Pay for it now, or pay for it later.

It seems we live in a world of borrowing on the future. We borrow money from our future selves in the form of financial debt. We borrow time from our future selves in the form of procrastination. We even borrow health from our future selves in the form of instant gratification.

I should know. I’m guilty of all three.

While I’ll never be ultra responsible in any of those areas, I can work on being a little better. I’m okay with who I am, but I also believe in self-discipline and development. Progress is the name of the game.

So recently I decided to get on the Whole 30 bandwagon for a few weeks. Here’s what I found out. You have to be rich to eat healthy.

This jar of almond butter was almost $8. Are you kidding me?!? And do you know how much almond butter is involved in eating healthy? Apparently tons of it. Like a small fortune’s worth.

I was so floored by the cost of this stuff that I started looking more seriously at recipes and wondering if I really could do it myself. I was skeptical as it seemed too easy, but maybe Pinterest and Google wouldn’t let me down?

And what about cost effectiveness? It turns out that a 3 lb bag of almonds at my local Sam’s club runs about $13, which would make a whole lot more almond butter than what was in that 12 oz jar.

I wasn’t ready to invest. I wasn’t sold. So, I looked in my pantry and low and behold I had a bag of raw cashews. Cashew butter is a thing, isn’t it? Not sure if it’s very healthy, but that wasn’t really the goal here. More like an experiment of sorts.

Sure enough, it is. Lots of recipes available, and really very simple.

Phase 1- toast the cashews! 375 degrees for five minutes. I was curious what they’d be like roasted a little longer, so I turned off the oven and left them in for a little longer.

Phase 2- blend the cashews! I got no photos of this in action as I was too enamored with the process to stop for pics. At first I thought it wasn’t working because it looked like coarse flour. Then, following the recipe (loosely), I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil and a bit of salt- neither of which are very healthy or needful, but I care not. Suddenly cashew butter started forming in the bottom of the blender, and sure enough in just a couple of minutes I had a blender full of nut butter.

Phase 3- eat the cashew butter! I wasn’t sure about all of this in the beginning, but it really did turn out delightful. I then immediately used some to make this chocolate banana fudgy kind of stuff that was also delightful. But I’ll save that one for another post.

As for having to be rich to eat healthy, it may be more true in this day and age that you have to be rich to survive being sick. And to avoid being sick, you have to invest in eating healthy. But that investment doesn’t have to be made with a lot of cash. Maybe just a little, mixed with time. As I always say, it just depends on your resources. If you are going to spend it, spend what you have more of.

Saving the pot…

I need my pots and pans to last me for as long as possible.  Mostly because I am pretty practical and just don’t want to spend money on pots if I don’t have to, but also because I want new when I move, not now.

So, I was pretty unhappy about this.

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One of our daughters got married this past summer, and at the end of the night we had 17 quart bags of BBQ pork left over, along with about 10 of macaroni and cheese, and 6 of sweet potatoes.  Of course it all totally fits into my regular nutritional life, so no problem eating it all, right?  Ummmm, no.  But every once in a while, I pull a bag of it out of the freezer and work it into a meal one way or another.  This time it was the sweet potatoes.  Oh, those sweet potatoes.  Oh, so much sugar.

And bad planning on my part.  I was being lazy, and I didn’t set them out to thaw.  I figured it would be fine and threw it in a pan on the stove with some water.  Then I started playing on my phone or watching the baseball game or knitting or whatever, and suddenly the scent of forgotten sweet potatoes started invading every part of our house.  Of course it was totally too late, and I had ruined the potatoes, and probably my pot.

I let it soak a couple of times, but the burned food wasn’t getting any softer, and I was running out of patience and elbow grease.  I started thinking about how when food is high in fat and it sticks to the bottom of the pan, all you really have to do is stick the hot pan under cold water and it pretty much comes right off.  The sweet potatoes had a lot more sugar than fat, although I’m sure they had plenty of fat in them as well, but the sugar was what made them burn so badly.  So, I thought I’d try something other than soaking.

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First I put a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan, and set it on to boil.  Then I added a little butter to the water when it started boiling.

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I used my egg whisk (one of my favorite items from IKEA), to try to loosen some of the burned bits from the bottom.  Kind of like how I make gravy, only grosser.

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Then I added ice water.  Again similar to the gravy idea, the mix of fat and cold gets the bits off of the bottom of the pan.  I didn’t know if it would work, but it made sense to try.  It actually did start to work, and a goodly amount of the black started to come loose.

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But not all.  So I tried it again, but this time I used canola oil instead of butter.  I’m not sure if the oil works better than the butter, or if it just needed to be done twice, but it totally worked.

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A little bit oily, and just a few spots left that came off easily with a bit of scrubbing.  Saved for another day!

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