There are many food items that people regularly buy that they could make at home; healthier, cheaper, and tastier.
In days past people did not run to the store every time they needed catsup or baking powder, they made what they needed themselves from basic materials. You can do the same. How many of the following items have you made from scratch?
Items You Didn’t Know You Could Make Homemade
Condiments and Ingredients
1. Baking Powder
2. Vanilla Extract
3. Homemade Vinegar and Flavored Vinegars
5. Catsup or Ketchup
7. Grape Jelly
8. Dill Pickles
9. French Dressing
10. Peanut Butter
12. Sweetened Condensed Milk
Meat and Proteins
Spices and Herb Blends
Breads and Cereals
33. Homemade Thin Mints
34. Sea Salt Caramels
35. Chocolate Covered Cherries
36. Tie Dyed Tortilla Chips
39. Peanut Butter Cups
40. Homemade Candy Corn
41. Fruit Roll Ups
With the easy access to information on the Internet a couple of words typed in to Google can result in hundreds of recipes for everything from corned beef to homemade wine. Next time you run out of an ingredient check the web for information about making it yourself.
There is something very satisfying about being able to make your own ingredients.
Look what I made today!!!
This is from the amazing bakerella website, http://www.bakerella.com, this girl has serious talent! I gave it a go and they turned out pretty good, 4 hours of long hard work, but well worth it for the smile on the beans face!! I copied and pasted the how to for you that I borrowed from the site, give it a try, its fun and they are sooo adorable!
1 13X9 baked cake (from a box cake mix or from scratch … any flavor)
1 can cream cheese frosting (or about 2 cups equivalent from scratch)
1 flower shaped cookie cutter (1.25″ wide X .75″ tall)
1 package chocolate bark
1 package pink candy melts or white chocolate bark
bowls for dipping
sprinkles, m&ms or something similar for top of cupcake
small plastic treat bags and ribbon to package the Cupcake Pops
candy cups and truffle boxes to individually package the Cupcake Bites
- Bake a cake from a mix or from scratch and cool completely.
- Crumble cake into a fine consistency into a large bowl.TIP: If the texture is too coarse, you can run it through a food processor.
- Add can of cream cheese frosting or homemade frosting and blend together using the back of a large spoon. Blend thoroughly.
- Roll mixture into 1.25″ – 1.5″ size balls and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet. You may want to periodically rinse and dry your hands off in between.
- Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours.TIP: You can speed this up by placing in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove. Begin to shape into cupcakes using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter. (see below) Take the chilled ball and roll it into more of an oval and then slide into cookie cutter. Push it into cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with remaining balls.
- Once shaped, cover and return to freezer. (5-10 minutes)TIP: You can leave them covered in the refrigerator overnight if you want to do the dipping on the following day.
- While cupcake shapes are chilling, begin to heat up your chocolate bark.
- Brown chocolate bark for the bottoms. Pink or white chocolate for the tops.
- Follow the instructions on the package for melting. Most recommend heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.
- When you are ready to dip, remove from freezer and set up another wax paper covered cookie sheet.
- Take the cupcake shaped mixture and dip bottoms into the melted chocolate – just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Remove from chocolate, turn upside down and wiggle so that the excess starts to slide down slightly. Then lay on the wax paper upside down. If you want them to be lollipops, then go ahead and insert the lollipop sticks while the chocolate is still wet. Continue with rest of the cupcakes. You can also leave some without the sticks. They’re just as cute as Cupcake Bites.TIP: Dip end of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting into chocolate bottoms. Not sure if this helps a lot, but it couldn’t hurt.
DON’T – get water in the chocolate. Make sure your hands are completely dry. Water will cause the chocolate to separate and mess up all your hard work.
- Dry completely. (15-20 minutes)
- Once dry, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the pink or white chocolate. You may need to move it around a little to cover all the exposed areas.
TIP: Let the pink chocolate sit for a few minutes after heating to thicken. This will help it from dripping down the sides of the cupcake.
- Remove from the pink/white chocolate and turn right side up. You may need to hold and rotate it if there is any excess so that it doesn’t drip down too far.TIP: You can use a toothpick to help cover any areas the melted chocolate didn’t cover.
- For the Cupcake Bites – just turn right side up and rest on the wax paper. Then go ahead and put a m&m on the top and add sprinkles while wet.
- For the lollipops, Continue holding and place an m&m on the top and add sprinkles. Let them dry in a styrofoam block that you have already poked holes into.
- When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon.
- For the Cupcake Bites, place in a candy cup and package in small candy truffle boxes to present individually.
This is an article that I found to be inspiring, hope you enjoy it.
Drawing on indigenous Indian knowledge of geology, hydrology and ecology, Rajendra Singh helped to save a watershed.
Rajendra Singh, founder of Tarun Bharat Sangh, (TBS, or Young India Association), always wanted to be a farmer. Bowing to family pressure, he studied to be a doctor of traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine and after school moved to the Alwyn district in the arid state of Rajasthan. Singh was not simply practicing medicine, he wanted to test some ideas about healing ecosystems.
The local Arvari River had dried up during the 1940s when the surrounding hills were stripped of trees. It flowed only during the monsoon season. Since that time most people fled local villages to seek a livelihood elsewhere. When Singh arrived in 1985, he noticed that only the oldest and poorest people were left in the area.
Drawing on indigenous Indian knowledge of geology, hydrology and ecology, he began building tiny dams with johads (reservoirs) on streams flowing to the river in the hopes of reviving the natural water flow of both surface and underground water in the region. The local elders chuckled as they watched him do backbreaking labor with very little results for two years. Only then, he remembers with a chuckle, did they decide he was sincere in trying to help them and began offering tips on the right spots to place dams and johads.
It worked. The water captured in the johads during monsoon season slowly rejuvenated vegetation, which helped refill the aquifers (used for local drinking water) and restore the water retaining capacity of the hillsides.
The Arvari River came back to life and now runs all year as do four other once-dry rivers in the region. Groundwater levels have risen by an estimated 20 feet, and crucial forest cover, which helps to maintain the water-retaining capacity of the soil, has increased by 33 percent. People who abandoned the district are now moving back to farm and start businesses, Singh says.
In addition, The Young India Association challenged plans to privatize and deplete freshwater resources. In the Alwar area, where Singh began his work, activsts have prevented 40 water-intensive industrial companies (including bottled water and soft drink makers) from setting up factories. Villagers are creating their own “river parliaments” to sustain the water commons; each is governed by two leaders�“one who is responsible to the community, and one who is responsible solely to the water and nature.
“Water is a very emotional, spiritual thing,” Singh explains, noting that the once-lost river is now once again sacred to local people. He says that many of the older residents now ask that when they die that their ashes be sprinkled into the Arvari rather than the Ganges.
Article that I found interesting
Last week residents of Concord, Massachusetts voted to ban the sale of all bottled water by next January, making it the first U.S. town to take such action.
The effort was lead by Jean Hill, an 82-year old activist, who lobbied neighbours and officials alike on the consequences of plastic bottles filling landfills and polluting local waters. "All these discarded bottles are damaging our planet, causing clumps of garbage in the oceans that hurt fish, and are creating more pollution on our streets,” says Hil. "This is a great achievement to be the first in the country to do this. This is about addressing an injustice.”
Of course, the $10 billion industry is less than thrilled with the news and has even threatened a legal challenge. They argue that singling out bottled water is unfair when "thousands of food, medicinal, beauty and cleaning products packaged in plastic." But this isn’t the first time bottled water has been targeted.
More than 100 towns across the United States already prohibit spending city dollars on the product.
Click to here to see the full info graphic.
"We obviously don’t think highly of the vote in Concord,” said Joe Doss, president of the International Bottled Water Association, a trade association that represents bottlers, suppliers, and distributors. "Any efforts to discourage consumers from drinking water, whether tap water or bottled water, is not in the best interests of consumers. Bottled water is a very healthy, safe, convenient product that consumers use to stay hydrated.”
But bottled water is hardly safe. As the NRDC reports, water stored in plastic bottles for 10 weeks showed signs of phthalate-leaching. Phthalates block testosterone and other hormones! And keep in mind, while phthalates in tap water are regulated, no such regulations exist at all for bottled water. And as the info graphic above points out, bottled water costs 10,000 times more than tap water and 40-percent of it comes straight from the tap.
The Concord ordinance is part of a state-wide effort for a new bottle law. The state’s 29-year-old law only allows consumers to redeem bottles and cans from soda and beer. Bottles from non-carbonated water, iced tea, juices or energy drinks–which account for one-third of all beverages sold in Massachusetts–are not redeemable. The new law would raise the redemption fee to 10 cents and cover a larger variety of beverage bottles.
Thought I would share this article taken from http://www.naturalnews.com, because it shares a lot of my beliefs. I wish that things would go back to the simpler days, when people grew their own food, and everything wasn’t processed and plastic.
(NaturalNews) The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has warned that the public should avoid genetically modified (GM) foods, stating, "There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation."
A large number of studies and incidents have implicated GM foods in a wide variety of health problems, including accelerated aging, immune dysfunction, insulin disorders, organ damage and reproductive disruption.
For example, female rats fed a diet of GM soy experienced a drastically higher infant death rate, and their surviving infants were smaller and less fertile than the offspring of rats fed on a non-GM soy diet. Male rats fed the GM soy had their testicles change from pink to blue, and the GM soy was also observed to damage the DNA of sperm and embryos. Fertility problems such as abortion, infertility, premature delivery, prolapsed uteri, infant death, and even delivery of unformed infants (bags of water) have been observed in farm animals fed GM cottonseed and corn.
Animals consuming crops that have been genetically modified to produce the pesticide Bt (approved for human consumption in the United States) have died by the thousands, while animals grazing on a non-GM version of the same crops remained unharmed. Upon autopsies, researchers have found black patches in the animals’ livers and intestines, internal bleeding and other signs of Bt poisoning. Farm workers in India have begun developing allergic reactions upon handling Bt corn, similar to the effects experienced by people exposed to Bt spraying.
In addition to these risks, GM soy and corn contain significantly higher concentrations of allergens than unmodified varieties. Evidence also suggests that the genetic abnormalities of GM foods may transfer to bacteria in the human gut, thereby exposing people to their detrimental effects long after a food has been consumed.
Yet in spite of all this evidence and the prevalence of GM crops in the U.S. food supply not a single clinical trial of any GM crop has ever been published.
"The experiments simply haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs," said Canadian geneticist David Suzuki. "Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying."
Sources for this story include: www.sentienttimes.com.
Proof that if consumers band together their voices will be heard. Ketchup is one of the only condiments that we still buy, other than mayo and mustard; everything else we have begun to make ourselves, simply because of fillers, and high fructose corn syrups. Ketchup was on my list of things to learn to make at home once the summer hits and tomatoes became more plentiful, but it is nice to know that in a pinch there is a brand out there safe for my children.
Article from http://www.takepart.com
High fructose corn syrup, found in products like ketchup, is damaging to your body in more ways than one. Photo: David Blaine/Creative Commons
Ladies and gents, the ingredient pariah of the week is…high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
With consumer awareness on the rise, demand for fructose-free products is climbing. This week, Hunt’s ditched the increasingly unpopular ingredient and is now sticking to the basics: tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, salt and other seasonings.
Ryan Toreson, Hunt’s Ketchup brand manager, said of the swap: "In direct response to consumer demand, Hunt’s is pleased to offer ketchup sweetened with sugar and containing only five simple ingredients….Parents are looking for wholesome meals and ingredients they recognize…."
The new recipe has bigger implications than just ingredients you can pronounce. High fructose corn syrup, initially embraced as a cheap sugar substitute, is losing popularity as research shows that the compound damages human bodies in more ways than one. Bill Sanda’s article "The Double Danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup" explains:
The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.
Pure fructose contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals and robs the body of its micronutrient treasures in order to assimilate itself for physiological use. While naturally occurring sugars…contain fructose bound to other sugars, high fructose corn syrup contains a good deal of "free" or unbound fructose. Research indicates that this free fructose interferes with the heart’s use of key minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium.
Among other consequences, HFCS has been implicated in elevated blood cholesterol levels and the creation of blood clots. It has been found to inhibit the action of white blood cells so that they are unable to defend the body against harmful foreign invaders.
Sound like more than you bargained for? You can opt out of the corn syrup syndrome. Check out the action link below to learn how you too can make a difference in our food system.