later use – even garlic!
4. Cottage Cheese
I know, I know – making your own cottage cheese may seem daunting to a real food newbie, but this is seriously the most easy recipe I have ever made. I now make this weekly and am so happy I do not have to buy the low fat cottage cheese at the store anymore. I think this is a lot less expensive on a weekly basis as well. A pint of organic cottage cheese is usually around $4.99 where I live and it is not made from grass-fed cows which means those cows are eating soy and corn. I make a pint from a half gallon of raw milk which costs me $5. Wait – isn’t that the same price? Let me explain – I also get these by-products from making cottage cheese which I can use to make other food:
- Sour cream – so instead of spending an additional 3.99 on sour cream, I also have that available for making the aforementioned real Ranch dressing recipe (which also costs money, by the way)
- Whey – I can use the whey for fermenting or for any of these other great uses for leftover whey
5. Soaked Granola
I make a big batch of soaked granola about once a month. I add various crispy nuts and dried fruits. Granola can be eaten as a snack on the go or as a cereal with milk or yogurt in the morning for breakfast. I even take it with me when I travel for business trips!
Want more ideas?
I have many more tips like these to help you survive real food cooking in my eBook The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms. My eBook will have you planning real food meals for your family like a pro by keeping it simple and do-able for anyone!
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