There are a lot of good reasons to cook from scratch: health, allergies, money, or just because you enjoy it. I’ve done it for all those reasons, and often I’ve tried making something just to see if I could. Sometimes making a food from scratch has been fun, but not worth the time, effort and money involved. (Like butter for instance.) Other times I’ve been blown away by how easy something was to make, and I wanted to share a few of those foods with you.
I know, I know. It sounds ridiculous to even think of making crackers from scratch. But they are so incredibly easy! And they’re not time consuming at all. It probably takes no longer than to make a batch of cookies, and they cost just pennies (or do we have to say nickels now?) Plus they’re great for making with kids.
I’ve found this recipe to be really good: the key is rolling the dough nice and thin, so they get lovely and crisp.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I remember when fruit roll-ups were THE snack to have in your lunch. They were sticky and delicious, and full of so many additives and preservatives that my body probably won’t rot for a hundred years. Fortunately for my kids, it turns out that fruit leather is super-easy to make. It takes a little time to do, but since most of that is drying time in the oven, it won’t take a lot of time from your day.
This is probably the easiest one on the list. You don’t even need a recipe. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it in a bowl. Pour plain yogurt into the strainer, shove it in the fridge and let it sit overnight. The whey will drain out of the yogurt into the bowl, and you’ll be left with a beautiful, tart, spreadable product that is known as labneh, or yogurt cheese. It is a great substitute for cream cheese, and a wonderful way to use up extra yogurt.
Instant pudding can be whipped up in about two minutes, plus chilling time. It’s a really quick dessert to make, but it’s full of additives and dyes. Would you believe this recipe takes about the same time? And you get to control exactly what goes into it!
Okay, I have to be honest: this one comes from my husband. He told me he wanted to try making Dulce de Leche, and my response was, ‘are you crazy?!’ But guess what? It ties with the yogurt cheese for easiest item on the list, and like the cheese, only requires one ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. Basically you just cook the condensed milk until it caramelizes beautifully. Check out this video to see the actual technique, and how easy it is.
We’re all busy women, whether we’re stay-at-home moms or work-out-of-the-home moms: we often don’t have time to make things from scratch, and that’s fine. But when you do have some time in the kitchen, consider giving one of these recipes a try. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your family!
This blog is written by momstown Milton Blogger Lesley Stankaitis. Click here to read more of her blogs.