Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trying To Go a Little Greener

I have confession to make. I'm a late-evening ice cream snacker. (And not just some nights. I look forward to getting the boy to bed because I know it's not much longer before I hit the freezer). It's more ritualistic than coffee and I love it. The problem is... no, not what you think. The problem is that I'm also an ice cream snob and this means my habit is a little pricey. Money is super tight right now and it's hard to justify my carton-a-week Breyer's habit.

But there actually is something I love just as much if not more than ice cream. Frozen yogurt (mmm, droooool....). Which is as expensive or more than ice cream, assuming you can find it at all in the grocery. And then it has weird crap in it like guar gum to try to imitate ice cream, but all that does is give it a super annoying texture that makes you annoyed when you're trying to scoop it. So...

My friend recently discovered mesophilic yogurts - yogurts that culture at room temp and don't require any special equipment or close monitoring. Matsoni, Piima, Viili, and Fil Mjolk. She gave me some, and I've been having fun with them. I like them best when I've drained them. It makes them thicker and richer. But best of all, I like to make frozen yogurt with them. And making it from scratch with yogurt that I made from scratch makes me feel empowered! I don't know if I'm really saving any money, but I know exactly what's in it, and exactly how long it's been in the freezer.

But what's the green? I guess in my mind self-sufficiency walks hand in hand with "going green." My same friend also loaned me a book that has helped me realize that I've been on the brink, but hadn't quite taken the plunge toward green. I took inspiration and started making my own cleaning spray since I had everything on hand already (basically just vinegar-water and tea tree essential oil). I bought a set of 10 cloths to try using less paper towels. Seriously, what did people do before paper towels? My dependence is becoming an embarrassment! Little bit and little bit, I'm trying to save a little money, eat a little more healthy (or at least a little more interesting, hehe) foods, use more basic and natural food and hygiene ingredients, and overall to waste less.

I know it sounds strange, but I haven't really felt like I needed coffee since I started eating yogurt more. I read somewhere that we develop a dependence on caffeine partly from an insufficiency of specific proteins. Who knows?

I hope I've inspired you a little. I would love to hear your thoughts on food, ways to be a little more earth-friendly, and ways to be less dependent on the system. And maybe I'll even update my blog once in a while.

Next on the list of fun things to try: honey mead! But first I need to find (and afford) some good local honey.

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