In today’s fast-paced world, convenience has taken the place of making homemade food. From pre-packaged meals to takeout, it’s tempting to opt for ready-made foods when you get home late from work and just need to eat something. However, taking the time to prepare your own meals can not only be satisfying but also healthier and more sustainable. Here are seven common foods that you can easily make at home, reducing waste, controlling ingredients, and ultimately enhancing your culinary experience.
Homemade Food – Corn Tortillas
Making homemade corn tortillas is rewarding and brings the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine to your kitchen. It starts with masa harina, a special corn flour, and water, mixed to form a dough.
Dividing the dough into small portions, press them into flat, thin rounds using a tortilla press or a rolling pin. Cooking these fresh tortillas on a hot griddle or skillet imparts a smoky, corny aroma and an irresistible, slightly crispy texture. The simplicity of the ingredients and the hands-on process allow you to savor the true essence of corn tortillas, without preservatives or additives.
It took me a while to figure out how to make them because the dough needs to be just right. If they are too wet they won’t cook well, too dry and they will break apart… You want the dough to feel like Play-Doh.
Here’s how to make them:
You’ll need 2 cups of Masa Harina
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water
Mix the ingredients until it forms a soft dough.
Add more water or masa as needed to get the Play-Doh texture.
Using a cast iron tortilla press, press a golf-ball-sized piece until thin.
Warm a cast iron pan over medium heat.
Once hot, add the tortillas and cook on both sides for a few minutes until toasted.
Place warm tortillas in a clean towel to keep them warm. The steam generated will make the tortillas flexible. Enjoy!
You’ll never want to buy pre-packaged salsa again after making your own. When you craft salsa from scratch, you have full control over the quality and freshness of the ingredients, ensuring a healthier and more flavorful result.
You can personalize the spiciness, texture, and ingredients to your liking, tailoring it to your taste.
4 Medium Tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
2 Slices of Jalapeno (or more if you like it hot)
1 handful of Cilantro
1 Clove of Garlic
1/4 small Onion
Salt to taste
Blend all the ingredients and enjoy!
If you want a smoky salsa swap a chipotle pepper in adobo for the jalapeno.
To create nut butter, simply roast your choice of nuts, whether it’s almonds, peanuts, cashews, or a combination, and blend them in a food processor until they release their natural oils and transform into a smooth, luscious butter.
The process allows you to personalize your nut butter with additional ingredients like honey, salt, or even spices to suit your taste. Homemade nut butter is free from artificial additives, preservatives, and excessive sugars often found in store-bought varieties, making it a healthier alternative.
The process starts with combining simple, wholesome ingredients like cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, transforming them into a creamy, velvety filling.
You can customize the flavor by adding your choice of fruit, chocolate, or even a swirl of caramel. The real beauty of homemade cheesecake is the quality control – you can opt for the finest, freshest ingredients, resulting in a dessert that’s free from artificial additives and preservatives often found in store-bought versions. The aroma that fills your kitchen as it bakes is simply tantalizing, and the taste of a homemade cheesecake is unparalleled. Making your cheesecake is a rewarding journey that offers you creative freedom, the satisfaction of a job well done, and a dessert that’s simply irresistible.
Check out our favorite cheesecake recipe.
Creating homemade pasta sauce instead of opting for store-bought varieties brings an entirely different level of flavor, freshness, and authenticity to your dishes. Starting with fresh, ripe tomatoes and a medley of aromatic herbs and spices, you can craft a sauce that is uniquely tailored to your taste.
The process allows you to control the quality of ingredients, making it free from added preservatives, artificial flavors, or excessive salt and sugar often found in commercial sauces.
The depth of flavor that develops as the sauce simmers on your stovetop is unparalleled, and the satisfaction of creating something from scratch is deeply rewarding. Whether it’s a classic marinara, a rich bolognese, or a velvety Alfredo, homemade pasta sauce offers a taste of tradition and a sense of pride in your culinary skills that store-bought alternatives can seldom match.
Get the recipe from my post Homemade Pasta Sauce
Every once in a while I get a craving for these greasy sticks of crunchy goodness.
Turns out they are easy to make!
Scale the recipe up depending on how many fries you need.
1-3 Potatoes (I like to use red potatoes but any kind will work)
Oil of choice (I use olive or avocado)
Cut the potatoes into fry-shaped pieces, as thick or thin as you like. If using russet potatoes remove the skin. If you’re using red or yellow potatoes leave the skin on.
Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water, add 2 tsp salt to the water, and bring to a boil.
Cook the potatoes until soft, time will vary depending on the potato and thickness.
Once the potatoes are soft, remove them from the pot and pat them dry with a rag.
Heat a pan with 4 tbsp oil over medium/high heat.
Sprinkle your potatoes with any seasoning you like, I like to use Cajun seasonings.
Place the fries into the hot oil in a single layer, and let them brown for about a minute before flipping.
Once they are brown and crispy, enjoy!
This homemade version is free from artificial additives, preservatives, and the excess sugar commonly found in store-bought ginger ales. You can experiment with other flavors like lemon or lime to create your unique twist.
Carbonated water – I recommend plain La Croix, Topo Chico, or unflavored Clearly Canadian. Club soda will work too!
Fresh Ginger Root
Wash and Peel a 1-inch chunk of ginger root
Using a zester, grate the ginger over a cup or small bowl.
Place ginger in a cup and pour the carbonated water over it (you can also put the ginger in a metal tea strainer)
Stir until the water becomes cloudy, strain, and enjoy!
We love making this when we’re feeling under the weather for its medicinal properties. We call it Ginger Aid.
If you’re not familiar with ginger, it’s spicy. Not like a hot pepper per se, but it’ll get the back of your throat.
Incorporating these homemade alternatives into your diet not only empowers you to take charge of your nutrition but also reduces your reliance on packaged and processed foods. So, give it a try and enjoy the wholesome, flavorful journey of preparing these everyday foods at home. Your taste buds and your body will thank you!
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