Just to start, I apologize for falling off the face of the Earth! We were out of town this weekend, and so far this week, I have the remnants of a sinus infection, two daycare babies who are teething and have at least one drop-in daycare kiddo (and on Thursday, I'll have two). This week has been crazy and there's been no time for blogging during nap... maybe tomorrow! LOL!
Of course, I've still been cooking. I've made breadsticks (I revamped the garlic twists recipe.), oatmeal muffins and strawberry jam (canned 5 pints). Hopefully I'll get the chance to blog about those things sometime this week.
Also, this is a new week, so there's a new baby step. I will no longer buy canned foods. The vast majority of foods are put in cans lined with BPA. The few that aren't are much more expensive due to the extra cost of the BPA-free lining, and aren't carried in my regular grocery store. I could get things online, through Amazon or similar places, but I am choosing to find alternatives.
I haven't purchased canned vegetables in years. My family likes fresh or frozen better and since I have tons of fridge and freezer space, but very little pantry space, that has always worked in our favor. Until recently, I kept a small stash of canned fruit for an"emergency." After the same four cans stayed on the shelf for 7 or 8 months, I decided that an "emergency" probably wasn't going to happen, and if it did, canned fruit probably wouldn't solve the problem. I let my daughter make a couple of fruit salads to get rid of those.
The two items that have been the biggest to overcome are tuna and tomato products. This past month I stopped buying tuna in a can and purchased the pouch instead. So far I'm happy with it. I bought 7, but I've only used one, so I don't have a lot of experience. The one thing that I did notice was the lack of water/oil to drain from the pouch. That's a plus-I hated getting tuna water on my hands when I drained the can!
Tomato products are my last hold out. Typically I try to keep a case of diced tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato sauce on hand to make my own spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce or for use in casseroles, chili, etc. Originally I planned to get rid of all the cans except the tomato ones, but after doing more reading on BPA, I know that I need to stop buying them as well. So right now, I have 5 cans of diced tomatoes, 8 cans of tomato paste and 4 cans of tomato sauce. When those are gone, there will be no more. So, what will I do? One thought was to never eats tomatoes again, but I know that isn't realistic. =) I have 5-gallon bags of tomatoes in my freezer from last year's garden. I will start by using those and then I'll have to buy tomatoes/sauce until summer canning begins.
I will have to do some cost analysis, because it might be cheaper to buy organic pasta sauce ($2.50/ 32 oz. jar) than it would be to buy an equivalent amount of tomatoes to make it, especially since tomatoes aren't in season now. That is also something that I might be able to find coupons for to make it more affordable. I will definitely have to do some checking on that.
My only other food that I usually buy in a can is diced green chilies. I don't buy that many (maybe a dozen little cans a year), but I use them in white chicken chili. Surely there's a jarred variety of those I can find.
So, that's it. Just a few more cans and we will be a can-free house. Is anyone else "can free?"