Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
One of the biggest complaints that I hear from other moms when talking about eating healthier is how expensive it is. Organic meat costs more, fresh produce is more expensive, and healthier dry options, like cereal and granola bars, have a higher price tag than all of the other options on the shelves. Of course they do! Organic food manufacturers are being required to pay high prices to prove that their products are clean and free of toxic chemicals. I know, it's a little backwards. Food that is actually good for you should be the easiest to get ahold of and the least expensive at the store. But that's not our current reality.
Those items that have been tampered with and loaded with dangerous ingredients should be the ones that cost more money. But all that means is that I have to get a little more creative when trying to cut down on our food expenses, and I have to use our grocery budget to its fullest at the store. One way that I do this is to take advantage of sales when I see them and stock up. For instance, if I can take advantage of nitrate-free ham when it goes on sale just after the holidays for a really great price (lower than traditional ham) and stock up, then I can make a variety of products to use throughout the year—like ham slices for lunch meat and cooked ham for soups, casseroles, and other dishes, to name a few.
I can simply pop the different products in the freezer, or can the cooked ham and ham broth, and then it is available to use any time of the year when we need it, all for that better price. By buying the whole ham, rather than the processed lunch meat slices, I also save a boatload of money. Any processed or pre-made item is always going to be more expensive than buying the basic ingredients and making it yourself. Let me show you what I like to do with our ham.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
8 hours 5 min
1/4lb per serving x the weight of your ham
- 1 ham
- 1/4 cup raw local honey
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- You'll want to make sure and thaw your ham thoroughly, if it was frozen, before using it. I left mine in the refrigerator for about three days before cooking it.
- When you're ready, unwrap it (over the sink preferably). There will be tons of ham juice in the bag.
- Set your ham into your Crock-Pot, rotating it until it fits down in the bowl best.
- Drizzle it with plenty of honey. I suggest about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
- Cover it and set your Crock-Pot temperature to low. Walk away and just let it cook all day.
- At the end of the day, you'll have tender, sweet ham, and at least a quart or two of delicious ham broth.
- You could use some of it right away, freeze it in individual portions for future meals, or even can it like I did for longer-term storage.
Storing and Using Cooked Ham
Typically, I would divide the ham up into four different storage bags and this would supply plenty of meals for us throughout the year. We just love hambone soup and can easily get dinner and leftovers for two more nights off of one pot. That means we might be able to make twelve meals or more from this one ham. We just toss one bag of cooked ham from the freezer, some of the ham broth (which can also be frozen), along with beans and tons of yummy veggies back into the Crock-Pot when we're craving some of this yummy soup, and we've got a meal!
This ham is great for "Pulled Pork" Sandwiches and many other delicious ham recipes all year. We didn't quite need all of this ham yet in our household, but as we're moving in another week, I needed to get all of our extra meat cooked and canned so we can take it to Kentucky with us. That's why I chose to can it all this time rather than freeze it.
As I type up this recipe though, I can't help but to think that we are going to be raising our own pigs this year. This ham will last us the first six months or so while our pigs are growing, and then we'll most certainly be eating pork differently. Instead of going to the store to find bacon or ham on sale, we'll be butchering and freezing our own right at home for tons of fresh pork all year long. Lots of things are about to change in the way we eat and especially the way we see our food.
I've actually spent the last couple of weeks talking to my 4-year-old little boy about the purpose of animals on a farm. He already knows that we'll be raising our own chickens, pigs, and even goats, but I'm not sure how prepared he is for turning around and eating those animals we raised. We'll see. This is going to be a process for all of us. At least you'll get tons of new amazing recipes out of our new adventure! Make sure to stay tuned!
© 2019 Victoria Van Ness