It all started almost 2 years ago with a friend who would grind her own grain (with a machine, not by hand.....) and make her own bread. I thought she was crazy..... but then I tried the bread. My family was hooked! So, we bought a grinder and started making bread and rolls twice a week. As of now, mixing the ingredients is Julia's job. Setting the bread to rise and placing it in loaves or as rolls is my job. It's nice to have a helper with such a job.
As I started to see the benefits of fresh, homemade bread without preservatives, I also began researching other ways we could become more healthy. At that time, I was using coupons to get great deals on all sorts of food- processed foods. While this was a deal for my food budget, it wasn't great for our health. We made the decision to continue to be as frugal as possible with our grocery spending while making as many healthy choices as possible.
Here is a list of some of the homemade items we make:
- Granola Bars
- Granola (I eat in for breakfast in my homemade yogurt)
- Taco Seasoning
- Chicken Broth
- BBQ Sauce
- Bread and rolls
- Trail Mix (that's an easy one!)
- Ranch Crackers
- Laundry detergent
- Antibacterial Wipes
- Bathroom cleaners
I don't give that list to make myself look better or to make you feel bad if you don't do the same. This is simply a choice that our family has made and it definitely doesn't work for every family!
There are a few more things I'd like to try to make for myself, but my family has said NO! This includes coffee creamer, mayonnaise, peanut butter and dryer sheets. But I did get a request from one of my children recently to see if we could make our own cheese. I think I may save that project for next year!
I mentioned in the start of this post about the health benefits of making our own bread. One tangible thing we noticed was that within weeks of removing store bought bread and it's preservatives from my son's diet, his migraines disappeared! He had recently been diagnosed and was experiencing several migraines each month. In the 22 months since switching to homemade bread, he's had 1 migraine and it was much less severe! While I can't prove the connection, I believe the preservatives triggered his migraines. Plus, the addition of whole grain/wheat into our diet is healthy, as well as the Flaxseed we use in the bread.
So, we'll continue using our homemade recipes. We enjoy them and they really haven't added much of a cost to our food budget. Yes, they do require more time because of the preparation, but I have helpers in my house to call on when I need them. And that's an added benefit as well...spending time together while we're working around the house!