I'm sort of a hippie mom. Or at least much more than I would have anticipated. I am open to delaying vaccinations (which after research I only delayed this one); I plan on nursing past a year if baby-man wants to continue; if we are blessed with another kid, I will probably do it epidural-free and try hypnobirthing; I experiment with homemade cleaners / laundry detergent / baby wipes; I don't really care for meat and am basically a flexitarian; and I have really really really wanted to try out cloth diapers since Jonas was born (for economic reasons, environmental reasons, sensitive-Jonas-skin reasons, and see-I-told-you-I-could-do-it reasons).
And lest you think I'm part of the "let's plagiarize cjane and hope no one finds out" fiasco, I was reminded of my hippie tendencies by Lara.
These sorta-hippie tendencies lead to a lot of Do-It-Yourself projects. In an offering to other DIY-moms, here are 3 of my favorites:
Part 1. Plain Yogurt (recipe source)
You're looking at homemade mango yogurt. Yummedy-yum-yum.
Jonas loves yogurt, but that Yobaby stuff is outrageously expensive. Plus, I can't stand how much trash it generates for just a little bit of yogurt.
1 qt whole milk
1/4 c live-culture yogurt
1/4 c powdered milk
1. Pour milk into slow cooker. Cook on low for 2.5 hours.
2. Unplug slow cooker and let sit for 3 hours.
3. Whisk in yogurt and powdered milk into 1 cup of warm milk. Return to slow cooker and stir.
4. Cover slow cooker with heavy towel to insulate.
5. Let sit 8 hours or overnight.
6. Add any desired sweeteners or mix-ins
* Lasts 7-10 days
* I halved the original recipe
* I added powdered milk as a thickener. Original recipe did not use it
* After the first batch, you can use your homemade yogurt as a starter about 5 times before buying more store-bought yogurt.
* I hear you should start with whole milk until you get the hang of it and then start on lower-fat versions.
* Consistency is a little runny, much like nonfat plain yogurt
* The longer it sits, the tangier it gets
* I have control over any added sugar. The only sugar is in the milk and the fruit I add
* Homemade cost: ~$1/qt; Yobaby cost: ~$5.75/qt. For real.
* You get to use some of the 16 pounds/person dry milk you don't know what to do with
* Despite its ease, you need to be close to home until you are ready to let it sit
Part 2. Homemade Baby Food.
I'm a big advocate. All my tips and tricks were learned from Wholesome Baby Food. The only thing I changed is that I cook the veggies in the CrockPot rather than in the oven. I throw in just a little bit of water (somewhere between 1/4 c to 3/4 c; different amounts for different vegetables due to water content; I guess and usually have to add a bit more) and cook on high. Everything is done within 3 hours. I put them in ice cube trays and we're good to go.
Cost comes out to about 14 cents per jar compared to 45 cents per jar. It's a commitment, but worth it because I know what is going into my baby's body. My only warning: if you use frozen vegetables and fruit, check out the ingredients. A lot of them have added salt and sugar. Lame.
Part 3. Applesauce from Cannery Apples. (recipe source)
I dislike opening up a jar of applesauce when I want to substitute for the oil in baking because I have too much left over. Solution: make it myself. Plus, it's another way to incorporate food storage into our daily routine.
1. Mix equal parts apples and boiling water.
2. Let sit for 5 minutes
3. Blend. (that's a bottle of eXfuze behind the blender, not a green leaf inside of it)
4. Sweeten to taste and enjoy.
I don't typically sweeten mine (especially if I'm baking), but I usually add cinnamon if I just want to eat it plain.
Next DIY Project: Soy Milk here and here
And somewhere between my DIY projects there will be many more posts. Here are some of the thoughts bouncing around my head:
* Love Affair Rekindled
* Book Reviews: Culinary Edition, Wuthering Heights, One More Day, Memory Keeper's Daughter, Wednesday Letters, The Screwtape Letters, The Black Flower
* Tea Party Afterthoughts
* Move it or Lose it
* Stealing Beauty
* Harwin Shopping District
* A Day with a Dietitian
* In-town in-laws