Happy October! Join me in the October Unprocessed Challenge!

Today marks the start of my first October Unprocessed Challenge. It is a month dedicated to eating real food. Let me elaborate a bit from the host website, eatingrules.com:

Of course, this begs the question: How do we define “Processed?”

Obviously there’s a wide range of implications in that word, and we will probably each define it slightly differently for ourselves. My definition is this:

Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.

I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.

It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.

The mastermind behind this challenge is Andrew Wilder, a fellow blogger who lives by a great food philosophy. He believes that, “eating healthy doesn’t have to suck.” I met Andrew at the Fitness and Health Bloggers conference this summer. You’ll love his writing style and approach to food.

Even though it isn’t a requirement, I decided to use this month as a way to improve my ability to cook from scratch. I honestly used to think that Rice-a-roni was real cooking. That’s until I realized I could do a much better job on my own. (And I realized that it was a lot cheaper to buy rice in bulk. Oh and that I might not want to be eating disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, ferric orthophosphate, ferrous sulfate, and thiamin mononitrate.) Oh food manufacturers, you fooled me once, but not this month!

Here is my current bucket list for October Unprocessed:

  1. Grind wheat
  2. Make my own yeast starter for bread
  3. Make pita bread
  4. Crepes
  5. Whole wheat bread
  6. Whole grain tortillas
  7. Corn chips
  8. Apple chips
  9. Banana chips
  10. Marinara sauce
  11. Mozzarella cheese
  12. Yogurt
  13. Almond milk
  14. Almond butter
  15. Tomato soup

Whether you go all out or just choose to “unprocess” for a few days, sign up! Andrew is trying to have 5,000 people sign the pledge. Head over now and check it out at eatingrules.com.

List of ingredients retrieved from Rice-A-Roni.com.