Sunday, August 19, 2012

Seven "Food Month" ~ Part Two ~ Goodbye To Processed Food And The Salt Shaker

Getting Better At This Bread Baking Adventure
Thanks to my positive experience during our “Food Month” experiment, I decided to eliminate processed foods from my diet (at home) as much as possible, in favor of making whole food choices instead. After I consume the processed foods in my pantry, I hope I won’t be tempted to replace them. This too is an experiment, as I venture to adopt this new lifestyle, now that “Food Month” is behind me.

Recently, I decided to pull out my bread machine and I’m experimenting with making my own bread again. I was a bread baker many years ago in my hippie/pioneer days when Sarah was very young. I made my whole wheat bread from scratch, once a week by hand, and would make six loaves at a time. This was short-lived however, since Sarah and her dad only enjoyed eating it on baking day and weren’t interested in it, once it lived in the freezer for a few days.

My first attempt to make 100% whole wheat bread in the bread machine was a disappointing flop with a happy ending. I had taken a chance and used the yeast I had on hand that was two months past expiration. Thankfully, I was keeping an eye on the dough-making process and noticed that the dough had failed to rise. I rescued it from the pending baking cycle and tried an idea to recycle the dough. I cut it into 12 parts, flattened and rolled out each ball as thinly as possible and baked them individually in a dry, cast-iron fry pan on top of the stove. I was thrilled with the outcome! The resulting finished product was similar to a pita bread without the pocket and was very tasty.

My first several bread-making attempts since the flat bread have been less than desirable, making a very short, dry, dense loaf. Since then, my efforts have been much more rewarding as I experiment with different recipes. Now, I let the bread machine do the kneading and I shape the loaf, let it rise in my bread pan and bake in my oven. I like the traditional shape and size much better than the bread machine loaf and I’m enjoying being a bread baker again. I’m looking forward to experimenting with lots of recipes this autumn and winter.

For the most part, I really enjoyed the month long discipline of eating so healthfully and found out that I missed very little of my normal diet. I also had the bonus of losing seven pounds and that got me to my ideal weight again. Since weight loss wasn't a goal or motive, we were permitted to eat however much we wanted of our choices. (Going forward; having homemade bread around all the time, I'll need to be careful if I want to keep off that seven pound winter coat). I was surprised that I ate less and never felt hungry. What’s not to love about that?

The only thing I really missed at first was mayonnaise, but soon enough, I started enjoying all the subtle flavors and decided to challenge myself a little more. I gave up my love affair with the salt shaker, just to see what it would be like. So, I have adopted a post Seven habit of no added salt at the table and now I don’t miss it hardly at all. I never thought I would be able to enjoy foods like eggs or popcorn without it, but I was wrong.

I felt more energetic and better than I had in years. I suppose the no sugar component had a lot to do with that. And I’m certain that all the sunshine helped boost my energy level as I worked the soil and planted my gardens in preparation for “Waste Month”.

In my last post, I listed the foods that comprised our menu for a month. If you were to try this experiment, what seven foods do you think you would choose? I’m curious. More about “Food Month” next time.


  1. My kids have been wanting me to bake bread. I bought a used machine from a friend years ago and we have our favorite recipe. What are your favorite types of bread to make? Great idea of making pita bread!

  2. I haven't experimented much yet. The 100 % Whole Wheat recipe that came with the machine was awful. Found a 83 % recipe online that I like. Planning on trying other recipes in the fall and winter.

    Hope to see you on Wednesday night.