Monday, March 12, 2012
I am keen to keep our grocery bill down, and would always prefer to spend my hard-earned money on local, organic food rather than processed rubbish that has travelled across oceans to get to me. Keeping the food bill down is becoming achievable thanks to a few handy hints:
1. Reducing the amount of meat we eat, and when you do eat it, focus on quality over quantity. We eat good quality, local and usually organic meat once a week and really enjoy it.
2. Make our own cleaners!
3. Not buying prepackaged snacks/treats/junk food. You will not find a single packaged biscuit, packet of chips or whatever else is popular these days in my pantry. My wallet and waistline really appreciates it.
4. Making whatever we can ourselves. Everything from stock to bread to muesli to cleaners. If I can do it myself, I will.
I was shocked recently to find a packet of relatively 'nice' looking muesli is over $6.00 to buy at my supermarket. Checking out the ingredients list, I wasn't too impressed about what I found in it either. Many of the ingredients I didn't recognise or couldn't see a purpose for. I much prefer my own, homemade version for taste, price and piece of mind.
Homemade Toasted Muesli
3 cups wholegrain rolled oats
1/4 cup each of chia, flax seed, sesame seed and sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut (any style is fine, I used shredded)
1/2 - 2/3 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/4 cup canola/rice bran/olive oil
1/4 cup honey
Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Melt together the honey, oil and vanilla and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until all the mixture is coated and shiny. Spread out in a baking dish and bake at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should be slightly brown when you take it out but it will keep cooking as it cools. Stir it a few times as it cools down to keep the heat distributing evenly. Leave to cool entirely before storing in an airtight jar.
I used to add dried apricots to to the mixture once it had cooled, but now I prefer it as above. I add fresh fruit in the morning with organic yoghurt and milk for a delicious breakfast.