First let me clear up that unprocessed for me means not processed in a factory, doesn’t come in a bag/box, and is as close to the way it was harvested as possible. Cooking, canning, fermenting, and freezing are all ways of processing foods, but for this challenge we’re not using the term for these methods. So a fried egg for me in unprocessed, even though technically it’s a processed food. I’m guessing this is the way you are all thinking processed as well. When you’re trying to make a choice, choose the least processed. For example, if you’re looking at cheese, buy a real cheese instead of something like Velveeta or American cheese. If you can, find a local raw milk cheese or an artisan cheese made with old-fashioned methods.
Snacking is probably the hardest area to go unprocessed. Often you’re out and about and you have to do some preplanning to avoid the packaged granola bars, bags of chips, and bottles of juice. Here at Chiot’s Run we follow the Nourishing Traditions parameters for eating, and we try to fit our snacking within those parameters. When I snack I prefer salty, protein rich foods, instead of grain and sugar based snacks. What kids of snacks will you find me eating at home, and when I’m on the road? olives (I brine my own), fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, hard boiled egg, yogurt, kefir, artisan raw milk cheese, toast with lots of butter, sauteed seasonal vegetables, a fresh salad, a glass of raw milk, a raw milk latte, a small cup of custard, pumpkin pie, etc.
We actually don’t snack much around here, once we switched a Real Food diet of minimally processed foods, the less we felt like snacking. I think it’s because we’re eating more fat and our bodies are being nourished. I believe that feeling hungry and snacky between meals usually means you’re not eating enough at meals (especially healthy fats) or that your body is undernourished and needs some vitamins and minerals. Along with trying to transition to healthier snacks, try to add more nutrition to your meals by: adding more herbs and spices, consider taking a fermented cod liver oil supplement, include some kind of fermented food with each meal to help your body absorb more from your food.
What are some of your favorite unprocessed or homemade snacks?
I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, maple sugaring, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at You Day Magazine, Not Dabbling in Normal, and you can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.