9

votes

What extra investment in time/money/labor proved to be more than worth it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 20, 2012 at 8:15 PM

I've been eating Bubbie's brand sauerkraut for over six months for the probiotic content. Didn't really love the taste, but I can't do dairy, so my fermented foods options are limited. A while ago, I read that homemade sauerkraut has a superior probiotic content, but I was skeptical that the additional hassle of making it myself could possibly be worth it. I spend more than enough time prepping and preparing foods as it is, right?

Well, I just tried my first batch of homemade kraut (just water + salt + cabbage, fermented for 6-7 days) and WOW. It's the best I've ever tasted, so fresh and flavorful it puts every store-bought variety to shame. I don't think I can ever go back to Bubbie's now. Homemade is far more delicious and better in terms of probiotics. The hassle to make it? WELL WORTH IT!

Now I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to make the plunge. Anyone else made any changes in which the extra costs (money/time/labor) were far outweighed by the extra benefits?

6f4425e3c7dc0efe60da531c5d991487

(373)

on December 25, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Good job on the homemade sauerkraut! 30 to 45 minutes prep time in the kitchen can provide weeks and weeks of culinary rewards.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:11 PM

Interesting, thanks for the info! And that's awesome that you make your own sausages! I definitely want to try that someday.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:25 PM

ETA: But if other women *are* interested, I can write it here...just might be long!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Hey Violet, I'm happy to share what happened, but I'm not sure the rest of PaleoHacks wants to hear my story. ;-) Feel free to email me at TuitNutrition at gmail dot com.

44739854bd06eb5c32af5d33aa866864

(859)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I've got the same setup, definitely worth it! Plus, homemade kombucha is much better, GTs is way too sweet...

E2123e1da4ccbe211c9cbd82356fe4bc

(238)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:30 AM

on a side note, bubbie's makes fermented dill pickles with probiotics in the them. They're awesome!

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Wow, Amy! I'm especially impressed that the hormone testing was so positive for you. I just got a hormone panel done too. If you don't mind sharing a bit more info, I'd love to hear what you learned and how you were able to use the info to address those problems.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Hmm that's too bad, Kay! Maybe I just got lucky with this batch.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:13 PM

This is the next thing I want to do... have to wait until I have a bigger apartment though. Great answer.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Wow, sounds delicious

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Definitely -- the time and effort to actually *COOK* is well worth it. Make time to take care of your health now, or make time to be sick later. ;) (Although I have to say my kitchen is more cluttered! Not dirtier, per se, but more cluttered. But I feel good about it. My pots, pans, mason jars, etc, are not just for show! I have a housemate who has tons of nice cookware and never uses it!)

A2e73b869061fc20067e4ef8f26f83f0

(140)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:31 PM

Unfortunately, I've had the opposite experience with making sauerkraut. The first batch I made at home was so-so, but not better than Bubbie's (which I actually like quite a lot). The next batch I made was terrible. I am sure that I could tweak it to get it just perfect, but I'm not sure this particular endeavor is worth the effort for me.

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14 Answers

5
99ac392257e444e014be6d4da6a900e4

(1036)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Ghee. Render Kerrygold and it's about 1/3 of the price of regular grassfed ghee.

5
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:25 PM

I don't know of any decent store bought alternative, but I found acquiring pastured suet and rendering it into tallow to be not that difficult. Having a bunch of inexpensive, high quality tallow for frying whenever I want is nice.

4
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Great question.

I bought a 20 cubic foot chest freezer some years ago. The money I save every time I buy a whole pastured lamb or a 1/4 of a grass-fed cow reminds me what a good investment that has been. And, I also can buy meat in large quantities for my German Shepherd.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:13 PM

This is the next thing I want to do... have to wait until I have a bigger apartment though. Great answer.

4
0a31b8309ef49bd18cd21d87d3b0b38d

on June 20, 2012
at 08:40 PM

A few times since I started eating paleo, I decided to make marinara from scratch, even though my local market has a few ready-made options that are organic and free of preservatives. While it did end up taking four hours to blanch, peel, de-seed and cook down 4 pounds of roma tomatoes, the taste was unbelievable. I won't ever go back to store-bought. I like to serve it over roasted kale strips or zucchini "noodles" instead of pasta, with grass-fed beef meatballs.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Wow, sounds delicious

4
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:27 PM

Homemade kefir. Local grassfed beef. Local freerange eggs. = big difference from store bought equivalents.

4
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:26 PM

For me, just the effort to cook more meals at home with good, raw ingredients is so worth it. The extra money I spend on grass-fed protein and organic produce is actually less than the hundreds of dollars we spent eating out each month. I am also keeping the kitchen far more clean since I am in there so much more, which is amazing in my house!

My next endeavor will be homemade sauerkraut. I dislike the store-bought stuff, so I'm hoping homemade will be better!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Definitely -- the time and effort to actually *COOK* is well worth it. Make time to take care of your health now, or make time to be sick later. ;) (Although I have to say my kitchen is more cluttered! Not dirtier, per se, but more cluttered. But I feel good about it. My pots, pans, mason jars, etc, are not just for show! I have a housemate who has tons of nice cookware and never uses it!)

3
Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

on June 20, 2012
at 10:57 PM

Homemade kombucha. As soon as I discovered this delightful drink, I was immediately addicted. But at $4 a pop it became an expensive habit. I decided to brew my own which involved purchase of a large 2 gallon glass jar, glass flip top bottles for storage and 2nd fermentation, and the actual SCOBY. It's turned out to be well worth it! I now pay about $4 for 2 gallons :)

44739854bd06eb5c32af5d33aa866864

(859)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I've got the same setup, definitely worth it! Plus, homemade kombucha is much better, GTs is way too sweet...

3
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on June 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Homemade salsas, sauerkraut, pickled cukes/asparagus/beets/etc., ghee, mayonnaise, salad dressings, full-fat yogurt, and creme fraiche have all been worth the effort. So is cooking at home, in general--despite the fact that I've never been, and still am not, an enthusiastic cook.

I do own a food processor and a mandoline, but the best money I spent was on really good knives and a sharpener. Give me a good, sharp knife, and I find I can get most jobs done in about the same time it takes to get the food processor out of the basement, out of the box, and set up. My knife skills have improved a lot because now that I have sharp knives all the time they're a pleasure to use, so I use them more.

3
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:48 PM

-A freezer definitely. This is the season for wild sockeye salmon, which is a lot cheaper as whole fish. Filet it, freeze it in water, then boil the bones to make stock and recover a lot of meat which also goes in the freezer. The fish went in alongside a big pile of smoked chicken, sausage, beef and pork; and will last me for the next 3 months.

-Homemade yogurt. Not only does it taste better than store yogurt, it costs about 80% less.

-Chopped cabbage and onion salad. I use salt and vinegar, and save the liquid for future soaking in the refrigerator. Halfway between raw cabbage salad and kraut (I don't believe there is any fermenting), it gets progressively better the longer it sits.

3
1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

on June 20, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Along with sauerkraut or cultured veggies, I like to make my own ghee and kombucha.

2
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on June 20, 2012
at 09:22 PM

I'm surprised you got good sauerkraut in just a week. Mine, which like yours was the best I ever tasted, took a full month! I did not have to add any water at all--all the brine required leached out of the cabbage.

The reason I mention the extreme difference in fermenting time is that I wonder if those who got crappy kraut didn't let it ferment long enough. I tasted mine once a week, and there were was definitely a middle phase of the ferment that did NOT taste especially good. The kraut at the second to last phase tasted quite bitter. Research suggested the organisms that dominate during the penultimate phase of the ferment produce mannitol, a bitter sugar. The final ferment eats that up and leaves the kraut tart and clean-tasting, and just a tiny bit sweet. It was perfectly crunchy and fresh tasting after that--and 100% worth the $5 and 30 minutes or so I spent making it. I'd have spent about $100 or more on the same amount of Bubbies, and mine tasted better (to me, anyhow).

The other thing I did that was totally worth it was butchering my own hogs and stuffing my own sausages. I enjoy these treasures from my chest freezer year round. A day or two of labor (with good friends) seems well worth the result.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:11 PM

Interesting, thanks for the info! And that's awesome that you make your own sausages! I definitely want to try that someday.

2
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:14 PM

I spend more money on food overall, but the quality is well worth it. I don't buy everything at the farmers market, but when I shop there, I feel good about my money going directly into the hands of the people who produce the food, and not to some huge corporation's PR and marketing department to take 95% off the top. :P

I probably also spend a little more time "gathering" food as it were, because I go to a few different places depending on what I need, or how picky I choose to be on a given day, hehheh. Again, worth it.

I make a bunch of different homemade fermented fruit & veg -- well worth it. It's so cheap to do on your own, and they charge a fortune for it at the store. $5 for a jar of cabbage and salt? NO WAY, Jose.

Now, if I could just perfect my kombucha... (I've had 1 GREAT batch and about 3 so-so.)

Homemade meat stock/bone broth: worth it. It's a great project for a cold winter weekend, especially if you want the beef bones to simmer for 2 or 3 days. But you can do it in a crockpot any ol' time. Considering what's in most of the canned/boxed stuff, it makes you feel good just knowing you did it from scratch and there's no random weird "stuff" in it. Stock is one of the most healing foods around; why muck it up with bullion and MSG?

Also: I spent about $400 out of pocket to get a bunch of hormone testing done through an ND about a year ago. (My insurance doesn't cover NDs, and I really didn't want to go the conventional route.) DEFINITELY worth it. Writing the check wasn't pretty, but I finally had answers to the emotional problems I was having.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2058)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Wow, Amy! I'm especially impressed that the hormone testing was so positive for you. I just got a hormone panel done too. If you don't mind sharing a bit more info, I'd love to hear what you learned and how you were able to use the info to address those problems.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Hey Violet, I'm happy to share what happened, but I'm not sure the rest of PaleoHacks wants to hear my story. ;-) Feel free to email me at TuitNutrition at gmail dot com.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:25 PM

ETA: But if other women *are* interested, I can write it here...just might be long!

2
8f2d9842fdfec224a425c0f77c4ee34d

(1241)

on June 20, 2012
at 08:29 PM

For me, it was choosing local, organic sweet potatoes over non-organic, store-bought ones. I could not believe the difference!

1
F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

on June 20, 2012
at 08:35 PM

I have been doing homemade kefir for about 1.5 years. I actually keep getting better at it all the time. I calculated recently that I was multiplying the value of the pasteurized milk to form the kefir by 28 times. That would be a 2700% increase. Not too shabby.

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