One blessing of taking steps to being healthier is that it can save you money. A simple way to be healthier is to make food at home from scratch. Before you say, “I have no time,” and leave this blog post, I am not saying you need to make everything from scratch. No, I would become overwhelmed by doing that.
In an earlier article, I mentioned that many foods have sugar added to them. It’s not just a small amount of sugar. It’s much more than you need. More sugar in your food compromises your immune system, increases your dentist bill, and imbalances the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Plus, who wants to get diabetes?
Excessive sugar added to your food is just one reason to make more of your food from scratch. Another reason is all the chemicals, fat, and other questionable ingredients in already prepared food that you purchase in the store.
When you make foods at home, you can avoid fake sugar, fake dyes, and odd things such as bleach in your food.
Here is a short list of foods you can make at home yourself. Choose one and make it instead of purchasing it. In a few months, choose another one to make yourself instead of purchasing from the grocery store.
Yogurt is a common breakfast food. If you purchase flavored yogurt, just take a look at how many grams of yogurt is in one serving; then look at how many grams of sugar are in one serving. You will probably be rightfully shocked!
By making your own yogurt, you can control what goes into it by purchasing higher quality milk and by selecting what you add to it once it is made. This is the recipe I use. Previously, I had made cow’s milk yogurt, and how I make goat’s milk yogurt. I also leave the gelatin out.
When your yogurt is made, you can store it in your own containers in the refrigerator. Add fruit and honey to it–and granola if you would like. For a special treat, add cacao nibs.
You can save 50% by making your own yogurt.
Another common breakfast food is cereal. I used to eat cereal until I realized I could eat the entire box and not be full. No, it’s not because I a was a glutton. It is because there is very little (if any) nutrition in cereal.
I used to purchase granola because it was delicious, yet we went through it very quickly, and I decided to make my own to save money. It was simply ridiculous what we were paying for granola!
The main ingredient in granola is oats, and you can purchase them organic for just over a dollar a pound.
If you are ok with a non-recipe recipe, here is what you can do:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix 4 cups of oats, 1 cup of sunflower seeds, 1 cup of your favorite nuts, 1 cup of your favorite dried fruit, hemp seed, and flaxseed.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture onto the baking sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes or til browned to your liking.
After you take the granola out of the oven, allow it to cool; then store it in air-tight jars. You can add it to yogurt or eat it by itself as a snack.
Add honey to it before serving. Honey is healthier than sugar and should not be heated at high temperatures. You can read the benefits of honey here.
When our family came to the United States from the Soviet Union, we recognized neither the texture nor the flavor of store-bought bread. My mom baked several loaves at one time.
This is the recipe I use in a bread machine, but I leave out the sugar. Even if you do not have a bread machine, you can make bread by kneading it or by using your kitchen mixer.
If you are avoiding wheat and/or gluten, you can make grain free and gluten free bread as well.
It is my goal to make pasta soon. At one point, it was difficult to find in stores. With water, salt, flour, and a few eggs, you can make your own pasta, and you will probably not want to eat store-bought pasta again!
If you are avoiding wheat, you can make your own noodles from zucchini. Just cut the zucchini into fettucini or spaghetti-like size and shapes and lightly steam it.
5. Salad dressing
Salad dressings are a major disappointment. One book I read says there is no such thing as a healthy store-bought salad dressing. I am inclined to agree. We use just vinegar and olive oil for our salad dressings (add a small amount of each to your salad). Homemade yogurt also works well for a creamier salad dressing.
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Which of the above foods would you enjoy making for your family? What do you already make from scratch? Please share in the comments below!