Thursday, January 20, 2011

homemade vs. processed

Maybe I’m the only one who gets stressed out by going to the grocery store these days. There is so much food that is not food, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of choices available.


For example, the deceivingly simple ice cream sandwich has always been a fave. But…have you checked the sketchy ingredient list lately?


I’m pretty sure half those ingredients are euphemisms for genetically modified corn. Fantastic.

When I saw a recipe for homemade ice cream bars from Mama Pea (anyone who successfully raises children on a veg diet is a hero in my book), I decided to test the waters.


Mixing, chilling, microwaving [because I tried to speed the chilling process by using the freezer], rolling, cutting, and baking…these little treats are a ton of work!


Sprinkles are a lot of fun, but they contain all sorts of weird food dyes and strange ingredients…and I just couldn’t buy them. Instead, I decided to use chopped pecans  and dark chocolate chips for garnish.


Don’t expect these to taste like a storebought ice cream sandwiches because, well…they aren’t. But you at least get the satisfaction of recognizing every single ingredient.


Things I have learned:

  • Making homemade ice cream sandwiches is a lot of work.
  • Homemade ice cream sandwiches do not taste the same as machine made, chemically filled treats.
  • You will savor a homemade ice cream sandwich and have more appreciation for it because of the hours it took to create.
  • You will not eat ice cream sandwiches as often (see above points).

Now, I’m definitely a fan of moderation, and I’m not on a rampage against mass produced ice cream sandwiches.

It’s just that I realize I have the power to choose, and the more I think about it, the less excited I am about giving any money to sectors of the food industry that I don’t support.

Any similar baking adventures?  Any homemade versions of treats that have been amazing?



  1. Very true about half the things being sold at the store is not actual food. I consider them to just be household items ;)

  2. Oh I agree with all those last statements 100%!

  3. I'm guilty of eating processed food more than I should (I just made instant pudding!) I love the idea of making something that you think you can only buy, like an ice cream sandwich. I agree- if it takes a long time to make, you probably won't eat them as often or eat it all at once!

  4. I saw these on Mama Pea's blog and was drooling! They look and fantastic and well worth the effort for a treat you can pronounce all the ingredients in :)

  5. so with you! and i think i may try that recipe as well (heart mama pea!!)

    however, as store bought products go, i like the so delicious coconut milk ice cream sandwich minis. the ingredient list isn't perfect, but at least i RECOGNIZE everything and it's not all from GMO CORN!!!

  6. oh.mi.god. that looks delicious. air mail me some? i agree with you that homemade is the best. i wish i wasn't as lazy as i am ;) i'm getting better though. i promise hahah!

  7. We eat 100% all natural at home. I haven't bought a processed food from the grocery store in a long time! Food actually tastes so much better when it's all natural and you made it yourself!

    I saw those on her blog too, and they look great. Sucks they're so much work!

    I actually really enjoy the grocery store and reading labels haha. It usually takes me an hour and a half to do a weekly trip, not counting any time I spend at Whole Foods getting supplementary items. I <3 grocery shopping! :)

  8. We totally have buying power! I only buy packaged foods that are as close to nature as you can get... and not often are they purchased b/c I prefer to make my own dips, dressings, sauces, and leftover tv dinners!

    love your homemade klondike bars! gorgeous! prob 100x better than the ones in stores.

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  9. Those ice cream sandwiches look awesome!

    Very good concluding thought. I should probably think about spending less on processed foods.

  10. So awesome that you made those! They are beautiful! Worth the effort I bet :)

  11. mama pea's sammies looked AMAZING but i feel like it's so much work haha and i just don't have the energy for it. but mayj kudos to you for doing it!

  12. They were yummy - especially the ones with the 5 spice cookie dough.

  13. I agree the ingredient lists are crazy sometimes. Today I was looking at breadcrumbs to make baked eggplant parm and there was 40958934 ingredients that I couldn't even say. So instead I just made my own breadcrumbs

  14. Went blog surfing and found yours!
    Of the roughly 15 aisles in a grocery market, about 12 sell food meant for imbibing and only about 4-5 do I buy stuff. But thats just me.

  15. When I go shopping, I read EVER label!! I's amazing he junk he pu in our food hese das. And for no good reason! We primaril shop along he perimeer (frui, veggies, raw milk, ec)

    Sorr for he craz leers :) ou'll find ou wh laer on m blog!

  16. I think your homemade ice cream beats out Klondike any day. I try to follow Michael Pollen's rule that if you want to eat junk food you have to make it yourself. This looks like a good idea!

  17. this looks amazing!!! it's a lot of work but you did it so well!!! :D
    I haven't made any dessert for a long time. I need some special occasion or guests for that since I don't like sweets much :)
    and horay on moderation!!!

  18. These look really yummy! I never thought to make them myself. I really think we need to get our ice cream maker out and use it. I have recently been enjoying local ice cream, from cows milked right on the island. It is really tasty!

  19. I really like this post em. I wonder if the klondike is actually the original. Like, what was it like when it first was created. The ingredients that is. I am going to try to make my own ice cream bars. I'll let you know how they turn out.

  20. wow good for you for making it but I agree all in moderation thanks for the congrats hugs

  21. I wish I had the time to make these. They look so good! But I agree with Sarah: Since I have to go store-bought, So Delicious coconut milk ice cream sandwiches are the best!

  22. i am always about homemade! no preservatives and you know exactly what's going into them! i love making my own teas - my favorite is roasted barley tea!

    thans for the blogpost!

  23. I agree with all of those things as well. I read somewhere that "you can have all the junk food you want, so long as you make it yourself." I made bagels and sushi from scratch a few times... made me appreciate the real thing.

  24. Oh gosh, I used to eat ice cream sandwiches all the time!! Those ingredients are crazy, I mean..who needs that in their ice cream sandwich?! Well, they've clearly chosen a winning lineup because they do taste...amazing.

    I love your creation though, much healthier and like you said, savor-worthy!

  25. I can't believe you made those by hand! I'd probably get really stressed about making them look perfect and have a tantrum right in the middle of the process.

  26. I love the idea though and I was thinking ti could be fun activity with the teenage girls as we bake cakes to make them happy.

  27. wow Emily! these look spiffy; I'll take them over a Klondike any day. Also, I'm finishing with general peds floors this week and moving on to the PICU next week. I think of you whenever I use The Pink Book ; )


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