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Eating Outside the Industrial Box
From 2005 to 2009, I (as Debra Lynn Dadd) spent four years exploring the world of natural sweeteners in a blog called Sweet Savvy. I basically purchased every so-called “natural” sweetener I could find and then tried to cook with them, learning about their characteristics, how they could be used, and how they could be substituted in recipes. I tried to make every sweet recipe I could think of with a natural sweetener instead of refined sweeteners.
I had scheduled to write a post for this blog—Wholefood Cuisine—about sweeteners when I serendipitously found an email correspondence from 2009 in which I wrote to another food blogger about what I was thinking at the time.
Here’s what I said…
I first got the idea of eating honey and chickpeas together a couple of years ago when Larry and I visited a friend in Pasadena, California who raises bees.
As an appetizer to the dinner he was preparing for us, he served hummus with honey from his own bees poured over the top.
It was astounding.
Now that I am minimizing fat in my diet, I am wanting to make hummus without so much olive oil and tahini.
So I tried honey and it was perfect.
This is such a great idea, and the most affordable way I’ve seen to source whole food.
Misfits Market is “a subscription box of sometimes funny-looking fruits and vegetables making it easy and affordable for all of us to eat healthy. We are dedicated to breaking the cycle of food waste by helping delicious food find a good home. Your home.”
There is nothing wrong with this food in terms of eating, it just doesn’t fit into the commercial food system idea of perfection.
But there’s nothing wrong with the flavor and nourishment.
I first made this plum sauce back in 2009 when I was writing a blog about natural sweeteners called Sweet Savvy.
It was so delicious that it got picked up and published in a cookbook called Locally Delicious.
I made it again this week because plums are in season. I love eating foods that you can only eat at a certain time of year, and now is the time for plum sauce. This year I also added some wild plums that were falling off trees down the street. I love that I made it the very week when the wild plums were ripe, even though I also used organic plums from the farm stand.
I love this salad! It’s cool and refreshing, yet light and full of Asian flavors. You can make it hot or mild to suit your taste. And there’s no fish sauce (unless you want to add it yourself).
It tastes very very fresh on a hot day.
When we start having potlucks again, this would be a great salad to bring.
I have to admit that Larry and I are eating this salad almost every day. Our favorite dinner now is a huge bowl of organic brown rice and mixed lettuces with this cucumber salad all over the top of both. Yum!
I have a memory from very early childhood of my grandfather taking me out into his backyard and lifting me up into the peach tree—right next to a perfectly ripe peach—so I could pick a peach myself. We brought the peach into the house, where my grandmother peeled it and sliced it into a bowl and covered it with white sugar and evaporated milk from a can. Though I have eaten many peaches since, and even many more peaches from that tree, I will never forget that peach, warm and ripe, right off the tree.
I have another memory of a time as an adult when I decided I wanted to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less industrial food. I went to the supermarket and chose various items from the produce department and brought them home. They tasted so terrible I went back to eating processed food.
Over time, I’ve learned where to buy the best organic produce that tastes wonderful, and to grow fruits and vegetables myself in my garden, but recently I learned something about the ripeness of fruit that I want to share with you.
I made this granita last week when I brought some strawberries home from the farmer’s market that were not quite as sweet as I expected. And it was just the right thing to do. It was so delicious I had to make another batch the very next day.
I’m calling this “super” strawberry granita because it is actually better than just plain strawberries in two ways.
In the heat of summer, there is nothing more refreshing than the juicy fruits of the season—except frosty *cold* fruits. Use the ripest fruits as they reach their peak, and you’ll get their maximum sweetness.
Of course, all fruits are wonderful eaten simply whole or sliced. Here are some easy ways to turn fruits into frozen treats.
When I was a child, I ate a lot of watermelon. I often visited my grandparents during the summer in the hot Central Valley of California, and watermelon was one of my grandfather’s favorite foods.
A few days ago Larry and I bought a big organic watermelon and it’s delicious. Larry likes to cut it open and scoop out little melon balls for us.
Watermelon.org has done a great job of showing us how to use the whole watermelon in many great ways.
It’s 5:32 am.
I am up and here in my tiny kitchen that is just a few steps from my office. It’s just before sunrise when the light is just starting to make everything visible. I hear the birds singing and the rooster crowing, the whir of the induction burner, and the steam escaping every few seconds as the beans cook—the heirloom beans from a local organic farm. I remember going to the farm and buying the beans there and talking with the farmer. I smile.
Since I started my Wholefood Cuisine blog, I’ve made a commitment to living with food on a deeper level. In fact, I started the blog for just that purpose—as a structure that would support me in making changes in my life around food that I hadn’t yet made. I figured that if I worked out my intention around food, announced it, and had a place to write about how I was exploring the subject and living it in my daily life that I would be more organized about doing it.
I was right.
This blog is about eating “whole food” that is really whole and about creating a style of wholefood cuisine that comes from the inherent flavors and qualities of the foods themselves, rather than trying to make familiar industrial-style foods from whole ingredients.
To eat in this manner is not only enjoyable, it also benefits health and the environment.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our industrial food supply is crumbling fast. And we still need to eat. I’ll show you how.