In the comments below, Liza said she's afraid to read the book I'm blogging so much about lately. I started a response in the comments, but then as I was beginning the fourth paragraph I remembered Valerie's advice, so I've cut my reply out of the comments and popped it in here.
Oh, Liza, I hope I don't scare you off from it. As I mentioned earlier, the reason I started out doing the soaking grains thing is because we were already making those recipes, so all I had to do to put her principles into effect was to do part of it ahead of time.
It's the same thing with stocks. I already make lots of soups and I usually use chicken or beef bouillion cubes to flavor it, so this was just a matter of making a soup for the purpose of flavoring other soups.
There are so many ideas that if you did decide to get the book, you could just pick one or two areas that would be fairly easy to work on, given your lifestlye and your family's tastes.
One thing I tried but gave up on was coconut milk. I love coconuts and buy them regularly, so I thought I’d try the book’s idea for homemade coconut milk, but it’s so complicated. You have to take two fresh coconuts, drain out the water, then roast them in a 350° oven until they crack. Then you cut them open and cut out all the meat, put it into the food processor with a little water, grind it up, strain it, and voila! Coconut milk. You have to use it up within two days. By the time I got to the cutting out all the meat stage I had given up. This is one item that can be bought canned, if you can find an additive-free version in the Asian-foods section of your grocery store. The store I buy our milk from has a relatively additive-free version that I love, so I’m sticking with that!
When I catch myself reading the book like it’s a novel, trying to read the whole thing from beginning to end, I am easily overwhelmed by the amount of information! That’s why I’ve been mostly dipping into it here and there, and trying to find ways that I can modify what I’m already doing in order to make it healthier. There’s also a helpful list near the end of the book, “Limited-time limited-budget guidelines.”