10 Things You Should Make at Home
We live in an age of convenience. Not only is it killing our bodies slowly, but it is depleting the earth of its ability to sustain life. Mass production of food has taken over and we no longer rely on local sources to feed our families. Food is imported from all over the world, processed and lacking in nutrients. Though it may seem like an only option to buy everything already made from the grocery store, there are many things we can learn and benefit from by making them ourselves. We may not be able to convince our families or even ourselves to buy land and grow all of our own food, but we can start by de-processing our meals a bit. Here are 10 things you should be making at home:
- Bread- Store bought bread is full of unnecessary ingredients such as potassium bromate, shortening, dough conditioners, high fructose corn syrup, soy and cellulose (wood pulp). To top this off, most are made from bleached flour, even wheat bread. To bleach the flour several different peroxide chemicals can be used, many of which are banned in other countries. Homemade bread has very few ingredients including flour, water, oil, yeast and small amounts of sugar and salt. This is compared to around 30 or more ingredients in most store bought bread. Homemade bread may take a bit of time to make, but the benefits (and taste) are well worth it!
- Broth- It seems surprising, but a lot of broth is filled with MSG. You will probably see that the container claims “no-msg,” but this is because it is hiding under another name: yeast extract. Broth is surprisingly easy to make at home. Making it at home saves you money and utilizes meat and bone scraps that may have gone to waste. To keep your homemade broth healthy, only use scraps from organic/free range meat. Bone broth has many nutritional benefits. Boiling the bones causes them to release collagen, proline, glycine, glutamine, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine that boost your immune system and help with joint health. The broth also contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur.
- Ice Cream- If food dye, MSG and artificial flavoring aren’t enough to make you want to go homemade, there are a couple of hidden ingredients that may be lurking in store bought ice cream. The first is propylene glycol, the cosmetic form of antifreeze. The second is castoreum, a substance secreted from the castor glands of beavers. If that couldn’t sound any worse, since the castor glands are near the anal glands on the animal, castoreum is often a mix between castor secretions, anal secretions and urine. Though this is not in a large percentage of ice cream (since secreting it is unpleasant for all parties involved), the FDA allows it to fall under the label “natural flavoring.” This means there is no real way to know if it is in your ice cream or not. Making ice cream at home is easy. Ice cream machines can be fairly inexpensive and are well worth the switch from store bought.
- Baked Desserts- Just like bread, but possibly worse, processed baked desserts are full of fillers, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and dyes. There is little to no nutritional value to processed desserts. A popular filler, cellulose (wood pulp), is used frequently in packaged desserts and muffins as it is cheap and gives the consumer a feeling of being full. Cellulose is indigestible. According to the FDA “In humans, virtually 100 percent of orally ingested cellulose can be recovered in the feces within four days, indicating that absorption does not occur.” Making dessert at home can be fun for the whole family and is a much better, safer option.
- Spice combinations- Most sauce packets or spice envelopes such as taco seasoning are laced with MSG. It is cheaper to learn how to flavor things on your own. This is also safer and better tasting!
- Peanut Butter- (or almond/cashew butter). Not only does store bought peanut butter have unnecessary sugar, corn syrup, soy filler and processed oils, but it is very easy to make homemade. Just take peanuts (or almonds, cashews etc) and them place into a blender. Blend until it turns into butter. You can enhance the flavor with honey, salt or spices. It will even store in the refrigerator for up to two months.
- Casseroles- We all know how easy it is to grab a box from the grocery store and just add hamburger, but these boxes are filled with unnatural, unhealthy ingredients including several forms of MSG, artificial flavors, food dyes, partially hydrogenated soybean oil and several others I cannot pronounce. Making casseroles is actually fairly simple. With a starch, meat, sauce (and hopefully veggies) you can create endless combinations without all of the scary ingredients.
- Frozen Meals- Not only are most frozen meals void of nutrients and taste, they cost an arm and a leg for small portions. Some of these I am afraid to even classify as food. Making freezer meals can be a task, but can be done in bulk. The difference will save you hundreds to thousands of dollars a year depending on how often you eat frozen meals. Using a vacuum sealer will greatly reduce the risk of freezer burn and keep your food fresher longer.
- Potato Chips- Most chips are coated with all kinds of artificial flavorings after being saturated in unhealthy oils. Yet chips are fairly easy to make. Just slice, spice and bake. This is also a money saver!
- Cooking soups(such as cream of mushroom)- Cooking with these soups has always been an easy “go to” for enhancing dinners, but what you are really enhancing with is lots of MSG. In fact several forms of MSG can be found in one can of cream of mushroom soup. You would think the first two ingredients would be mushrooms and cream, but cream is actually listed as being in the “less than 2% category”. It is passed up by modified food starch, wheat flour and vegetable oil. We have a great recipe for homemade Cream o’ ‘Shroom soup right here on Living Life Organically! Click the link to check it out.