5 foods to make yourself and never buy again – part 2

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 Pancakes


Although the ingredients and the preparation of American pancakes, French crêpes, Dutch pannenkoeken or Russian blini’s differ slightly, they all have one thing in common: you can very easily make them yourself. No need to buy those pre-packages stacks of pancakes that taste like nothing; just mix some milk, flour, eggs and a pinch of salt and you’ve got yourself a delicious stack of pancakes from scratch. Add some fruit, sugar, syrup, butter and cream and you’ve got yourself a pancake party!

#2 Almond Extract


With a small bottle of vodka and a handful of almonds you can make your own almond extract with hardly any effort at all. Just add the almonds to the wodka, either with or without the skin and chopped or whole, it’s up to you. Shake it around a bit and store it in a dark and cool place. Give the bottle a little shake once every few days and after a few weeks you will have yourself a very aromatic almond extract that you can use for over a year.

#3 Pita


We just love making our own bread, but you really have to make time for it. Not because making bread is so much work, but because the whole process take up a few hours with the kneading and rising of the dough. Although the flatbread from part 1 didn’t need any time to rise, these pita breads do. On the bright side: you can make a whole batch of these delicious pita breads and keep some in the freezer. When you need a few, you can just take them out and toss them in the oven. It’s as easy as that and they are far tastier than any store-bought pita.

#4 Grated Cheese

grated cheese

I admit: buying a bag of grated cheese is really easy and saves risking your fingers grating a piece of cheese, but cheese in a bag always has that slighty plastic taste and those bags are hardly eco-friendly. Just make the effort and make your own grated cheese. You can even use the food processor for this to save your fingers. The best part is that you can actually freeze the cheese! This way you always have a batch of cheese to use in any dish. We grate all our leftover bits of cheese; from the Parmesan cheese which is essential in any risotto to our supersoft Dutch grass cheese that we use for almost anything really.

#5 Applesauce


I don’t really know how it is in other countries, but in the Netherlands small kids are almost raised on applesauce. No joke! We serve applesauce with all kinds of dishes, from beans to fries, and no kids menu is complete without applesauce. Usually it is consider some form of replacement for actual veggies on the plate. Now, I don’t support switching veggies with applesauce, but I do support applesauce in general in fridges all over the world. Luckily you can easily make a batch of applesauce yourself. Just pick out your favorite sweet or lightly sour apples, cut them into pieces and put it on the gas with a small layer of water. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer until the apples have gone soft. Then make a smooth puree out of them in a food processor and you are done. You can add some sugar or cinnamon, but it’s not really necessary. You can divide this into portions and keep it in the freezer.

The list of foods you can easily make yourself doesn’t end here. You can find more tips and recipes in these articles:

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