Tuesday, November 11, 2008

processed foods you can't live with out

I have eliminated probably 90% of the processed foods that we use to eat but there are a couple that I haven't let go of or found a better, more natural substitute for. Here is my list of top five most loved processed foods that I can't let go of! I would love to know if anyone has any great substitutes for some of these.

1. Cream of _____ soup -
Surely there is a better way to make my favorite casseroles with out using cream of chicken/potato/mushroom, etc. Surely there is a healthier choice, but until I find it, I just can't let go!

2. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls-
I love these things. They are so easy to add to a dinner, and make a great pizza crust, taco ring crust, stuffable yumminess. I know they aren't good for us, so I try and minimize my use, but I truly have a love affair with these.

3. Mac and Cheese out of the box-
I have gotten better by switching to Annie's, but bottom line the cheese is powder and I know homemade is better, but my kids only like the box kind and I try and balance it out with fruit and other healthy sides... it's a crutch I know!

4. Cereal Bars-
Again, I have switched to healthier/organic versions, but surely there are better breakfasts for my kids. I have limited our purchasing of these, but both my kids love them ( and hey it's better than an oreo or little debbie snack!)

5. Instant Oatmeal-
Again, I buy organic but know that the plain oatmeal would have a lot less sugar than the flavored packets. Personally I am just happy to get oatmeal in them, so is this the lesser of the evils??

What are your guilty pleasures??

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Emily said...

I too try to stay away from the processed stuff. I have used this recipe several times for cream of ___ soups...it's definitely not the same, but does the job in a recipe. I figure it's probably a good thing it's not as tasty...probably the bad stuff that tastes so good! :) http://southernfood.about.com/od/ingredientsubstitutions/r/bl90911a4.htm


Alison said...

I am with you on all that stuff--plus coffee creamer!

Jon and Melissa said...

Here is 1 for cream of ___. Have you ever heard of the sneaky chef? I use it a lot. The granola bars is what I make ALL the time and stopped buying ceral bars and the kids eat these up. Also the M&C is good. The kids dig it.

Cream of Mushroom Soup (can substitute any veggie)

2 tbsp butter
8 oz mushrooms, minced
1/4 cup onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk, yogurt or light cream

Heat butter in 2 quart saucepan. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Saute until mushrooms soften and lose their liquid. Sprinkle flour over mixture and continue cooking for several minutes. Add stock gradually, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Puree mixture in a blender or food processor, then return to the saucepan. Stir in milk and heat through.

Some people condense it down and then freeze in pint size jars.

Amy H. said...

oh, thank God i came here and read your blog tonight! I have a baby, soon to be toddler, with multiple food allergies. I had been trying to cut out some of the processed foods with moderate success, but dealing with this allergy business is really the boot in the butt that i needed! ... One of my major stumbling blocks in making things homemade has been that Cream of ____ soup... it seems to be in all of my recipes lol (ok, not ALL!) Anyhoo, was so happy to see a knock-off version... will give it a try for SURE! My foods i cant live without: chicken nuggets, Annies mac and cheese, instant oatmeal, Cheetos Naturals, and cream of ____ soups

Anonymous said...

I have only recently stopped our love affair with processed foods. I am astonished at the amount of food processed that is from China. That was one of my main reasonings, that and I know there are better foods for us!

Mac n cheese and the soup is probably my biggest I have trouble giving up. I have made the switch to sharp block cheese rather than slices. I also started buying a large container of oatmeal- and began making my own again. I add my own sugar or fruit, etc...It's just as quick and once you have given up a microwave, you would never even know it took a little more effort!

BundlebooMaMa said...

I have to admit that I still am a processed food sinner. Your list must be the true evil because most of them are still a problem here as well. However we do use "mothers' Organic ground oatmeal" with honey and raisins for breakfast. Its really just as easy as instant if you use the nuke box :)

charlie&gracie said...

glad to know that I am not the only one hiding in the processed food closet!

ruralmamma said...

If it were my kis I would say tough your eating what I make or go hungry.. how mean is that?
But seriously dont let em eat it and dont make it for them. I dont use anything that you listed...and homemade mac and cheese is just sooo good..maybe the recipe your using isnt fitting the bill for your fam. My fam loves homemade alfredo sauce so I just make that and pour over mac noodles and super amazing creamy yumminess they would never ask for the powdered stuff again...I would def go with making your own cream soups and canning them or freezing like the other gal said ..super good idea although none of my recipes ever needed those items.. Have you made real oatmeal for the kiddos? Its soo much better then those nasty packets that are dried fruit and coffee creamer. Throw some dehydrated fruit in there if you must but I put 1 cup oats to 2 cups water and brown sugar and milk and its delish...sorry so long..good luck and soo good that you realize that all that is junko. Keep up the good work sweetie! I enjoy reading your blog..

Melissa ~ A BumbleBaby Mommy said...

mmmmm Crescent rolls! You just can't make 'em like you can buy 'em!

Lalapoo said...

The Ramen Noodles..they are quick and easy.. I know i need to lay off them!