5 Foods or Ingredients You Can Easily Make From Scratch
Making a few more foods and ingredients in the kitchen can save you money and be better for you.
Things to consider
- How often do you eat it? If you only eat bread every now and then, then it won’t be worthwhile for you to bake a fresh loaf that won’t get eaten.
- Is it a healthier option? Are you concerned about unhealthy ingredients from store bought products? There are hidden sugars and preservatives in many products in stores. When you make your own, you control exactly what goes in it and how much.
- How much money will you save? Are you interested in saving money by making your own? Weigh the amount of time that it will take verses how much money you will save. If you have more time and don’t mind spending it in the kitchen, then making it yourself is a great option.
- Bread: There is nothing better than a hot, fresh loaf of bread that just came out of the oven. You’ll look like a master chef, but making your own bread is actually fairly easy. There are tons of different kinds of bread to make. You can experiment and find out which one you and your family like the best. We started with a basic recipe that is perfect for sandwiches. You start with a large mixing bowl, add some yeast and warm water. You don’t want the water to be too hot, or else the yeast won’t rise right. Generally, somewhere between 105-115 degrees is ideal. Warm water out of the tap will do the trick. After the yeast rises, add it to a mix of sugar, flour, salt, and oil. Put it in a pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. After it cools, remove it from the pan and cut with a bread knife. Extra delicious!
- Salad Dressing: These are so simple, yet so tasty. You can make dressings with a few ingredients and keep them in the fridge for up to 30-60 days depending on what kind you make. Buy sealed containers, and wash them thoroughly before making your dressing. Most dressings are part oil and part acidic. Whether that be vingears, citrus fruits, or other juices, that classic combo will always be a winner. Jazz it up with some dried spices to flavor. Add them to meats as a marinade for extra flavor!
- Chicken Stock: Your family just devoured a rotisserie chicken. Before you clean up, keep the carcass, skin, and leftover pieces to throw into a pot to make stock. Cover the bones with water and let it slowly simmer for several hours. The marrow and oils from the chicken are excellent for you and taste great too. For added flavor, throw in carrot tops, celery tops, onion halves, garlic cloves, and parsley. Let those simmer along with bones for a rich stock. With a slotted spoon, scoop out the large pieces, and strain the rest into a container to keep in the fridge or freezer until you want to use it.
- Popsicles: These are excellent anytime of year as a healthy snack that both adults and kids will love. First, you’ll need to get some popsicle molds and sticks. You can find these at most grocery stores, or look online for more unique designs. Then, get fresh fruit and chop it up. Blend it with other fruit juices or have a creamy version and mix the fruit with greek or regular yogurt. Fill the mold a ¼ inch below the rim. Place the wooden stick in the center and set it in the freezer until frozen. These will keep for up to 30-60 days depending on which kind you make.
- Pickles: You’ll need some canning jars, vinegar, and pickles to get started. Clean your jars thoroughly and keep them sanitary throughout the process. Cut the pickles to your desired shape. If you like spears, then cut them long ways, but if you want to put them on hamburgers, then cut them into disks. Put your cut pickles into the jars. Toss in your spices. You can use dill weed or dill seed, crushed garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for an added kick to your pickles. To make the brine, use 1 part water, 1 part white vinegar, and 1 ½ tablespoon of Kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Pour over the cucumbers, leaving about ¼ inch below the rim. Tap on the jar to loosen any bubbles and add more brine if needed. Then seal the jar tight. You can use a 5-minute water bath to keep them for a year, or keep them in the fridge to eat immediately.
Anyone can be an expert chef with these simple tips. When you make your own foods, you’ll notice a change in the richness of taste and the quality of the foods that you eat. It doesn’t take much time, and it adds so much to your plate.