5 foods to make yourself and never buy again – part 1
Sure, it’s convenient: a supermarket nearby where you can find everything that you desire in just one place. But the supermarket is as much a curse as it is a blessing. On the one hand you get the unique oppertunity to discover new cuisines, fruits and vegetables and you can get all the groceries for the entire week in 30 minutes or less. But on the other hand all these choices can get a bit overwhelming and all these pre-packaged foods distract from the essence of real food. Pre-packaged foods often contain too much salt, sugar and additives and contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. And as an added bonus all these packages end up on the landfill and spoil our environment even more. And to think that all of this is so unnecessary since we can make most of these pre-packaged foods ourselves with just a few simple ingredients! In this series of articles I will give tips and share recipes for products that you can find in just about every supermarket, but you can make yourself just as easily while spending less and creating less waste. A win-win!
#1 Powdered Sugar
Believe it or not, but until recently I didn’t even know that it is incredibly easy to make powdered sugar yourself. I know, for shame! Every since I discovered how I can make it myself, I haven’t bought a single can of powdered sugar. Just throw some regular sugar in a food processor or small kitchen blender and blend it until it is a powder: simple as that.
No Indian or Libanese dish is complete without some flatbread to go with the meal. Since we are huge fans of these cuisines we simply had to have a simple and tasty recipe for flatbread. To make about 8 pieces of bread we mix 250 grams of plain flour, 150 milliliters of luke warm water, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix this together and knead the dough. Make 8 portions of the dough, roll these out and bake them (without using oil) in just a few minutes. Of course you can hardly call this method ‘traditional’, but it does the trick and saves on money getting store-bought bread to go with the dish.
#3 Vanilla Sugar
Almost every supermarket sells them: those tiny bags of vanille sugar that give a hint of vanilla aroma to a dish. Those bags are nothing more than some simple white sugar with vanilla scent and not worth buying in my opinion. Just make it yourself by adding used vanilla pods to a jar of sugar. It really is that simple and it gives your sugar a great taste and smell.
#4 Nut Butter
Although you do need a good food processor to make your own nut butter, it really is super simple and a whole lot healthier and tastier than any story-bought nut butter. Just add any kind of nuts to the food processor and add some oil to the mix. Blend this until it becomes a butter-like consistency and add some more oil and maybe a pinch of salt. This way you can make your own peanut butter, almond butter, or and type of mixed nuts and seeds butter. I often make a almond butter made with sunflower seeds and a pinch of salt from this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories.
#5 Vanilla Extract
Don’t get fooled: vanilla essence and vanilla extract are two completely different things. Vanilla essence is usually a synthetic vanilla flavouring and much cheaper than vanilla extract, which is made by extracting the taste and aroma from real vanilla beans. Although vanilla essence is cheaper, don’t sell your cookies and cakes short. Make your own vanilla extract and don’t even bother with the overprized extracts in the shops. Just use a small bottle of wodka and keep your vanilla beans in the wodka. Just make sure the beans are completely covered with wodka and add beans and wodka when necessary. This way you will always have a batch of vanilla extract at home. You can even use the empty pods when you’ve used the vanille in another recipe. It’s that easy.
The list of foods you can easily make yourself doesn’t end here. You can find more tips and recipes in these articles:
- 5 foods to make yourself and never buy again – part 2
- 5 foods to make yourself and never buy again – part 3
- 5 foods to make yourself and never buy again – part 4