From Popcorn to Pickles: Living a Life Unprocessed

I am learning more and more every day about the importance of making your own food and avoiding processed garbage. The latest kick in the pants I needed came after reading this article about where "natural flavorings" come from. Poop is natural. Blood is natural. Snake venom is natural. So, natural flavorings can come from almost anyplace. I prefer to have them come from a real food source. The only way to guarantee that your food is free of beaver butt (you have to read the article to appreciate that) is to make it yourself. Here are a few recipes to get you started. Some are mine. Some have been graciously donated by other bloggers. My sincere thanks to them.  I hope these real food chefs will prove to you how easy and delicious and "natural flavoring free" unprocessed can be!

Make sure your seasonings are pure! No need to put imitations in your food. Here is a great recipe from the Curious Coconut your own pumpkin pie spice. Which is really good in chili by the way!

 DIY pumpkin pie spice recipe

Sugar abounds in granola and other energy bars, not to mention rancid soybean oils, and most taste like cardboard. Here is a 2 ingredient energy bar from It Takes Time made from nuts and fruit. Now that is natural flavoring!

Crackers are something we do not eat much around here anymore. Have you read the ingredients on a box of Wheat Thins? What is the point in eating those. They are like nothing! Try out this home made version from Melissa K. Norris.

Homemade crackers for less than $.50 Recipe at www.MelissaKNorris.com

Or maybe you are in need of a gluten free cracker. If that is the case, you may want to try these gluten free cheese crackers from Grassfed Mama. Look delicious, don't they!!

Crackers are not complete without soup! My most used non processed food at my house is these awesome cream soups with real, healthy ingredients. You can choose to make Cream of Chicken, Celery, or Mushroom. Or get creative with a vegetable stock. Delicious!

Or, if you want a more kid friendly soup, try this 15 min tomato basil soup! No excuses for eating soup from a can!!

Living a life unprocessed is so easy, even a kid can do it. Check out this video on home made guacamole from Well Fed Family.

Yogurt is the food I still buy most often from the grocery store. I don't know why exactly when it is just this easy. Check out this recipe from Paleo Diet Basics. I am doing the one with heavy cream soon!

Yogurt and Blueberries

The cucumbers are going in the garden very soon! Can't wait until fall to use this pickle recipe, also from Paleo Diet Basics.

Dill pickles

Microwave pop corn has got to be one of the greatest food abominations on the planet. And popping it on the stove top is easy breezy. Check out this recipe from This House of Joy! I would of course slather it in butter before inhaling as well!

Simple Stove-top Popcorn // This House of Joy

If microwave popping corn is an abomination, than Velveeta must be the spawn of he who must not be named. I have problems with fake cheese. I am so excited about this recipe from fellow Oklahoma blogger Christina at An Organic Wife.

Speaking of fake cheese, don't let the picture stop you, this is our favorite mac and cheese. My kids shun the box anymore. And why not, when this is so good and so easy! Maybe next time, I will try it with the home made Velveeta!

Does the need for an Oreo still plague anyone else? Well, no more. I love the idea that you can eat anything you want as long as you make it. Here is a wonderful recipe for that old fashioned cookie with none of the new fangled hydrogenated vegetable oil filling that is just plain poison. (Also from An Organic Wife) Which flavor will you try first? I am going for peanut butter!

Dressings are one thing I never, ever buy in a grocery store. I have yet to find even one that does not contain soybean oil. Yuck! No thanks. Here is my favorite Ranch Dressing. Add a little salsa and avocado for a delicious south of the border salad.

How many bagels do you buy a month? Did you know it is so easy to make your own? Try this bagel recipe from Natural Chow! Sure would be delicious to throw in a few dehydrated blueberries! I know what is for breakfast this week!


Time to get rid of the box when making cake, and avoid that stuff they call frosting in a can too! Home made cakes are so tasty and so easy. Chocolate is of course my favorite and growing up, it was not a birthday at our house without one. Five Spot Green Living has shared the most delectable chocolate cake ever. And it is family night at my house, so let us eat cake!!

chocolate cake recipe

Well folks, I could go on and on and on. Hopefully this post has inspired you to cook outside the box. There are so many real food chefs out there who graciously share recipes and inspirations. Come back each Friday to read more inspiring real foods at our Real Food Friday link up. And if you are a blogger, share yours too!  So, which one are you going to try first?  I am off to make chocolate cake!!

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  1. Wow thanks for sharing these awesome features! Love the 2-ingredient energy bar. Coming to you from Humble Bumble's Tuesdays Healthy Hop

    1. It looks great doesn't it! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. Everything looks wonderful. Love the pickles!

  3. Going to check out a few of those recipes! You are right about the "natural" wording. And I had heard of beaver butt being used for a flavoring (well, the glands by their butt, still, disgusting).

  4. New follower from The Gathering Spot. :-) I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    Corso Mama
    A Corso In The Kitchen

    1. Thanks so much Glad you took the time to stop by.

  5. Your tomato basil soup looks delicious! Good for you for going un-processed.....
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique
    Have a very terrific weekend!!

    1. It is not easy. Time wise I mean. We have a long way to go. But baby steps!

  6. WOW what a great array of recipes and information. I am so glad when I hear of someone that is feeding their family unprocessed junk and making all their food from scratch. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Blog Hop. Glad to have you. Will pin & share on google.

  7. My mom made homemade bread and butter pickles when I was a kid. I STILL won't buy store bought pickles anymore because they are not as good. Thanks for sharing this list.

    Popped in from Thrifty Thursday.

    1. These pickles look great, don't they? Most things we make are way better than anything store bought...most anyway.

  8. Thanks for sharing with 4 seasons blog hop. I believed I am able to lose weigh if I am required to be "self sufficient".. What a great post and have a nice day.

  9. I love making things myself whenever I can, these are wonderful ideas! I would love to invite you to share your post at Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up. :) http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/03/meal-planning-monday-recipe-link-up-3.html

  10. Hi Janine! My folks used to make their own pickles and can them. We would eat pickles with everything! They were so good and I haven't found a pickle I like as well. I'll have to give it a try this summer when the cucumbers come in. This is a great round-up of recipes. Thanks so much for sharing them with our Let's Get Real readers. I still can't understand how we have gotten so far away from real food. It's amazing what we have come to accept on our dinner table. No more, I say! Time to bring back the real food.

    1. I understand it every time I am exhausted. But am really trying to find some real quick, real food meals.

  11. Wow, lots of great ideas! Thanks so much for linking up with the Let's Get Real party this week.