Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Real food in five minutes...

One of the biggest hurdles to preparing food at home is just being plain busy. I know that there is a certain amount of running around and other chores that will occupy your time but making time for real food is important for your children's sense of well being, for the physical health of your family and your budget. Being very busy or even working can make it more of a challenge but to be truthful, slow food can be real fast. When you are extra busy, the long prep times of cooking actually work in your favor and are much less time dependent on you which frees you up for all the other things that you need to do. Here are seven kitchen tasks, one for each day of the week, to help you have real food in just five minutes a day.

1. Make bone broth. Bone broth makes use of things you would ordinarily throw away and the bone meal from very well cooked bones can be composted and add additional minerals to your home garden which is economical and if you use a crock-pot it frees up counter space and requires no baby sitting, which saves times. I like to let my bone broth cook for 24 to 48 hours (usually longer) and we put the crumbling bones in the compost with no problems. See HERE for a tutorial on bone broth and HERE for how to save bones and veggies for broth as well as other ideas on making use of things you might toss.

2. Make kombucha. My method allows you to start the tea in the morning or evening and twelve hours later put a batch going which will give you one bottle a day for just a few minutes of work. If you need to learn how to grow a SCOBY and make kombucha at home, see my easy tutorial HERE. Kombucha is expensive in the store and takes so little work that you can save your time and money for other things just by making instead of buying.

3. Make viili. This is idiot-proof yogurt which cultures at room temperature and is mild tasting for those who are used to eating sweetened yogurts. It can take only a minute or two to add some frozen cubes to a pitcher of milk to make a half gallon at a time. If you have never made it before, see my tutorial HERE.You can use this yogurt to soak grains and to make smoothies (see my breakfast smoothies HERE. I also just add fresh fruit for a crazy fast breakfast. If you are dairy free and happen to have some water kefir grains, you can use them occasionally to make coconut milk yogurt by culturing it with kefir grains. Takes overnight. Or all day while you are out. In this brief post HERE, I have a photo and a bit more info.

4. Make sourdough bread. I know, this sounds hard but my method is stupid easy and takes minutes at a time. You can adapt my method to bake in the morning or the evening and allow it to soak while you are away or sleeping making it working mom friendly. Find out how to make my easy bread HERE.

5. Make oats. Mornings are really hard and are even harder if there is nothing to eat for breakfast. You have a couple options for breakfast above but don't forget oats! Oats are cheap, fast and can be nourishing. You can make a fantastic oatmeal coffee cake by starting the oats in the morning and baking before bed. Then you will have a fresh coffee cake for breakfast with no effort in the morning. Try Wardeh's cake HERE, it is fantastic! You can also soak 1/4 cup of oats (rolled or steel cut) with 1/2 cup water and one tablespoon whey, yogurt, water kefir, dairy kefir or sourdough starter per person over night. In the morning add two tablespoons per person of butter or coconut oil and the same amount of dried fruit (for sweetener) and cook for five minutes. That's it. If you double or triple it, you can add one egg per cup of left over oatmeal and bake it in the evening for another coffee cake. There is no need to rely on store bought packaged cereals.

6. Make your own spice blends, shredded cheese and grated parmasan. On the weekends or an off day, blend up all the seasonings you will use so you can avoid all the toxic chemicals in prepared versions. Need some ideas? HERE I explain just how to use common spices and provide some recipes for great seasoning blends. In this brief post HERE, I talk in a bit more detail about "grating" your own parmasan.

7. Make some snacks. You can run a batch of date balls through the food processor and pop them in the fridge and do the scooping and shaping later. You can find my mother's recipe HERE. Busy people often need snacks that are portable and easy to make and these require no baking. I started a FB group for families trying to nourish their families and I asked for great snack ideas; you can find the list HERE. One thing that is not listed and I somehow forgot to mention is frozen grapes. I freeze washed grapes in a single layer on a stainless steel cookie sheet, freeze, transfer to a container and keep in the freezer. I use them as quick snacks and even as ice cubes in drinks in the summer.

So here are some ideas to get your started making real food! Tomorrow is all about food that needs to no prep work ahead of time and I hope you stop by and see it. If you missed it, yesterday was all about how to afford to eat a Weston A. Price diet on a tight budget and you can find it HERE.

So, if you were giving advice to someone hurting for time, what would you tell them?

Linking up to Real Food Wednesday!


  1. Love #7!!! I need make ahead meal ideas for Wednesdays since I've decided to go to Mass on Wednesday nights.

    1. If you make a bunch of date balls, you can freeze them and pop them frozen into a container. They will thaw in a few hours and be ready to eat and this way you have a ready snack source on hand. It's what I do!

  2. Sarah Mulholland5/03/2012

    This is awesome! I am going to order some villi, learn sourdough and make oats more often! Thank you for this!

    1. I am glad this was helpful to you! Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!


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